Growing Your Small Business: Online Resources You Can Use To Manage and Grow Your Business
Every small business owner knows that there are a number of areas in which they need to focus on with their business. Online programs feature financial, content management and project management programs. Understanding where your customer is and their needs is an important component that you need to consider when growing and maintaining your business. A stable foundation is critical to growth and stability in your business.
As your business grows, the stability of your foundation will be tested. Online resources are available to help you maintain and stabilize your business so you can continue to reach out to your customers. There are three categories that every business needs to focus on. These are:
1. It’s all about the money-Financials
There are a plethora of financial online programs to choose from to manage your business financials. QuickBooks™ is probably the most popular system for managing spreadsheets and other financial statements. FreshBooks is the small business equivalent to QuickBooks™ allowing small businesses to invoice and track time.
Financial stability is a key ingredient in obtaining loans and grants to purchase equipment and labor. It also shows your potential customers that you’ll be there for them and deliver on your promises.
2. Connecting with your customers-Marketing and Public Relations
Google applications are an important component to connecting with your customers. Most of your potential customers use Google applications or have had contact with others who use them on a regular basis. Online resources include content management and online reputation software.
It can be hard to choose from the variety of online software systems designed to help you monitor your online presence and improve your business online presence. You need to look for customized online content management software that allows you to edit content and monitor user response. A good thing to remember when searching for the perfect software is ease of use and reliability.
3. Putting it all together-the “Nuts and Bolts” of your business
Every business needs a stable foundation. You can have great connections with your customers and good financials but without the actual documentation and products, you are lost. You need a strategic plan that takes into consideration:
- Workflow-How is your product getting from Point A to Point B? What equipment and online resources do you have to work with?
- Distribution-How are your products being distributed? You might want to look into distribution management software if you are finding it difficult to manage distribution points.
- Labor-Your employees are the “backbone” of your business. Time management software can help you track time and make sure your clients are being billed correctly. QuickBooks™ does have time tracking capabilities but some other popular systems include:
- Project management-Managing all the aspects of your business from the beginning to the end is a huge part of project management. Strategic plans often include:
- Scheduling and calendar management software and applications
- Goal setting and timelines for completion of projects
- Storage and file retrieval management for files and images
When you get right down to it, there are a lot of good online programs to choose from to manage your small business. The key to discovering the right tools and systems for your business is to understand where your business is in its life cycle. Every business goes through the life cycle. The software and systems you may have needed in the beginning, you may not need now.
Utilizing your online resources is probably the best way to grow and maintain your business.