By Russ Adler
Using innovative software tools to improve productivity frees up time and resources for entrepreneurs to focus on growing their business instead of spending countless hours doing tiresome administrative chores. Moreover, letting software do the work whenever possible improves efficiency, accounting accuracy, and reduces overhead costs. With high-speed internet connections, the “cloud” and software service providers, limited resources can be used more effectively.
Outsource Software to Save Time and Money
Although entrepreneurs can purchase and download business software tools online for installation on company computers and mobile devices, using cloud storage and “software as a service” providers offers even more workplace efficiencies. For example, instead of a supplier sending a bill through mail or email, which then gets manually entered into the company’s accounts payable system — the supplier can electronically transmit the bill to the company’s accounting software for automated entry. Moreover, business owners can access their accounting data anytime, from anywhere, on any computer or mobile device. Quickbooks “software as a service” version and Bills.com are popular examples. Beyond accounting, using online file and collaboration tools like Dropbox and Evernote maximizes efficiency between coworkers, suppliers, and customers.
Inventory Management Tools to Improve Workflow Efficiency
How well inventory is tracked and managed can make or break a business. Knowing exactly where stock, materials, or supplies come from, how much is on hand and on order, how much it cost, and how much profit is made from a sale is crucial for business success. Even non-tangible businesses like service companies, software developers, or management consultants need to keep track of inventory like copyrights, patents, trademarks, and intellectual property. Using inventory management software maximizes production efficiency and reduces inventory loss. Several small business inventory management software tools and mobile-friendly apps, tailored for a specific industry, are available these days too. Try before you buy with free trials or freeware like vtiger or ABC Inventory Software.
Performance Review Software to Increase Workforce Productivity
“Gamification,” the latest Silicon Valley buzzword trending in business software, transforms the traditional annual employee review into a fun, year-round exercise of goal setting, contest challenges, level rankings, and button badges to work assignments and completion results. The newest gamification effort is the performance review system now dubbed “gamified” performance management software. Deemed a natural fit for providing quality feedback to employees, performance management software intends to eliminate the need for the painful annual performance review by providing constant “hyperfeedback” in a fun and company-wide public manner. Open source systems like Mozilla’s Open Badges are now available. Badgeville, Leaderboarded, and Work.com currently offer hyperfeedback gamification software and more options are expected to be on the market soon.
Software tools help entrepreneurs’ and their businesses become more efficient and profitable by redirecting limited resources toward growth. Outsourcing software as much and as often as possible saves time, money, and significantly increases business productivity. Many innovative productivity software options are available that can help entrepreneurs achieve their goals no matter what their niche or industry.
About the Author
Russ Adler is a business software consultant. He enjoys passing on his ideas and expertise through blogging. Visit SliQTools for more software solutions.