Thanks to the rise of cloud productivity applications, companies are now spoiled for choice. While a few of these software choices work exactly the way they're advertised, the rest of them over-promise and under deliver. It can be hard to sift through the clutter to find the tools your business actually needs. We have organized and compiled the types of essential tools you need to use to see your company grow today. Many of these apps can be extended with integrations, but we're prioritizing the core problems they look to solve.
1. Project management tools
Project management tools are the driving force of a business. From handling multiple projects, day-to-day tasks to showing metrics, the right project management tool can do wonders for you. However, internal operations vary from a startup to an enterprise and project management tools should have the capability to address the growing demands and complexities, every single day.
On the popular end of the spectrum, we have Asana and Trello. Both platforms are intuitive to use, offer tons of customization, task delegation, and tracking. Companies can consider Basecamp, Proofhub, Zoho One, Wrike, Monday.com, ClickUp, Scoro, and Infinity for individualized solutions.
2. Communication tools
A breakdown in communication leads to a breakdown in workflow. This year, team communication is at the center of business operations. Most popular business communication tools indeed live up to their tall claims. These include Slack, Microsoft Team, Flock, Zoom, and Google Meet. You'll be hard-pressed to find a better communication tool than Slack. It has powerful search and file-sharing functions that can be scaled further with third-party integration.
On the video front, Zoom has seen a meteoric rise in the past few months. Zoom's cloud-based infrastructure and easy-to-use UI are backed by robust features. Microsoft Team and Google Meet have been revamped recently to complement their respective ecosystem.
3. CRM tools
If you want to nurture leads and repair customer relationships, a CRM tool will come in handy. HubSpot has been one of the pioneers of modern-day sales and marketing automation and they continue to rule the CRM market. HubSpot is segmented into sales, marketing, services, and CMS hub and it can be integrated with other apps to offer richer functionalities.
Zoho, previously mentioned in the project management section, can be used as a standalone CRM software. While HubSpot has comprehensive CRM services for enterprises, Zoho is an all-in-one solution for SMBs looking to test the waters.
4. Time management tools
With the rise of remote working, time management tools have seen a major boost. Remote workforces, independent contractors, and freelancers use time tracking and management tools to send invoices, record productivity, and as to-do lists.
RescueTime is an easy-to-use time management tool that aims to recover lost time by analyzing workflow and finding the most optimum hour for certain tasks. Timely is another software for employers to understand how employees can optimize time for maximum productivity. Other time management tools worthy of consideration are Teamwork, ClickUp, Timecamp, and TimeDoctor.
5. Accounting tools
Most businesses struggle to understand their financial infrastructure because, for a non-technical person, payroll, finance, and cash flow management are quite challenging to follow. Freshbooks and QuickBooks are two leading software in the accounting department. They work in real-time, offer a wide range of reports, and are ideal for SMBs.
We believe every company should give Xero a try. It aims to declutter numbers by providing automated updates, detailed analysis, and scalable solutions like tax filing. On top of the usual invoicing, tracking, expense management, Xero offers a host of integration that makes it more powerful than other accounting apps.
6. Asset management tools
Most businesses don't realize the potential of an asset management strategy and that's why they give enterprise asset management tools a miss. A top EAM can help businesses stay on top of maintenance requests, incoming orders, and asset tracking. A lot of these tools are offered as SaaS products which increases their utility. Asset management tools can be customized depending on the requirements while the Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) are used as the more sophisticated solutions.
7. Human resource management tools
Human resource (HR) management tools offer data to help HR teams make better decisions. Deputy is a feature-rich HR management app that tracks company updates and employee shifts. It also integrates with Xero for a detailed payroll and HR workflow.
Businesses looking for a more comprehensive HR tool should consider BambooHR. The software tracks an employee's lifecycle - from hiring, and onboarding to regular performance evaluations. The ability to track and organize employee status helps businesses streamline their HR policies.
A lot of business management tools throw in jargon to see if they can attract businesses. While choosing the apps that fall in line with your specific business needs, make sure they have an easy learning curve and a strong resolution center. If you can successfully integrate the management tools, you'll see an uptick in productivity and revenue.