Essential Software for Small Businesses

Nobody said that running a small business would be easy, but the difficulty can catch many off guard. On top of managing staff, payroll, stock and premises you’ve now got the added pressures of maintaining and competing in an increasingly tough online marketplace.

Thankfully, with the increased complications of SME businesses in 2017 has come to a raft of fantastic, low-cost, high-utility software designed to take the pain out managing a small business.

Small business software is designed to help you run your business better, cut your costs, increase productivity and simplify bookings for your clients. So, what is the business software you should be investing in for your small business?

Here are our four picks for accounting, communication, office software and booking software:

Best Accounting Software for Small Businesses: Xero

If you haven’t heard of Xero before, let us give you a brief introduction: it’s the most comprehensive business accounting software available today, and yet it never feels complex or confusing. Xero manages it with style thanks to a design that fits across smartphones, tablets and computers.

Their software allows for instant bank reconciliation, so you can import your banking, credit card and PayPal transactions with ease. That’s alongside inventory, payroll, invoicing, expenses, bill and purchases management tools. Oh, and that’s just the start of this incredible small business management software.

Starting from just £10 a month and with a free 30-day trial, it’s also a tremendous value.

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Best Communication Software for Small Businesses: Slack

Slack has quietly taken over the world of business communication, and for good reason too. This web and app-based communication tool gives your employees the power to create specific “channels” where your team can converse on specific topics. It might be a project, a topic, a team within your team or anything else. You can even set up private channels with invited team members only, for those sensitive conversations.

You’ll also enjoy the ability to drag and drop files for your team to download and to make instant video calls to anyone on the team, helping you all stay connected – even if you are out of the office for the day! That’s without going into the countless other integrations it has. Best of all? It’s free on the basic plan, so you can discover whether it’s for you before you take the plunge.

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Best Online Booking System for Small Businesses: BookingLive

Managing bookings can be extremely time-consuming in a small business, especially if you’re reliant on booking. That, in turn, costs you man hours and could decrease productivity. That’s why online booking software is essential SME software, whether you’re an activity centre, tour operator or run courses.

BookingLive is our choice for the best small business booking system for a number of reasons, but none more so than its sheer flexibility. Easy to set up with live support available and designed for the modern internet with a design that fits in to match your live website. You’ll love the integrations available, top-tier security and ease by which you can use BookingLive to automate your entire booking procedure.

Customers can book from your website with a rolling monthly contract starting from just £50, you’ll be amazed at what BookingLive can do. A free demo is available so you get a chance to see what BookingLive can do for your business.

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Best Office Software for Small Businesses: Google Drive

It might seem like something of a controversial choice given the hegemony of Microsoft’s Office software (especially now it’s launched on smartphones and tablets), but Google Docs takes our crown as the best office software for small businesses. Why?

Well, between its three components (Docs, Sheets and Slides), you’ve got three fully featured Office replacements. Docs offer all the benefits of Microsoft Word, Slides beings Google’s magic to the PowerPoint formula and Sheets is a terrific Excel clone. Put together, you’ve got the three most commonly used office applications. The real benefit of Google Drive is that you’re able to invite colleagues to view and work on a document with you at the same time, on their computer, meaning that you won’t have to keep sending your suggestions back and forth via email as you’ll be able to instantly edit the document instead!

Google Docs can open Office documents and even export them too, so you’ll enjoy full compatibility with Office users around the world. As far as small business software goes, it’s something of a no-brainer, especially given the completely free cost – all you need is a Google account.

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