Most small business management systems and software tools are not actually meant for small businesses. Many were developed for medium-sized organizations employing dozens, or perhaps hundreds of people. Small business owners looking for better ways of managing and growing their firms are not without meaningful choices, they just need to know where to look. Below is a condensed synopsis outlining just a few of the best types of online systems small business can rely on to help them gain traction in a competitive business environment.
Contract Management Systems
Contracts are the foundation of all commercial relationships. Very little happens in business in the absence of formal agreements. Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) systems empower small businesses by giving managers a clear understanding of the rights and responsibilities contained within the contractual agreements they sign. The goal of contract management is to be certain commitments to customers and suppliers are visible to key decision makers so defaults and violations are always avoided.
Online Inventory Management
Cloud-based inventory management systems enable managers to record inventory, accept returns, book new sales, and account for damages in accepted shipments. These systems permit the management of users through tiered access protocols while letting key personnel administer logistics data needed to control inventory. This data may include storage area, rack, shelving, and warehouse location addresses. These systems provide valuable data concerning inventory turnover permitting management to run a lean and efficient operation.
Online Invoicing Systems
Modern online invoicing services permit managers to craft branded and professional-looking paper estimates that can easily be converted into physical or electronic invoices. This method of operation saves time and promotes an image of the firm that inspires more confidence. The best of such systems can gently remind clients concerning their need to pay, and thank them for settling their bills on time. Take a look at some different companies as you do your research and learn more about how you can set up your own personalized system.
Online Scheduling Systems
Small consumer services providers such as hair stylists, spas, salons, consultants, and therapists need reliable online booking and scheduling tools that can also function as point-of-sale systems to process customer payments whether the business is open or closed. These systems take care of appointment booking, electronic marketing functions, and more. The best of them are completely web-based, making it easy for clients to look up available dates and schedule appointments from anywhere and at any time, using their Internet-enabled mobile devices.
There is a significant gap between the needs of a five-person firm and a fifty-person organization. Most online business management tools just don’t fill that gap. The average small business, including the many one-person shops that open every day, should never be obliged to subscribe to and pay for enterprise-level systems and services they just don’t need. More efficient and scalable products and services, including the foregoing them, will liberate small business managers from the oppressive and expensive technology offerings commonly sold today.