Upgrade Your Business by Upgrading Your Small Business Apps
You might not realize it, but the technology you use to manage your business could be holding you back. As an entrepreneur, you do a lot of things on your own. You keep dozens of spreadsheets to chart your progress and forecast your company’s future. Sure, you’d love to hire someone to help you manage the jumble of spreadsheets and free up your mind and your time, but you likely don’t have the budget for more staff. Luckily, advancements in technology have led to new small business apps that help entrepreneurs like you run their business. Upgrading to targeted small business apps means you can run your business more effectively, with more intelligence, and in less time – and with fewer headaches and spreadsheets.
There are quite a few small business apps in the market right now. It can be overwhelming to know which one meets your needs. We’ve outlined three of our favorites that will help you manage intelligence, money, projects and time.
We developed C-xChange as a direct response to the needs of our small business clients. C-xchange evaluates your firm’s liquidity, efficiency and profitability using key performance indicators. But we didn’t stop there. What sets C-xchange apart from other business performance software is that it does more than calculate ratios, it also compares your performance to the performance of your competitors. This approach is far more powerful than traditional ratio analysis of other small business apps, as it allows you to make meaningful comparisons that not only reveal the current situation but guide your business decisions going forward. C-xChange is available as a web and iOS app.
One of the biggest mistakes small business owners make is that they manage everything with Excel spreadsheets. Those can be useful but they can also lead to error and are often inadequate at handling sensitive tasks. Harvest is a web-based time tracker that will save you from juggling all of those timesheets in Excel. It not only monitors your employees’ individual time, it also analyzes everyone’s time to pinpoint company wide inefficiencies. Because it is web-based, you and your employees can track time from anywhere and on any computer. There is even an option to track time via Twitter!
For a comprehensive suite of project management apps, 37 Signals is the way to go. Starting at just $20 per month, Basecamp gives you everything you need to manage your projects. Keep track of files, assign tasks and collaborate all in one place. Campfire takes collaboration to the next level with real time chat rooms. You can chat with team members and clients in password protected chat rooms that are accessible on the web or on your iPhone/iPad. To keep track of all of those people you collaborate with, there’s Highrise for contact management. Their book, REWORK, is pretty great too!
We know that a lot of people are married to Excel spreadsheets and have a difficult time incorporating new apps and technology into their workflow. Remember that when you upgrade your small business apps, you upgrade your business. Learning new software might take a bit of time but the end result of increased efficiency is worth that small amount of effort.