Startups often rush to develop a website, hop on social media platforms and begin developing digital marketing campaigns to get the news out about their products, services or company. But, in this haste, many forget about the essential software that all businesses need, to create the foundation of their company and handle crucial processes like inventory management, accounting and so on.
This discussion will take a look at the four fundamental types of software that businesses need to invest in.
1.) Accounting Software
There’s plenty of startup business horror stories that start (and sometimes end) with, “We didn’t have any accounting software and then tax season rolled around.” This is a sad story because accounting software is one of the most affordable and user-friendly on this list.
You don’t need an accounting background to use it, and the bookkeeping and tax preparation aspects are typically inexpensive. A growing business can also use their accounting software as a means to sell their business to prospective clients, as it demonstrates that you understand the importance of carefully and securely curating financial records.
2.) Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
Customers have tons of channels and touchpoints to engage brands with. There is rarely a customer journey that involves only one channel in today’s world. A customer will typically interact with a brand or company across several unique touchpoints before making a purchase. Businesses need to recognize this and track individuals with CRM software as they move across each channel.
This allows for a seamless experience where every interaction builds on the previous, rather than a disjointed one where every new interaction feels like stage one all over again. For example, if you’re a real estate company, and a possible home buyer comes to you via email looking for homes for sale in Phoenix, AZ, then approaches your company later on social media or by phone, you should already have that information and not have to ask, “where are you looking to live?”
3.) Inventory Management
Businesses need to know how much stock or inventory they have on hand when new supplies are arriving, what needs to be ordered next and more. Nothing can damage a customer experience more than someone showing up to buy a product, to find that you’re out of stock. Sophisticated inventory management software can even use predictive algorithms to help a business forecast when supplies run low, which allows them to order way before they even need it.
4.) Data Analytics Software
Data is becoming the quickest way to gain a competitive edge in the Digital Age. All of these various customer-company interactions and touchpoints create data. Companies have more sources of data than they’ve ever had to deal with.
This is where the term “Big Data” comes from; companies are creating data at unheard of rates. Much of this data bears valuable insights that have a lot of potential for significant gains, but it can be incredibly difficult to know what data to collect and how to analyze it to find the best, most actionable insights. This is why sophisticated data analytics software is critical.
Without these four essential business software products, you’re going to set your business up for a lot of trouble and headaches down the road. It can be exhilarating to start a new company, and you want to go out and tell everyone about your brand and begin bringing in clients, but if you don’t have this essential software foundation, you won’t be able to foster positive relationships with those guests.