Progressing and upgrading your current systems or setting up systems when you’re starting a new business can be tricky stuff. If you’re looking for ways to maximise your time and efficiency and cut down on staff or costs, productivity tools are probably the way to go. Whether you’re looking for a book-keeping tool, a sales management program or software to convert your lotus notes to Outlook, here are a few programs that can help evolve your business.
1. Salesforce.com > Customer Relationship Management
One of the leading CRM tools worldwide, Salesforce.com is ideal for any business whose operations centre on sales and business development. From tracking leads to managing sales processes, contacts, follow-ups and marketing campaigns, Salesforce is crucial in connecting staff with clients. Salesforce also has strong reporting capabilities, allowing you to view and analyse your sales and BD statistics.
2. Quickbooks Pro > Bookkeeping & Accounting
Paving the way in accounting software, Quicken have developed Quickbooks Pro for all your book-keeping needs. Compatible with Microsoft Office, Quickbooks can help you calculate quotes, invoice clients, prepare purchase orders, manage your payroll and employee records, track inventory, lodge your BAS and monitor business performance through reports and charts.
3. Freshbooks > Time Tracking & Invoicing
If you run a very small business or you’re a sole trader who doesn’t require extensive book-keeping support, why not try Freshbooks? While it has some similar functions to Quickbooks, Freshbooks is more suited to smaller companies and sole traders and is ideal for ‘project based’ businesses. It’s also much more affordable.
4. EddieExport > Email Conversion
If you’re one of those businesses still stuck in the lotus notes era, it’s probably time to upgrade. EddieExport is email migration software that can extract your lotus notes data like emails, attachments, calendars, to-do lists, contacts, as well as your folder structure, and import them into Microsoft Outlook or Exchange. Definitely useful for retaining important records and email trails – without having to print or save everything manually.
5. Vyew > Collaboration
Collaborative software is crucial for any business whose employees are often not all in the one place. Vyew is a web-conferencing platform that allows you to hold collaborative meetings and sessions via the internet. It’s similar to Windows Live in that you can share your desktop and upload documents, but also provides features for video conferencing, VOIP and comment tracking.
6. Filemaker Pro > Databases
It’s a database software program that’s been around for years – probably because it’s innovative and reliable. Compatible with both Macs and PCs (as well as iPads and iPhones), Filemaker Pro lets you create databases, publish and share information, create reports and essentially add some structure to all of your company’s documentation. Great for managing inventories, invoices, to-do lists, events and document libraries.
7. Bento > Project Tracking and Planning
Also made by the Filemaker crew, Bento is a software program that is used for simple tasks like organising contacts and printing lists. It can also be used for more complex things like planning events, tracking projects and managing a large volume of data, whether videos, images or documentation.
8. Google Analytics > Search Engine Optimisation
Website and online marketing is becoming an integral part of business management. Google Analytics is a web-based tool that provides you with useful insights into your website traffic and data. With Google Analytics, you can track conversions, campaigns and adverts, perform analyses, monitor trends and calculate your ROI in the online world.
9. WhiteSmoke > Grammar Checking
Ever used the Microsoft spelling and grammar checker and found it somewhat useless? WhiteSmoke is one of the latest grammar-checking tools to help you perfect your written English. You can check grammar, spelling and style and it boasts that it can pick up on things that MS Word often misses. It’s available in various versions, including General, Business, Executive, Bio-Tech and Creative.
10. Apple iPad > Communications & More
It’s so flexible that it’s almost a software package in itself. Since its launch in 2010, the iPad was quickly snapped up by several Fortune 500 companies and has quickly revolutionised the way we interact with clients, with each other and with the online business world. The iPad has the flexibility to quickly pull up documents, demonstrate ideas to clients via graphs and charts, show clients product photos and showcase portfolios. With the launch of the iPad as a point-of-sale tool in the USA, it won’t be long before it transforms the retail sector in Australia.
About the Guest Post Author: Tom Mallet is an Australian freelance writer and journalist. He writes extensively in Australia, Canada, Europe, and the US. He’s published more than 500 articles about various topics, including email migration software and lotus notes to Outlook.