When deciding which small business solutions are right for you, it's always a good idea to see what your competition is up to. While doing so should already be a part of your normal benchmarking process, if you haven't looked into it yet, don't worry. We've already done the research for you! The type of small business solutions you should be concentrating on will depend on your answers to the following questions.
- Do you plan to stay small or do you want to expand your business?
- How big is your staff?
- Do you have an efficient way to handle your workforce?
- Do you have the right tools to be successful?
The small business solutions we discuss here can help you reach your goals and get your profits up to where you'd like them to be, and much quicker than you may realize. More importantly, the small business solutions we'll cover are probably already at work for your competition. It's how they've been able to stay relevant in today's fast-paced and technology-driven industry. You can get ahead, too.
There's one major rule before we begin discussing each solution - go digital! Your competition has already taken this huge first step, but it's not too late for you to jump on board, too. Digital solutions for small businesses are on the rise and changing all the time. This factor actually works in your favor—if your competitors have settled in with an older app, you can gain a real edge over them by grabbing some of the newer ones now.
Traditional logbook-style shift schedules are still very popular in small businesses, but times have changed and paper is out. It's likely that your successful competition is already up to speed with the recent innovation in shift scheduling apps, like Zip Schedules by Hubworks.
Going digital means an end to logbooks, no more handwriting the schedules, and avoiding lost or damaged schedules. Digital shift scheduling means no more extra costs for paper, ink, storage, and disposal. Small business solutions get a great boost from including shift scheduling software, and they offer a wide range of features. Apps, like Zip Schedules, can track employee hours to avoid overtime, keep track of labor laws to avoid fines, and can even keep employee preferences in mind, which keeps your staff members happy and engaged. All of these features add up to lower labor costs and more productive employees.
Inventory counting is a process that is universally dreaded by employees and managers alike. Traditionally, it's a tedious and time-consuming task. There is almost always a mistake or two that results in a recount or a completely overlooked mistake that ends up costing the company a bundle. Those unavoidable mistakes can come back to haunt you at the worst times and they're always a nightmare to fix. Traditional methods included paper sheets and bored or stressed employees painstakingly counting everything in the store. But those days are over if you happen to get your hands on one of our favorite small business solutions, a real-time inventory app. A real-time inventory solution, like Zip Inventory by Hubworks, tracks every item in real-time. That means you will always know what's in stock and what needs to be reordered. No more waiting for monthly inventory counts to come in. With real-time inventory management for your small business solution, you can avoid depleted stocks, stolen goods, and spoilage.
Task lists are an integral part of running any business, but they are even more important to small businesses with limited budgets and smaller staffs. Making task lists for employees can be boring though, and it's one of the most tedious duties you'll face. Mobile task list apps, like Zip Checklist, take the tedium out of this job and leave you with more time to concentrate on the customer experience. You simply fill in the task template, upload the completed list to the cloud, and all your employees will see the list in real-time. When tasks are completed, they check them off. You'll even be notified when tasks are done or critical tasks haven't been finished yet.
Small businesses need to know everything, and they don't have the luxury of time or the same financial cushions that larger businesses may have. That means you need to have the right tools to get you pertinent information right away. Without a full-time data team, this used to be a daydream for most small business owners. Today, it's a reality, and your competition may already be using real-time reporting tools to get ahead of you. Modern productivity applications have powerful reporting tools that will compile all of your data in an instant and show you colorful, detailed, and easy-to-read reports right on your screen. Use the built-in filters to see only what you need to see, removing the clutter and awkwardness of stacks of paper reports. No more IT team, no more data-collecting department, and no more waiting weeks for your reports. All that saved time means you can find new ways to get ahead of your competitors.
Mobile POS solutions are useful for businesses of all sizes, and they look cool too. Your employees will enjoy the simplicity and familiarity of using a tablet or other mobile device to accept payments, and your guests will be impressed to see such a high-tech POS system in a small business. Mobile POS systems, like Plum POS, keep your employees on the move and make payments efficiently and securely, helping to improve productivity and brand recognition. Capture customer data and get paid in an instant. Link your POS system to the small business solutions mentioned above and you've just given yourself ultimate control over your business, and the power to blow your competition out of the water.
It's really exciting to see all the new apps and small business solutions on the market today, and you might be thinking they must be very expensive. However, all of the apps mentioned above can be added to your business for a very affordable price. Because it's all modular, meaning you only get the apps you need right now, they are all compatible. You use what you need now, but you're not stuck there. You can add more apps later, in your own time, at your own pace.
Just a few more notes on small business solutions before we go-
- Look for apps that offer a free trial
- Avoid apps that require a contract
- Choose software that offers multi-language options
- Make sure it includes great customer support
We've covered a lot of the small business solutions your competitors are probably using right now, and we've given you some pointers on getting ahead. If you want more information about how digital business solutions, like those provided by Hubworks, can help you check out the Hubworks Blog. Posts like The Benefits of Hospitality Apps and Their Latest Features and The Definitive Guide to HACCP and Food Safety | 7 HACCP Principles go more in-depth into the benefits Hubworks can provide!