Home » Tools that businesses need to use and plan on a yearly budget
As a business, no matter how big or small, you need to have the tool to make sure you’re on track. Thanks to a huge rise in SaaS businesses, there are software and tools for any type of business. But what are the basics? What do you need to make sure that you are making the most of your business?
Why do businesses use tools?
From freelancers and single-person businesses all the way up to multi-billion international corporations, there is a huge range of tools in play. But why? What do tools do for businesses that people can’t?
One of the most important things is that tools reduce the need (in many cases) for as many people on the payroll. This can be a huge saving for many businesses and can help small businesses save cash every year.
There are several different types of tools that are typically in action, and they all have a clear function.
Task management software – helping people to stay on track at all times
Email and social marketing EMS – engaging with customers and customer services (and general comms)
Social media creation and scheduling – keeping your social media automated and running like clockwork
Calendars – a more robust calendar than you might have as standard
Documentation Collaboration – so multiple people can work together on a single file and share it instantly
Onboarding software – making it quick and easy to make new hires and give them training and support
Those are just a few of the tools that are often used.
Businesses use tools like these and others so that they can improve processes, speed up the workflow, collaborate, and communicate with ease. Not to mention that software with a single focus is ideal for helping to improve productivity.
How can you budget for the right tools for your company?
Let’s face it; budgeting can be difficult – after all, you want to make sure that you are spending your money in the places where it really matters. Everything you spend money on in your business should either improve what you are doing or relieve you of the burden of doing it.
As an example, a tool like social media management and scheduling means that all you need to do is create the content and input it into the system. The software will make sure it is posted when it needs to be. You can then follow up with engagement manually.
Perhaps a more pressing type of tool is one used for cyber security. In the last few years, there has been a substantial increase in the number of cyberattacks on small businesses. Many businesses can’t recover from a hijacking or a data breach. So a cyber security tool or a SaaS team is a must in any budget.
To summarize, put your budget into tools that make you either faster at what you do, or better at what you do. But security is a must, so always add this in no matter what.
So, what tools should your business be budgeting for?
With all of that in mind, here are some tool suggestions for some of the key parts of your business.
What is interesting about many collaboration tools is that they will work for a single person or teams of hundreds. You can often just use the free version for smaller projects or one-person businesses.
Collaboration tools offer a single point of reference that people check to see what needs to be done, what is done, and what comes next. There are some highly-rated options that come with a free option so you can test them out.
Google Drive – is a popular option and is free for up to 15GB
Trello – collaborative cards, boards, priority setting, and visually pleasing with a great free option
Asana – one of the most used options that offer a slick UI, task assignment, dates, calendars, and goal focuses
If you can do what you do, but faster and more efficiently, then that is something that should be within your budget. Like many of the tools around, it is possible to use the free version up to a point.
Station – a dashboard that keeps your work in one place. Known as an organization tool, it is a single app (a smart dock) that groups your tabs, apps, and pages so you can multiple tasks and context switch faster.
Shift – a modern-looking interface that aims to help entrepreneurs and teams be more productive. Much like Station, shift allows you to keep everything managed and fast.
Both have free options that have a good amount of features.
Freelancers, small teams, and larger teams can all benefit from making the processes they do most often faster. It’s not just about being faster; though; it’s about being better too. Trimming the fat and keeping processes light and effective.
It’s estimated that most business owners can lose up to 40+ hours a week due to inefficient or manual processes.
Automate.io – with a forever free plan, Automate.io integrates hundreds of apps and services, so you have a single tool. Automation is possible for marketing, sales, and any other process that costs you time.
Zapier – Zapier is one of the most used and most well-known options for streamlining processes. It does have a free plan too. Zapier tells applications what they need to do and when, with a single point of control. Removing all of the unnecessary time-wasting steps.
And finally, one of the essential tools, software, and support systems that you should be budgeting for is anything that protects your business. Firewalls, malware prevention, recovery and backup, and more.