Small businesses face unique challenges that can quickly end the dream of success. Adding the right small business software can turn problems into solutions and dashed dreams into major success. Read on to find out how.
What Problems do Small Businesses Face?
There is a long list of problems that small to medium businesses can face, but they almost always stem from one central issue. Lack of capital. Perhaps the company started out with a modest amount of financial backing that has slowly dwindled over time, or a string of bad luck or poor decisions ate through the safety net much sooner than anticipated. Sometimes, a company is barely started before the money problems begin. Whatever the reason, the money simply isn’t there, and sales aren’t enough to support sustainable business, let alone growth of any measure.
It sounds downright depressing when put like that, but there is a simple and affordable way to make sure you’re never in those positions. Adding small business software to your business toolbox will help you cut costs, improve productivity, and increase your profits so you can get a helpful safety net in place when the next unfortunate circumstance rears its ugly head. That said, not all small business software is created equally, so you should know what your specific needs are and what problems you need to solve to choose the right software. Below, we’ll list some of the common difficulties small businesses face and which small business software can help.
1. I’m spending too much time compiling reports and struggling through the numbers, and don’t have enough time to grow my business or interact with customers. If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. This is one of the biggest complaints we hear from small business owners and managers. There just isn’t enough time to collect all the data, compile the reports, and then go through it all to find trends for growth or problems holding you back. Even if you have a few people on staff that can help with these duties, you’re losing a lot of money on the labor side to make up very little time. It’s simply not worth the cost or frustration. As a result, many small business owners simply forego the data and wing it. Huge mistake! You need to know your numbers, your benchmarks, where you stand as a business, and where you stand against your competition.
That’s where small business software has you covered. Adding nearly any type of small business software will give you access to robust data collection and reporting tools. The best small business software comes with simple filters and real-time reporting so you can always see what’s happening, no waiting for your data team to provide a report and no shuffling through piles of paperwork. That cuts costs in saved time for you, no extra charges for specialists to do the reports for you, and faster decision-making.
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2. Making schedules for employees is tedious, and they always complain. I can’t remember which employee likes which shift! This common problem for small businesses stems from having the wrong procedure for staff scheduling, not enough time to complete the schedules thoroughly, and inadequate records for each employee, making it hard to comb through and impossible to memorize. This results in upset employees who won’t work as hard or feel very connected to the company. It also means you could accidentally schedule someone for unexpected overtime, or even breach labor laws and end up saddled with fines.
Small business software can save time, money, and stress while improving employee relations and engagement. Shift scheduling software is specifically designed to provide the most efficient use of employees’ preferences, availability, and skills while keeping track of labor laws for both adults and minors. This software will automatically fill in your shift schedules with the right employees, and all you have to do is approve it or make a few quick changes. Since it’s cloud-based, the schedule is stored online where employees can access it at any time. No more missed shifts, no more lost or forgotten schedules, and no more angry employees. Your employees get the shifts they want, and that means better engagement, more loyalty, and much higher productivity. You also save a ton of time and money by not wasting it all struggling to make a fair schedule.
3. Too many tasks are skipped each day—are my employees even looking at the paper task lists? It’s common for employees to ignore posted task lists. They either believe they have it all memorized by now, which means they won’t see any changes you’ve made, or they simply forget the list is there. Either way, your tasks don’t get completed, and that can spell frustration for the next shift and even fines for food safety violations or labor law breaches.
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Grab small business software that focuses on task lists and productivity, and this set of issues is solved in a few taps, clicks, or swipes. Automatic task lists work well, but you can also edit the templates to fine-tune your lists or make your own from scratch. They’re in the cloud, so the lists are available on all connected mobile devices. That means employees will always have access to the lists, and every time something is checked off, you will be notified in real-time. That’s complete control over workflow and efficiency, and it gives you a chance to catch employees slacking off and to see which employees are working hard.
Small Business Software Must Cost a Fortune—I Can’t Afford That!
Believe it or not, small business software isn’t expensive at all. Just about any business can afford to get started, and the savings even just one of these apps can provide will more than pay for the software. Add multiple business software choices to your lineup and see the savings increase exponentially. You may think you can’t afford to get started with small business software, but we believe you can’t afford not to. Look for small business software that offers free trials, no contracts, excellent tech support, and multi-language options to really stretch your savings.
It sounds too good to be true, but it’s not. Innovations in business software have made it possible for small and medium businesses to finally have a competitive edge. Have you heard about mobile POS solutions? That’s one aspect we didn’t get a chance to cover, but it’s another common problem that can be solved with business software. We’ve written about it here.