Small Business Tax Center
Small Business Ideas, Grants &
Plans to Start & Run a Business:

Small Business Grants
Network in Cyberschmooz Community Ask Questions Questions and Answers Share Tips Small Business Ideas List Your Business Business Advice from Idea Cafe Experts Coffee Talk with Experts Starting A Business Business Plan Biz Planning | Sample Plans Small Business Ideas Idea Name Your Biz Name Plan Your Biz Plan Financing $ Starting a Business Do It! Running your Business Marketing Tips Promotional Merchandise Marketing Tips Marketing | Sales | Customers Human Resources HR | Employees | Contractors Legal Forms & Tax Information Legal | Biz Forms Managing a Business Managing | Operations
Financing Resources Financing Your Business E Commerce & Webhosting eCommerce Take Out Info Trade Publications FREE Trade Publications Business Books Biz Books Your Own Business Small Business News Small Biz News Gen X Biz Gen X Biz Work at Home Work @ Home Business Information The Fridge - Biz Info on Ice Destress Send Awards Send Awards & Greetings Yoga At Your Desk Yoga @ Your Desk Fun Guide Guide to Find FUN Online About Idea Cafe Press Idea Cafe has received Idea Cafe in the News Idea Cafe's Kudos Kudos for Idea Cafe Advertise on Idea Cafe Advertise on Idea Cafe Privacy Policy Privacy Policy Contact Idea Cafe Contact Idea Cafe Link to Idea Cafe Link to/from Idea Cafe Join Idea Cafe
Search Idea Cafe Site Directory Site Map Online directory to business resources Biz Web Guide

Expert Answers to Biz Questions

Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

color business bar

Top 4 Software Investments for Small Business Owners to Consider/b>


Depending on their size and field of activity, the need for software solutions varies greatly from one business to another. While large enterprises make use of costly and highly performant enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, the type and deployment of which are decided at a central level, small and medium businesses can very well do without it.

To ensure smooth workflows, optimize processes and achieve higher productivity, business owners should, however, invest in powerful accounting software, project management tools, data security solutions and comprehensive customer relationship management (CRM) software.

1. Accounting, Payments and Payroll Software

Aspiring entrepreneurs and established business owners alike should look for the following features when investing in accounting software:

  • Track real-time expenses and revenue
  • Create and send branded invoices
  • Setup recurring invoicing for repeat customers
  • Scan receipts and sync invoices and payments
  • Track sales taxes
  • Connect multiple bank accounts and credit cards
  • Set up payroll for employees and contractors
  • Accept online payments

2. Identity Theft Protection Services

By opting for a reliable and efficient identity theft protection plan, you safeguard your employees with an innovative and attractive benefits package that makes you stand out and shows that you care about their wellbeing. After all, safety is one of the basic needs everyone has and, unfortunately, these past years have shown an increase in cybercrime.

In 2021 and beyond, it is important to keep information protected with LifeLock, by investing in online privacy and device security, bank account activity alerts and dark web monitoring. Keep in mind that detecting identity theft should not be the end of the line. Choose a plan that also helps fix the problem, offering compensation for related expenses and reimbursement of stolen funds.

3. Time Tracking and Project Management Software

While time tracking is also used to monitor billable and non-billable hours and to calculate overtime, it is not useful just from an HR point of view. In fact, time tracking and project management are key when it comes to productivity.

With such software ranging from basic to complex, the upside is that most project management and time-tracking software is free up to a decent number of users, some even supporting unlimited free accounts.

What to look for? First of all, these apps must be easy to use, as they are aimed at your entire staff. Then, they must include to-do lists, a breakdown of tasks into individually monitored subtasks and Kanban boards to better visualize workflows. Team leaders must be able to assign responsibilities and user roles. As a bonus, look for collaboration features like comments and file sharing, alerts and notifications for approaching deadlines and insightful reports to easily identify and process bottlenecks.

4. Customer Relationship Management Software

As Vince Lombardi once said, "It takes months to find a customer... seconds to lose one." No wonder this is a field every business should invest in and, since handling customer relationships are extremely prone to human error, it is best to employ an adequate software tool.

The good news is CRM comes in many shapes and sizes, with features and functionalities that adapt to every business situation. It is up to you to find the one that suits you best, but make sure it allows easy access to customer data and provides actionable insights into both customer behavior and your business performance.

BONUS: There is another type of app trending lately: desktop organizers for software as a service (SaaS) apps. You might find such tools useful to declutter your desktop, improve focus and better organize the multitude of apps your business needs, whether they improve teamwork through communication and collaboration, help organize notes and ideas or manage cloud storage and e-mails.

You should always keep an eye on expenses and the status of each project, help your employees be more productive and your customers happier, all the while protecting your devices from cyber threats. Now that you know which software products to invest in, it's time to take your business to the next level and make 2022 a better, more profitable year.


Small Business Tax CenterIdea Cafe HomeSign UpBiz Grant CenterCyberSchmoozCoffee Talk with ExpertsPeople in Biz ProfilesStarting Your BizBiz PlanningRunning Your BizFREE Trade PublicationsMarketingFinancing Your BizHuman ResourcesLegal & Biz FormsManaging Your BizeCommerceYou and Your BizGen XWork@HomeThe FridgeDe-StressSend an AwardSend an eGreetingYoga @ Your DeskWeb GuideIdea Cafe in the NewsAbout Idea CafeAdvertise on Idea CafeContact UsPrivacy PolicySite MapSmall Biz News

Copyright 1995-2024, Idea Cafe Inc. Downloads are for personal use only, not for resale to others, and may not be reprinted in any form without written permission from Idea Cafe Inc.

DISCLAIMER: We hope whatever you find on this site is helpful, but be cautioned that it may not apply to your own situation, or be totally current at any given time. Idea Cafe Inc. and all of its current and past experts, sponsors, advertisers, agents, contractors and advisors disclaim all warranties with regard to anything found anywhere on this family of websites, quoted from, or sent from Idea Cafe. and its related sites, publications and companies. We also take no responsibility for comments published by others on these pages.

TRADEMARKS: The following are Registered Trademarks or Servicemarks of DevStart, Inc.: Idea Cafe®, Online Coffee Break®, The Small Business Gathering Place®, Take out Info®, Biz Bar & Grill®, Complaint-O-Meter®, A Fun Approach to Serious Business™, CyberSchmooz™, and BizCafe™.