3 SMB-friendly software solutions that pay for themselves

3 SMB-friendly software solutions that pay for themselves

Every aspect of business, from sales to customer service, can be improved with the right software solutions, but many business owners are still reluctant to invest in new technology.

Let’s say you have an employee who needs to record client data. He’s been using a spreadsheet to track everything, but the process isn’t very efficient and is prone to error. With a month-to-month subscription to cloud data management software, your staff will be able to work much faster and with greater accuracy.

So what would you do? Invest in the software, or continue to use the spreadsheet?

We freely admit that there's never a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to information technology, but it's pretty hard to argue that the following applications won't pay for themselves in a matter of months.

Business intelligence applications
If your business's operational information is recorded in spreadsheets, tracking down information is like trying to solve a puzzle while looking through a keyhole. Business intelligence (BI) is a suite of software dedicated to connecting and organizing your internal information so you can see the bigger picture.

There are several powerful BI tools in the market, and each one has a unique selling point, but almost all of them will let you transform massive databases into actionable insights. Nearly every reputable company uses analytics to monitor performance and make decisions, and with a BI tool you and your employees will be able to make the same informed decisions to help your business succeed.

Customer relationship management software
Nothing is more integral to a company’s success than its relationships with past, present, and future clients. If you don't have access to a centralized history of client interactions that includes phone calls, emails, and in-person meetings, it's going to be much harder to recognize opportunities and sunk costs. This is where Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software comes into play.

Most CRM programs are cloud-based, and what you pick will obviously depend on your company’s needs. If sales is the name of the game for your business, Salesforce can help by collecting your lead generation information, marketing data, and purchase histories in your client database. Some CRM tools take a more specific approach, such as Zoho, which converts visitor data from your website into lead information.

Microsoft Office 365
If you're using any version of Microsoft productivity suite that isn't Office 365, you're missing out on a host of security, collaboration, and cost-saving features.

For starters, Office 365 provides a wider range of tools than older versions of Office offer. It is also accessible from the web browser, which gives you anywhere, anytime access to your files and applications. This freedom ensures your employees, no matter where they happen to be, have access to the tools they need.

Another benefit of Office 365 is that it is a subscription-based service. In most cases, it would take two-and-a-half years before subscription costs eclipse that of a one-time license fee. And even then, Office 2016 comes with far fewer applications and features than Office 365.

USWired’s consultants have extensive experience developing innovative solutions for complex business challenges. We can advise you on investing in the right software that will not only pay for itself, but also bring you extra profits down the road. Contact us to get started.