Our experts have compiled their top 3 benefits of management software for small businesses – giving you more reason to consider investing in one for your businesses’ bespoke requirements
Small businesses are the backbone of the global economy. In the UK alone, small and medium-size enterprises (SME’s) account for 99.9% of the business population – which amounts to around six million small businesses here in the UK. Given that the UK’s definition of a small business means a maximum possible company size of just 49 people, it’s safe to say that small businesses truly ride the highs and lows of their successes and failures.
Here at Elevate 2, we think it’s fair to say that nobody understands the pain points, highs and lows of running a small business quite like we do. After all – our platform is designed to make growth as easy as possible – and everybody’s got to start from somewhere.
Any small business owner or leader, regardless of industry, will undoubtedly experience some commonalities; either at their outset or throughout their lifetime. Completing routine or everyday tasks like invoicing, strategy or client admin can be a huge time and money drain at the beginning of your business’s lifeline. Project management, including keeping track of subtasks and timesheets, is another vital aspect of managing a small business – ensuring efficiency is always at the heart of everything you do.
It’s perhaps no surprise then that so many small businesses around the world are recognising the value of business management software. Once seen as an unnecessary, perhaps even clunky distraction complicating the way your business works, business management software today is a far cry from the software platforms of the past. Agile, clear, and flexible; a good business management solution today is as bespoke as you need it to be – with flexible add-ons and tailored metrics to reflect your business’ growth and values. Our experts have compiled their list of the essential things that small business owners need to keep track of – and how a business management software like NetSuite can help.
Management software benefit #1 – Cash Flow
To start with what many think of as the single biggest challenge facing their small business – it’s time to get financial – fast. The 2021 Guidant Financial Annual Review – ‘The State of Small Business’ – found that 23% of small business owners reported their top challenge as a lack of capital – and this isn’t news to anyone who’s ever undertaken the task of working for or growing a small business. Particularly for a first-time small business owner or Director, it can be hard to spot exactly why finances aren’t working in your favour: particularly if you lack visibility into all areas of your business. Are you spending too much on fruitless marketing endeavours? Are you over-ordering the wrong stock, and finding yourself with a warehouse of material that’s rapidly losing value? Are your resources being applied to the wrong place, leaving capable staff without the work and a bottleneck in other areas?
A dedicated business management solution like NetSuite gives you that much-needed visibility. Optional flexible add-ons like time-tracking functionality and inventory management allow you to easily and rapidly spot a financial drain – before it costs your organisation more than just funds. Easily identify where resources are being managed well, and where your organisation could benefit from increased efficiency – all at the touch of a button.
Management software benefit #2 – Time Management
Reports – and more specifically, the time they take – are another concern often floated to leadership in small businesses. No matter what your industry is, there’s always administrative work to be done. Whether you’re co-ordinating financial reports at month-end, preparing invoices for client work, or reporting on campaign performance, it’s simply not something that you can avoid. In practice, this often means a bottleneck where staff scramble to coalesce disparate data elements into one coherent report – searching through files, folders and spreadsheets to find the information they need.
With NetSuite’s easy-to-use platform, data can be displayed clearly on one centralised dashboard, bringing together all the elements you might need to create those reports as and when necessary. Allowing simultaneous collaboration between staff means no more delays while you wait for data to be checked and corroborated; instead, work together on one seamless report. If it’s the quest for accuracy that’s taking the time, NetSuite’s automatic reporting capabilities mean that you can generate reports automatically from your data – meaning no delay, and crucially, no errors.
Management software benefit #3 – CRM
Finally, we know just how hard small businesses work to get noticed. Whether you’re collaborating with an agency or managing customer relations in-house, it’s always the hardest part of building your brand. Customers trust businesses who can be responsive; attentive; and reliable – and in the hustle and bustle of operating a small business, things can always be missed.
With an inbuilt CRM function, NetSuite puts Customer Relationship Management right back into your hands. At a glance, see all communication between your customers and your business; easily responding to queries and ensuring that customers are moved to the appropriate channel and stage in their customer journey. Easily handle your sales and marketing channels from one place – even managing and monitoring your business’ output on social media, to ensure you can keep track of just what your business is saying and doing. Building brand ambassadors is something every new small business does from the ground up – so don’t let yours get away over a lost line of communication. With NetSuite’s CRM, small business software has never been more effective or easier to use.