5 Essential Tools for Managing Your Business

business owner doing inventory

With the right tools, you can save your business time and money. Businesses owners can set up better processes, increase operations efficiencies, and tap into marketing opportunities. Here are five areas you can focus on plus our favorite tools to get started.

Inventory and Customer Management

Automating your inventory is one of the best things you can do for your business. Integrated Point of Sale systems can automatically track and reorder inventory if you’re running low on stock. Automating as many processes as possible is one of the best ways to save time and money on operations.

Plus, by integrating your inventory into your payments platform means that making a sale online and in-person will automatically be reflected in your inventory counts. No more over-selling or spending hours manually counting inventory.

You can also track customers with POS solutions to create loyalty programs. Or you can study your customers’ buying habits to see when it’s time to run a promotion.

Our top integrated POS system choice is Vend, which lets retail stores sell online and in-person seamlessly while managing all their business data.

Accounting & Bookkeeping

64% of business owners use some kind of accounting software. And platforms like QuickBooks Online are some business owners’ favorite tools for accounting. You can track sales tax, income, and expenses for your business, so it’s a low-barrier entry point for managing finances. QuickBooks is one of the biggest names for accounting and integrates with many other pieces of software.

If you need more than just software, companies like Acuity offer expert advice and services for bookkeeping and accounting. And because of its relatively low cost, it’s still a good option for small businesses.

Our accounting tool pick is QuickBooks Online. It’s the most trusted name in accounting, and with the Pro Sync integration, payment data automatically syncs between QuickBooks Online and Omni with no manual reconciliation.

Email Marketing

If you haven’t automated your email marketing, you’re doing twice the work. And you’re missing out on analytics and data that will tell you if your marketing is working or not.

49% of companies use an email automation platform. Besides sending your email for you, platforms like MailChimp or HubSpot can zero in on how many people opened up an email, read it, and take an action. From this data you can automate other actions – like sending helpful follow-up emails and drilling down on customer interests based on what they click on.

Export your customers from your payment processor to target past buyers with social media ads, email campaigns, and more. Repeat customers are more likely to spend more and cost less to convert!

For email marketing newbies, we’d suggest giving MailChimp a shot. It’s a trusted name in email, and has everything you need to get started without technical knowledge. The drag and drop email templates look great and don’t require having a designer on hand.

Social Media Management

Social media platforms have millions of daily active users. Ignoring social media means missing out on potential customers and sales. Facebook alone has 2.38 billion monthly active users. Getting your business out there can generate new leads and sales, so making the most of these platforms should be a top priority.

You can advertise your business on social media to get started. And you can use social media manager platforms to post and track engagement. You can create or schedule posts one at a time or in bulk, making it easy to set up your posts weeks ahead of time. Social media is a low-cost, low-risk way to connect with your customers and promote your business.

We suggest that small businesses try out Hootsuite when they’re ready to dip their toe in the social media waters. The free account has enough functionality for most small businesses, and higher levels are affordable, too. If you want to branch out and build out your Instagram profile, then we’d recommend trying a tool like Later to plan and schedule posts.

Task Management Software

With all of these different business tasks, it’s hard to keep deadlines and not let anything slide. Task management software puts everything you need to do into actionable lists with clear deadlines and assignments.

87% of high-performing companies use project management software, which makes sense since it’s a low-cost way to stay under budget and meet deadlines. While these platforms may not be a cure-all for any issue your team encounters, they can make it easier for you to find a solution.

For small teams, Trello is a great choice since it’s easy to set up and use. Again, their base free account is probably enough for most small businesses. Here at Fattmerchant, we’re fans of Monday because we have a lot of simultaneous projects happening across teams, and using the timeline function we’re able to see everything at a glance.

When choosing the right tool for your business’ needs, integration is a key component. Most of these tools can integrate with other software, saving time in the long run. For instance, you can use a tool like Zapier to connect Omni to Mailchimp. Then, anytime you make a sale, the customer’s email address would automatically be added to your Mailchimp email list.

By integrating technology, you can extract insightful or actionable data for your business operations while eliminating manual processes. These platforms exist to make it easier to run your business on a daily basis. If time is money, then these tools will save you both.

Learn more about how you can drive more sales for your business at our blog!

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