4 Feb 2016

Being a small business owner is rewarding; however it often comes with additional work and involves making personal sacrifices to meet deadlines. Doing this every so often isn't a big issue. However when it starts to become the norm you need to look at ways to restore the balance and operate your business better and one of the best ways to do this is implementing software solutions.

Here are 5 Software Solutions Small-Medium Businesses Need

1.   Skype for Business

By integrating all your business communications into a single system, unified communications offer tremendous benefits to organisations such as reducing travelling costs associated with face-to-face meetings by facilitating real-time contact with employees with features like instant messaging and video conferencing.

When it comes to unified communications for small-medium business, Skype for Business is a great choice for small businesses. Skype for Business accommodates online meetings, telephone calls, instant messaging, application sharing and video conferencing, as well as group video conferencing.

 2.   Xero Accounting Software

One of the hardest challenges when running a small-medium business is the number of different hats you have to wear. One minute you're the finance manager, the next minute you're making marketing decisions and not long after that you are hiring a new employee. So anything that helps streamline process is a small business owner's best friend.

When it comes to small business accounting, Xero, can streamline processes to help your business run more smoothly and process payments quicker. Xero allows you to create and send invoices, automatically reconcile with your financial institution, view real-time cash flow reports and manage your payroll - this is why Xero is our #2 pick.

 3.   Sophos

The rise of the digital era has seen tremendous benefits and advancements for how we do business. But it has also brought with it unprecedented security concerns. Keeping your data and your customers' data safe should be one of the top IT priorities for organisations.

A great solution to protect your network is Sophos. Sophos combines multiple security layers to protect a company's users, no matter where they are. It protects computers, mobile devices and servers on a network; branch offices and remote users connected with VPN; and email and web servers; as well as Wi-Fi users. It is affordable security, even for businesses with small IT budgets.

 4.   SharePoint

Gone are the days of teams sitting around a large table working on the same project. The rise of the digital era has seen the rise of online collaboration. Now people can connect across geographical locations to work together. And a great tool to facilitate collaboration is SharePoint.

SharePoint allows you to store, access, organise and share information with colleagues, partners and customers. This means you can all view and work on the one document from the one central location. SharePoint can be installed locally in your office or you can use cloud based services. Better still, SharePoint Foundation edition is free!

 5.   LiquidFiles

If you are in the design business or any other business where you need to send large files to clients you'll know that email isn't always so kind to you. It has a file size limit, and it is quite easy for a file size to exceed that limit.

That's when you will need to share files through third parties, and it is important to do so securely. And LiquidFiles is the perfect tool to help you do this, while still controlling your data. To use it you have to download and install software in your 'virtual environment' (e.g. Microsoft Hyper-V) or on a dedicated server. Another option is Box, which is cloud based, and can be used by any device without the need to install any software - just simply sign in and start sharing files.

For a small-medium business, having the right software solutions in place is like having another set of hands (that never eats, takes breaks or falls sick). It is a powerful tool to help you improve productivity, improve automation, run your business more efficiently, and, ultimately, grow bigger.  

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