Many of us have spent hours daydreaming about owning our own business – the creative license; the flexibility; the ability to be our own boss. There is no denying the perks are plentiful but the practicalities must always be the first port of call once you’ve done the groundwork on bringing your concept to fruition.
To that end, here are five of the top tools small business owners should be considering to maximise productivity, maintain accountability and minimise downtime spent on administration.
G Suite – keeping overheads low and profit margins healthy comes down to taking a no-frills approach and focusing on the fundamentals. Having access to essentials like word doc, spreadsheet and powerpoint presentation software along with an email platform, has never been easier or cheaper than with G Suite. In fact, it’s free, with up to 15 GB of secure cloud storage and file backup for photos, videos and files. Born in the cloud, G Suite allows you to have all your files within reach from any smartphone, tablet or computer so you can work anytime, anywhere.
XERO – finances can be friend or foe. To ensure it’s the former, trusted financial technology ‘fintech’ is key. Xero is a great ally to small business owners, accessible by smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac. You can work whenever and wherever you want to; Xero generates online invoices that are monitorable and payable online; the technology is scalable so it can grow with you, and the platform is shareable between you and trusted advisors so you can collaborate in real time.
ANZ Fast Pay – chasing payments is the bane of any business owner’s existence, so it’s great having access to an app compatible with Android smartphones and iPhones that lets you accept EFTPOS, Visa and Mastercard debit and credit card payments on the go, and will generate and email a receipt to your customer immediately.
Shopify – if you have plans to establish an ecommerce business, then Shopify offers everything you need to start selling online today. From affiliate marketers to bakers, this cost-effective software platform allows its users to set up an online store to sell their goods. Organise products, customise your digital storefront, accept credit card payments and track and respond to orders all from the comfort of your own home.
Social Media – a (mostly) free environment to promote business, research targets markets, interact with customers and build relationships, social media is giving business owners a platform to be seen and heard. Additionally, you can monitor competitor activity. Targeting just a couple of social media networks where you gain traction is key rather than spreading yourself too thin. Some examples include LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and the juggernaut that is Facebook.