Last Updated 07/10/2019
Modern startup business is reliant upon a multitude of different software packages to help them manage their day to day operations. Given how ubiquitous computers and software have become in the workplace, it is easy to overlook the most common software applications that we encounter every day. A good example, for those who operate retail outlets, is the software used in POS systems.
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Many people overlook the importance of finding the right software to use to facilitate the checkout process. This process can vary between businesses and industries, and so finding the right software for startups can make a big difference.
Software requirements will vary, but there are certain pieces of software that are widely used amongst businesses of all types. Even then, though, there is often a drastic variation. The types of software businesses require, and the packages they ultimately buy, vary according to the size of the business.
If you are preparing to launch your own startup business, or have just done so, it is natural to be a little uncertain of your software requirements. It is one of those things that entrepreneurs tend to only think about as and when the need for the various software arises. In this guide, we give you a crash course in some essential pieces of software for any startup business. It is these pieces of software above all others that will determine your productivity and efficiency.
4 Must-have software for startups:
1. Proprietary Software
When you go looking for software for startups, you may well find that there are various pieces of software that offer features you want, but seemingly nothing that offers everything in one package. If this is the case, you might want to investigate whether you can afford to have some proprietary software developed. You can even do this in-house if you or your team have the skills.
If you are hesitant because you are unsure how you would manage such a project, you might want to look into Kanban software development. The Kanban system is used for devising efficient and effective workflows and it can be applied to a variety of industries and contexts. Using the Kanban board for software development, for instance, makes it much easier to take an idea from conception to reality. Many businesses have found that using Kanban in software development dramatically improves the efficiency and quality of the resultant work.
2. Word Processing tool
Word processing software is probably the most commonly used (after e-mail) type of software that businesses rely on. Despite its importance to the everyday operations of a vast number of businesses, many of them never give a second thought to the word processing software that they use. Far too often, business owners overlook the importance of making sure that day to day operations are being carried out in the most careful and considered way.
Word processing software is a fantastic illustration of a type of software that comes in a number of different forms, depending on the complexity of the user’s needs. Word processing software can do a lot more than just word processing. However, if you only need to produce basic documents for internal use, there are a number of very lightweight and free software packages you can choose from.
3. Invoicing software
If you are self-employed, you will most likely need to generate invoices to submit for payment. Putting an invoice together is easy enough, but as a self-employed person, you will also find it useful to be able to track your invoices. Lots of invoicing and billing software packages offer this capability, as well as the ability to track general expenses and spending.
Freshbooks is a useful service for invoicing. It is available as an app for mobile devices, and as an online service for laptops and desktops. Best of all, Freshbooks makes it easy to keep track of what’s been paid and what is outstanding, as well as exactly how much money you have coming in and going out. Self-employed individuals have to be able to manage their money well; having an app that facilitates this is, therefore, a definite advantage.
4. Payroll Software
This is the opposite of invoicing. If you are a business owner who needs to pay your employees, having payroll software to automate the process will be helpful. Payroll is something that businesses used to have to process manually. The arrival of software that can automate this process has allowed both large and small businesses to save a significant amount of money and manpower by automating their payroll process.
Smaller businesses are increasingly combining their payroll and human resources teams. A small team with the right software setup can manage the work of both these departments for smaller businesses. This becomes more complex in larger businesses with more employees to manage.
5. Document Management Software
Startups need to go through the rigorous due diligence process. All the documentation, including development plans, financial statements, market strategy decks, intellectual-property papers, and tax documents needs to be stored in order. It makes it easy to share the report with the investors to evaluate your startup.
The best way to store and share all your relevant documents is by implementing document management software. You can collect, store, share, retrieve, and archive information with ease. It eliminates the time wasted in opening folders within folders to find a file. Instead, you can simply type the file name in the search field, and the system finds the document in no time.
Plus, the best software for startups provides an intuitive user interface and easily integrates with third-party e-signature services and other applications.
6. Analytical Tools
Another important software for startups is using analytical tools. Every other software you use collects some data to operate, and so you can benefit from analytics functionality. It could be your accounting system, ERP, payroll system, CRM, and even desktop databases that can provide value to your analytics.
Analytics software should be fully compatible with your existing system and be able to easily integrate with the data schemes you are using already. The software helps you quickly comprehend data regardless of its complexity. This is your opportunity to get some real in-depth analytics to discover insights into marketing or customer relationships. Even without a data scientist on your team, you will be able to run the ad hoc analyses you want. It includes future trend analysis, product comparison, gap analysis, pattern recognition, and more.
7. Social Media Monitoring Software
For startups, it is vital to know what people are talking about your company. It helps you build a relationship with them — you can find the problems your target audiences are facing. In today’s digital business landscape, you need to closely monitor different social media platforms people are using to communicate and share their opinions.
For instance, Hootsuite is a popular social media monitoring software for startups that helps you keep track of activity across various platforms. You will be able to keep a tab on what the world is saying and also see how your competitors are performing. These social network platforms include Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and WordPress.
The requirements of software for startups business will vary depending on the type and size of the business in question. The above software types aren’t the most exciting, but they are essential for the startup business and often, they are not given due consideration.