A recent Small Business Trends article addresses the three most common challenges small business owners face. Those challenges are: people, finances and time.
The good news is the availability of affordable technology can help business owners address all of these challenges. While the technology may be readily available, entrepreneurs need to sort through a multitude of options to find the tools that best fit their needs.
Here’s a list of tools for business owners that will help them accomplish their day-to-day tasks.
Talent Acquisition Tools
#1. ZipRecruiter: This web-based platform aggregates applications from various job boards and provides tools for business owners to track and screen applicants. ZipRecruiter is a subscription-based SaaS tool.
#2. Upwork: This is a freelancing platform where independent contractors and businesses connect and collaborate on projects. All work is performed remotely. Most independent contractors communicate with clients via Skype throughout the duration of the project.
#3. SimplyHired: This website is great for pretty much anyone looking for any type of independent contractor because it has a wider range of talent than most freelance platforms. The website also includes great features like location-based search and tips to help business owners make smarter hiring decisions.
If business owners hire contractors who are not working through any of the freelance websites and they feel the need to suggest time tracking tools, here’s a great list.
Project Management Tools
#4. AceProject: This tool is ideal for startups or small businesses because it offers several packages based on number of users. This project management tool allows users to manage projects easily by task. Colleagues, documents, time and expense reports can be added to the dashboard for easy access. A Gantt chart is offered to analyze productivity.
#5. Mavenlink: This project management tool works on web browsers, iPhone/iPad and Android. Mavenlink integrates with Google Apps, Salesforce Sales Cloud, QuickBooks accounting software and PayPal. Other available features include personnel planning, personnel cost, project cost, and multi-task management.
#6. Asana: Users can adjust Asana’s features to suit their team’s specific needs. This tool is free for up to fifteen users. Users can sign up using their Google account and then integrate apps, existing apps, documents and email alerts and reminders throughout the project. A few of Asana’s features include time and goal tracking, team collaboration and multiple workspaces.
Inventory Management Tools
#7. Fishbowl: Companies that track thousands of parts or products will find Fishbowl’s inventory management system beneficial because the tool seamlessly integrates with QuickBooks. Fishbowl users are impressed with its flexible features and extensive library of training and support resources
#8. Clear Spider: Clear Spider is a cloud-based inventory management system that can be integrated with any software application. Users like this tool because it’s flexible enough to handle any inventory process. Clear Spider allows user to view thousands of forward stocking locations through its customizable platform.
#9. Lettuce: What’s nice about this iPad-exclusive application is that it’s more than an inventory management tool. When integrated with other systems, Lettuce users can process, ship and track orders, perform sales analysis and perform customer relationship management tasks. Companion web apps for your desktop and or laptop are available for cloud-based storage. Lettuce integrates with other popular tools and services like QuickBooks, FedEx and UPS.
Accounting Software Tools
#10. FreshBooks: This is one of the most popular cloud-based accounting tools for small businesses. It helps small business owners manage and track invoices, time, and expenses. This tool is perfect for those really small businesses that don’t need double-entry accounting.
#11. QuickBooks Online: This tool boasts a very clean interface considering it has a lot of features. The interface is extremely intuitive. This accounting tool is tailored to small and medium-sized businesses. Users can navigate through customers, vendors, employees, transactions, reports, and taxes easily from the sidebar.
#12. Wave Accounting: This accounting software is great for new small businesses. It’s very useful for freelancers and consultants or businesses that have less than ten employees. Users can do accounting, invoicing and credit card payments.
#13. UltiPro: Some of the features available in this cloud-based tool are: (1) time, attendance and scheduling, (2) time management and (3) reporting and workforce analytics. UltiPro also includes tax management and compliance in addition to compensation management. UltiPro allows employees to make their own W-4 and direct deposit changes online.
#14. Gusto: Formerly ZenPayroll, Gusto provides users with online payroll, health benefits, and workers’ compensation in one integrated product. Gusto’s cost makes this tool a great option for small business owners. As companies grow, the cost per additional employee is minimal. The company charges a $29 base price, plus $6 per employee per month. Gusto’s monthly price includes direct deposit, unlimited payroll runs, year-end W-2s and 1099s, new-hire reporting, and compliance management.
#15. Intuit: This tool offers taxation features in addition to direct deposit, payroll online access, payroll reports printing and paychecks printing. The free iPhone app helps employees keep track of their pay stubs, personal information and forms. Intuit’s automatic creation of paychecks allows for the speedy preparation of direct deposit, electronic pay stubs, and printed or handwritten checks to be delivered to employees.
#16: SelfControl: This is probably my favorite time-saving tool ever known to man (or woman). Business owners who have a hard time focusing because they might spend too much time checking Facebook, scrolling through their Twitter feed, responding to posts in LinkedIn groups or even playing games, can simply block those sites. Access to those sites is blocked until the timer runs out, even if you remove the app or restart your computer.
#17. FindAFax: Yes, people still use fax machines. Today, faxing can be done online – no machines, no fuss. If you’re a brand new business owner who gets a random client who insists on sending you that contract via fax, don’t run around town looking for a fax service. Registering for an online fax service is quick, easy and relatively inexpensive.
#18. Phone Tag: Use this handy tool to convert your voicemail messages to text or email. Never log in and listen to voicemails again.
#19. RescueTime: This analytics tool helps business owners monitor and gain a better understanding of the time they spend online. Users tell Rescue Time what they consider productive activity (social media management, project management, reputation management) and what they consider not productive (playing online games, shopping on Amazon). The tool tracks how much time the user spends on each of these activities and provides an in-depth report each week. Weekly reports help business owners break bad habits and choose more constructive activities.
Do you have any useful tools to add to this list? If you have a tool that will help business owners get stuff done, please list it in the comments, complete with a description and a link to your website.
This article was written by Genia Stevens from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.