5 Valuable Resources for Every Small Business
Many people dream of running their own successful small business. The desire to be one’s own boss and have full control over the course your work life takes is not a new concept; many energetic people have made the decision to leave their corporate lifestyle and strike out on their own for decades.
However, today’s small-business owners have a distinct advantage over those who opened a business even just a decade ago. With the advent of business-oriented software and other digital tools, entrepreneurs today have so many resources right at their fingertips that make running a business much easier and effective.
If you’re a small-business owner and would like to learn more about how to make that business run easier and smarter, these are five resources that can help you get the job done right.
For those that work in fully staffed offices, accounting is just another department and you may only have contact with them when you need to submit travel receipts. For those who run their own business they themselves are often the accounting department. Therefore it becomes important that you have the tools needed to assist you, especially if you have limited accounting experience.
One of the best digital tools in the accounting realm is Expensify. This simple app lets you and any employees you might have keep track of expenses, especially those related to travel. It creates real-time expense reports and offers other features to make accounting a breeze.
Again, payroll is one of those things that a new business owner may have never had contact with except when payday rolled around. Now that you’re the one in charge of ensuring that your employees are paid on time and that the appropriate tax obligations are handled correctly, you might want to invest in software that makes these tasks much easier.
One of the most trusted names in payroll software is QuickBooks. It’s been around for a while in various formats but it’s consistently proven itself to be one of the most valuable tools for any small business. Payroll and other accounting duties can be managed with ease and you can even use their mobile version for when you’re on the go.
3. Create Contracts
Contracts are vital to all aspects of business and are especially important to those operating small businesses. When you have terms and conditions clearly and legally defined you protect not only your assets but your client has peace of mind as well.
There are several apps that let you create basic, legally binding contracts with ease and most include software that allows you and your client to sign the contract digitally, such as Shake. In the unlikely event that a dispute arises having a contract to back you up can be the best choice you’ve made regarding the security of your business and the accountability of those you do business with.
4. Managing Invoices
An extension of your accounting duties is the process of managing invoices. Depending on the terms of your contracts, you may bill monthly, quarterly, or at another agreed upon time. But there will come a time that maybe you need that revenue quicker, or your clients are tardy in paying. This is where a factoring company comes in.
A factoring company will buy your invoices, allowing you to receive the majority of your revenue upfront without waiting for your clients to pay up. Then once they do pay, you receive the rest of the invoice, minus a fee. This allows you to handle lean periods between clients better, ensuring you can pay your employees and more.
5. Time Management
There are a multitude of apps that help you manage your time but the most important of these help a business owner manage the time of others. Since it’s unlikely you’ll have a time-card system there are convenient digital ways for you to keep track of the hours worked by your employees and yourself.
These apps allow you to keep track of the hours spent on various projects as well as track who has done what and how much time they’ve spent doing it. Many of these billable hours apps also sync with your accounting and payroll software to make this part of running a small business easier than ever.
Owning your own business is not only a great way to market your unique talents but also has every potential to be a profitable venture. With the addition of these digital tools you’ll find that you devote less time to the back end of your business and have more time to ensure that you, your staff, and your clients are all on the right track.