Must Haves For Every Small Business

There’s certain equipment, software and advertising that is necessary for every small business to succeed.  Helping your business to prosper is a matter of knowing the right things to invest in, and being aware of the tools that are available to you.  Not only do these things help your business, they make your life much easier by helping you to simplify tasks and stay organized.  Consider using some of the following tools to help get your business up and running and help keeping you organized.

DropBox

Have you ever had to carry around a large file, or make copies of things to share with everyone in your office?  Or do you always have seven different flash drives you are carrying around because each one holds a different set of information?  With DropBox, you can upload your files into the cloud, and give access to anyone who needs to see the information.  No more passing around disks and flash drives, or emailing large files to everyone in the office.  Not only does this tool help you to share information, it is also a great organizing tool for all your office documents.  Set up folders for each set of information, and everyone can access them.  This is a great way to simplify the process of sharing information through the office.

Skype

Skype is a great way to hold long distance conference calls and videoconferences without paying a huge fee for phone service.  If you deal in international clients and have to worry about time differences, Skype is a great tool that allows you to communicate regularly and effectively without a huge phone bill.  Skype can also be used to send documents right away, even if you are currently on a call.  Skype is a great tool that allows you to multi-task and keeps you in touch with your clients and business partners who aren’t close enough to visit.

LinkedIn

Are you starting a new business and looking to hire the best talent that you can find?  LinkedIn has become a great resource to provide you with an online directory of resumes and applicants.  It also gives you a chance to connect with people who are of a similar mind and who may have the same interests in you.  It’s no longer necessary to weed through hundreds of applicants before you can find the best person for the job.  With LinkedIn, you can recruit who you want working for your team.

Social Media Fan Page

Social media is a daily staple in the lives of most Americans.  Millions of American log onto their Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest accounts every day.  Your business needs to have a presence on these sites.  Create a fan page that your customers can like and visit often.  Give out special deals and discounts for those who are members of your fan page.  And update your page often so that your customers feel like they are getting valuable and valid information about your company.  Using social media also allows you to appeal to a younger generation and bring in some younger customers.  These customers will then spread the word to their friends, and you’ve suddenly increased your customer base.

Accounting Software

If you hate keeping the books, and don’t have the funds to hire an accountant, consider investing in online accounting software or a bookkeeping program.  You can track inventory and manage all receipts online, and get rid of the hassle.  These are great programs that allow you to save time and stay organized

So now that we’ve discussed some tools that allow you to more effectively use your time on the computer and online, there are other valuable tools that are more tangible and hands on that you will want to invest in for your small business.

Advertising

It’s essential when you start a new business that you are able to get the word out to your potential customers and let them know what you are offering.  The best way to do this is through an effective advertising campaign.  Utilize all options for your business advertising; print ads, flyers, online ads, trade shows, and any other tool that presents itself as an option to help you advertise your business.  Don’t think of the expense when you spend money on advertising.  This is one investment that will provide a great return.

Payment Hardware

In the current business world, much of payments are made either online or with credit cards.  There’s a good chance that most of your clients or customers will want the option to pay you with a credit card.  For this purpose, you will want to invest in the best credit card processing terminal and software that allows you to take payments from your customers.  Shop around and ask other business acquaintances for which processing company they prefer.  The company that provides the best processing service should also offer you the best credit card processorterminal, and may even have the best wireless credit card processing terminal available for your use.  Solid payment hardware is essential to running a successful business.

Good Reputation

This ties into the type of product and the quality of the product you are selling.  Word of mouth is a great advertising tool once you get a customer base.  If your customers are telling their friends that the service or product they received was just okay, it’s not likely that their friends will come to you for service.  But if they rave about the quality of your product, this is a great way to bring in new customers.  You develop a solid reputation by offering a quality product and always providing your customers with the best customer service they can find.  Make it worth their while to talk to their friends about you, and you will have new customers almost instantly.

When you start a new business, you want to make the right investments.  If you are going to spend money to help your business run more efficiently and to broaden your customer base, make sure that you are doing it on the right things.  Take advantage of as many free online tools as you can, and then invest your money wisely in things that will help your business to succeed