Business software is being used more and more in the workplace. It has been found that software is not just a productivity booster, but also a competitive edge for businesses.
While software such as Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office have been around for a while, entrepreneurs and business owners keep finding more and more ways to use it in their work. In the last few years, all kinds of business software tools have been popping up. They offer a variety of features, from basic functions like scheduling appointments to advanced features like social media management and customer engagement.
The concept of marketing is presenting your product or service as a need in front of your customer to create the desire for them to engage or buy. A marketing plan can help you stay focused on what you want to achieve within your business, identifying clear goals for your marketing activities will allow you to create content for your ideal customer and quantify results to evaluate the value of your efforts.
Accounting software is a set of programs that help track the financial information of a business. These programs can be used to manage cash flow, track debtors and creditors, create budgets, and calculate taxes. In addition to these functions, they also provide reports that summarise what has been happening in the business at any given time. These systems allow small businesses to organise their finances and produce detailed reports.
There are many different types of accounting software available, with some of the most popular being QuickBooks, Xero, and Freshbooks.
QuickBooks is regarded by many as the world’s best accounting software. It helps entrepreneurs, businesses, freelancers and other types of organisations to get organised and stay on top of their finances. The software is available for both desktop and mobile devices.
Xero accounting software is designed to be simple, intuitive, and easy to use. With Xero, you’ll have all your finances in one place so you can easily track your profit and spend. You’ll also have access to free templates for invoices, quotes, orders, purchase orders and more.
Freshbooks is a cloud-based accounting software that provides an easy-to-use interface for managing your business finances. This software allows you to create estimates, send invoices and track time, manage expenses and even export financial statements.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Customer relationship management software is a powerful tool that helps businesses establish and manage customer relationships. CRM software can be used for all kinds of businesses, from small startups to large corporations for helping track and manage interactions with prospects and customers. It will typically cover marketing automation, lead management, sales force automation and more.
CRMs can be found in many different industries including airline, retail, banking, healthcare and technology companies. Speak with our advisors about the benefits of CRM software and how it can help in maintaining and developing existing customers as well as identifying new potential customers. Some of the more popular CRM’s include HubSpot, Salesforce and Agiled.
The HubSpot CRM is a complete customer relationship management system that integrates into your marketing software. It tracks every stage of the customer journey, meaning you can find customers that are at risk of churning and react with outreach before it’s too late.
Salesforce CRM is a software suite designed to organize data, automate workflows, and help companies to connect with customers. It can be used for marketing campaigns, product management, customer service and more.
Agiled CRM is a customer relationship management solution designed to help small and medium-sized companies manage and grow their business. This software can be used to manage contacts, projects, tasks and events.
If your small business has a high yearly cost on graphic design, maybe it’s time to upskill yourself or your team. If you don’t think you have a creative bone in your body… think again!
Canva is a great free online simple graphic design program that allows the user to choose from a range of templates. Canva templates can be customised with your own look and feel including photos, colours and logos. Canva is accessible from both your computer and mobile device with cloud storage. Canva will allow you to design social media content including posts and stories as well as printed material, such as business cards, flyers and posters. The capability of this program is increasing every day with the addition of video production, websites and the option to animate any screen design and turn it into a video with the click of a button is genius.
There are also paid options for the program, and there are many alternatives you can investigate. The advisors at the Hunter Region Business Hub use canva on a daily basis and have replaced traditional graphic design programs like the Adobe Suite for this simplified program to save time and allow sharing across the team more effective.
If you would like a guided tour of the program contact us, we regularly run canva workshops or we can assist 1:1 teaching you the ins and outs of the program as well as the opportunity for you to create your own set of branded templates for you to use for various uses within your business.
Video editing software is a type of video content software that allows users to create, edit, and share videos. Video editing software provides many benefits for video creators and using the right software can help you save time and ensure a high-quality finished product. It can also help you find inspiration for your next project by providing you with the necessary tools to do so.
Video editing software can be used for a variety of purposes, from creating social media content to producing commercials. It’s important to think about what you’re trying to accomplish before deciding on the right software.
Whether you’re a novice or an expert, there is a video editing software that’s right for you. Check out this list of the most popular video editing software for more information.
There has been a big rise in the number of video editing software available. So many different brands and styles, it’s hard to decide. Some of the most popular video editors would be Adobe, Sony Vegas Pro, Final Cut Pro, and Avid Media Composer. These programs offer robust features for professionals and amateurs alike such as pro-quality effects, precise audio editing tools, and even 3D options for all your audio needs.
Wish you could take a more professionally looking photo without engaging a photographer? Mobile phones these days have advanced cameras and editing software already installed. When staging your photo you need to think of the orientation, background and angles. If you have a product based business taking photos yourself of your products can save you time and money. Editing photos with a consistent look and feel using presents can pull all your imagery together. The Hunter Region Business Hub often runs workshops on photography to upskill you and your staff or if you would like a 1:1 tutorial, book in a session. We have helped various businesses by clarifying the tools and situations to take the perfect photo for your business and those businesses are reaping the rewards with scroll stopping images.
When you identify that you need to invest in a professional photographer for a professional branding shoot, product shoot or to update your business stock photography, The Hunter Region Business Hub work with very talented photographers across the region and could introduce you to the right photographer for your needs.
Life seems to keep getting busier, we have more responsibilities and more stuff that need juggling. If you’ve ever wondered if there an easier way of doing things you’re in the right place, because there is.
One of the most significant problems that small company owners encounter is, when we are disorganised, things pile up on us, causing us to get anxious and less able to deal with little issues.
So, how do you tell if you’re disorganised or simply overworked?
The reality of being disorganised is that:
- You have feelings of being overwhelmed.
- You lose control over your time.
- Your stress levels are increased.
- You have too many to-do items in your head.
- You spend $ on things you don’t need or already have.
When you are disorganised, your clients, co-workers, and stakeholders perceive you as unprofessional. As a result, people may grow concerned about the tasks you are working on. Working from home has grown increasingly prevalent as a result of Covid-19 lockdowns. Having home-schooled children and partners who work from home might make it difficult to keep organised and motivated.
There are 7 key benefits of being organised
- Reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed.
- Achieve more in less time.
- Gain a sense of control over your time.
- Project a professional image to your clients & colleagues.
- Reduce your stress levels.
- Clear all the to-do items out of your head.
- To have more time to spend on what’s important to you.
If that seems promising; there are strategies and tools you can utilise to become more organised.
There are numerous Project Management solutions available on the market, some of which are free and some of which are not. It is recommended to try out a few tools before settling on the one that best meets your demands and works for you.
12 advantages of using a Project Management tool include
- Improves your chances of achieving the right results
- Gives you a fresh perspective on your project
- Ensures the project fits with your business strategy
- Prioritise your business’ resources and ensure their efficient use
- Set the project scope, schedule, and budget accurately from the start
- Stay on schedule and keep costs and resources to your budget
- Improves your productivity and the quality of your work
- Encourage consistent communications amongst staff, suppliers, and clients.
- Satisfy the various needs of the project’s stakeholders
- Mitigate risks of a project failing
- Increases your customers satisfaction
- Gains you a competitive advantage and boost your bottom line
Is a project management tools only for large organisations or can they help micro and small enterprises with limited time?
Many micro-businesses and small family enterprises utilise project management software such as Trello, Asana, Monday, or Clickup in their professional and personal lives on a daily basis. You can also record product research, plan new products, keep track of product warrantees, opt-ins, affiliate links and essential business information. The trick is to try out a few tools, discover the one that works best for your business, and then use it consistently.
At the Hub, we utilise Trello to keep track of all the important details about our projects. Each team member may use the boards to stay up to date on projects and locate important information. How often do you get asked for our ABN or Tax File Number in a week? Almost none of us recall it by heart. By storing this critical business information on a Trello business board, I can access it from the Trello app on my phone or PC at any time.
If you need help with choosing the right project management software for your small business have a chat with one of the Digital business advisors at the Hub and reduce your work stress.
If you have ever thought, I haven’t posted on Instagram for a while or what will I post next on Facebook. You need to step away from the phone and plan your content. The benefits of planning your social media content is not having to re-invent the wheel every time. It’s about thinking of your business goals and producing post that will get you one step closer to achieving the goals. How is this possible? Scheduling! Write a list of service/products/topics that you want to cover that explain to the user what your business does, what the passion is behind the business and how you can solve their problems. Then think about creating posts at every stage of the buying cycle to educate the viewer (someone who has never heard of your business all the way to the loyal customer who has interacted/purchased from your company before). Creating a social media cheat code will allow you to know what your posting, who it’s for and when it will be posted. You can take it one step further and schedule the content through a scheduling tool. There are many versions both paid and free. The free version The Hub recommends is Facebook Creator Studio. We usually advise clients to use this, because it is created by Facebook and is constantly being evolved to be the best on the market for their product. The downside of Facebook Creator Studio is that is only schedules Facebook and Instagram posts. If another social media like Pinterest or LinkedIn has been identified in your marketing mix you may need to upgrade and look at other alternatives. Facebook Creator Studio will allow you to create and post up to 3 months of content to your account/s.
Automation software is an important tool for small businesses to maximize efficiency. Automation software can help small business owners be more productive by automating many tedious tasks. It can also help them save time and energy by eliminating the need to constantly switch between different programs, allowing them to focus on what they do best. Popular business automation software includes:
Zapier is a powerful automation tool that lets you connect your favourite apps, so they can “zap” data back and forth. With over 750+ apps to choose from, Zapier can help you automate your work.
Pabbly Connect is an automation software that can help you promote your business on social media, send emails & texts, post to website and more. This is the ultimate tool for small businesses!
Integrately is a SaaS platform that automates the needs of organizations. Integrately automates the sales process, provides sales analytics and forecasting, and offers customer relationship management (CRM) integration. It also offers a variety of integrations such as Salesforce, Gmail, Slack and more.
The way businesses interact with Facebook is very different than a personal profile. There are many sections of Facebook including Business Manager where you can control the format of your page including page rolls. When you are interacting on a computer Facebook will automatically change to Business Suite when you click on a pages icon. When you are interacting on a mobile device, personal viewing should be channelled through the Facebook app, this will allow you to look at groups, watch, marketplace, notifications and integrates messenger for messages. When you are working on your business page on you mobile it is best to navigate, interact and reply through Business Suite (previously Pages Manager). Business Suite has a range of features including integrations with Instagram to post across platforms, scheduling tools and promotions. Business Suite makes it easy to interact with your customers through comments and messaging. If you are a Facebook novice or want to level up The Hunter Region Business Hub have skilled Digital Business advisors who can help you not only use the app but get the most out of it.
Two year’s ago, zoom was only mentioned for people with corporate high flying jobs who couldn’t meet international contacts due to time commitments. These day’s it’s a vital tool that we use everyday to connect with colleagues, friends and professional services. Microsoft Teams and Zoom are the most popular tools workplaces are using and allows meetings to be scheduled and recorded. The Hunter Region Business Hub can take you through the capabilities of these software products if you have any questions and how you can utilise this for your business.