Small – and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) often rely on their technology to even the playing field with much larger competitors. As a result, tech has long been a critical linchpin for SMB success across all industries, continuing to be proven case after case. And within all of these different companies, there are similarities in the types of software utilized. Some of the most commonly used software solutions utilized by SMBs fall into the following categories:
- document management
- paperless office
- customer relationship management (CRM)
Each tool on its own produces powerful results, but when SMBs work these software elements together in a cohesive operation, they not only become viable competitors in their industries, but they may even become market disruptors.
In this blog post, we break down these four types of software solutions, explaining how they can benefit your SMB.
Software Solutions for Document Management
Recording-keeping is essential in business, especially now with so many records being created digitally and shared across multiple channels through just as many distribution points internally and externally. SMBs can become quickly overwhelmed by the paper chase without a solid control over document flow, filing what’s important, and getting rid of what is extraneous. A good document management system not only helps control all the information generation, but it also controls the form, the transfer, the archiving, and the record-keeping for compliance purposes. Without this umbrella perspective in document management, SMBs can be quickly hamstrung by a decentralized file-keeping system that repeatedly loses critical records. Just think about all the human resource records and accounting records your business needs to be tracked and stored so they can be quickly and easily found as needed.
Next-level software solutions to document management are those that help your office go paperless. Despite modern offices continuing to rely on paper, the paperless office (or paper-lite office) is achievable through unique software solutions. The sustainability benefits of a paperless office help identify your company as good corporate citizens, but the advantages of a paperless office don’t end there. Having the vast majority of your company’s documents available electronically ensures data is easily accessible by all of your teams, no matter where they work. This accessibility boosts productivity and streamlines otherwise cumbersome processes. You’ll also realize increased security with the paperless office, as hardcopy documents can often end up in the wrong hands. Access controls built into specific paperless office software solutions ensure that confidential and high-level documents are only available to pre-determined employees.
With these benefits in mind, it’s easy to see how paperless office-specific software solutions can be a huge boon to your Ohio business. Consider how quickly contracts will be signed if you used electronic forms rather than relying on hardcopy contracts. These software solutions also enable you to automate management’s approval processes of internal files and provide document routing services, preventing bottlenecks and speeding up your workflows to accomplish more. The ROI of paperless office software solutions is apparent, with more efficient business processes no matter which industry your business serves.
Customer Relationship Management Systems (CRM)
In the old days, marketers and salespeople relied on index cards and Rolodexes for all of their critical contacts and accounts. While it was effective at the time, if any of those entries got lost, it could be game over. Further, patterns and trends from one customer record to the next were hard to leverage and pull with contacts stored in that fashion. Much of that information and its value ended up being kept in employees’ heads, which was only as good as their memories.
Moving forward with a CRM system, all the same records and a whole lot more can be kept in digital portfolios for each customer account. SMBs thrive on CRM systems, being able to find synergies between customer records as well as between customers and their connections with each other. The results are increased sales, retention, and the ability to leverage secondary sale revenue from additional relationship points vivid in CRM systems but otherwise missed on paper.
Financial records are a must for any business, and SMBs are no exception. Unfortunately, with most resources going to the core aspects of the business, having a robust office of 50 accountants isn’t always possible. Nor is it affordable to always be outsourcing everything to a CPA firm down the street. For SMBs, the workaround is really good accounting software, and it’s not just for financial statements.
Working with top-notch accounting software, just about every activity can be costed and tracked financially against income revenue and sales, producing a very tight control over how a company’s money is spent versus the income it is generating. This is possible through transaction elements that allow every activity to be captured, correlated with affected ledgers and resources, and then reported accurately for decision-making, compliance, and tax reporting. Again, there aren’t enough accountant bodies to cost-effectively do all the work an SMB needs, which is why having a solid accounting software package makes up the difference.
Finding Guidance Help in the Software Jungle
It’s never too early to learn about what kind of software tools can be utilized by your company as well as helping it pull ahead to the next level of performance and operation. Software and automation continue to be the difference in how Ohio’s SMBs can do the same things as big corporations, and Modern Office Methods can help. Our expert team can provide your Ohio-based SMB with solid guidance on exactly the type of software solutions that suit your specific needs. Contact us today to get started!