If you’re new to becoming your boss, you’ll soon realise that starting your own business can be somewhat overwhelming. There are many things you’ll need to put in place before you begin so you can operate smoothly. Setting up accounts, finding appropriate suppliers and hiring staff members are generally things most owners will have to go through once customers start placing orders.
It is essential to realise that focusing too much on these tasks may take away from the meat and potatoes of operating your business. Make sure you focus on the customer and give quality service and products. Sticking to the essential tools and setting up things as efficiently as possible will give you the best chance for your business to thrive.
In this article, we’re going to go through some of the most essential and integral tools required for new businesses. Some tools may not be relevant to specific industries, but we’ll do our best to make them applicable to everyone.
The first consideration for your business should be the accounting software. The ability to track expenses from the beginning of your business is vital. If you know what you’re spending from the get-go, you’ll be able to make better business decisions moving forward and budget effectively.
Some popular software includes Xero, Quickbooks and MYOB. These programs will give you the functionality required for almost everything in your business, from invoices to analysing your assets and even timesheets for employees. You should find one with competitive pricing and a user-friendly interface.
If you have the budget, it’s also a great idea to hire an accountant. Getting an accountant early on will simplify the setting up and future management of the accounts since they’ll be no tedious handover.
Warehouse & Inventory Management Systems
Keeping track of your finances is one hurdle, but the next major thing you’ll need to keep track of is your biggest asset, the inventory. The first thing required will be somewhere to store your inventory; if you have made large orders, this will likely be a warehouse. Putting in protocols to keep your stock safe and software to track your inventory will be one of the essential first steps in setting up your business.
To keep your assets safe, you must first ensure that access to these areas is limited and secure. To do this, ensure that all entries and exits have appropriate locks while ensuring staff have access passes for identification. You can do this by providing each staff member with something as simple as plain blue lanyards to present to security staff upon entering.
The tools available to track and keep inventory safe vary on your niche, but many programs are available. As touched on earlier, Xero and Quickbooks both have inventory tracking functionality. There are also many other great tools such as Sortly, Oodo, StockApp, Mobile Inventory and many more.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, we need to shift our attention to the lifeblood of our business, which is the customers. If you don’t have appropriate marketing systems in place, your customer acquisition journey will be challenging. Thankfully, we can manage our marketing in many ways, so we have the best chance to reach the right prospects.
Now, depending on whether you’re outsourcing marketing or doing things yourself, your options may be different. But a few essential tools will be used in both scenarios; these primarily include task management tools, email marketing software, automated content marketing software and even social media marketing tools.
Whether you operate your business online or offline, these tools will undoubtedly help you in reaching your business goals faster. There can be lots of noise when starting out and so many options that we may encounter decision fatigue when starting out. But if you focus on the essentials listed in this article, you’ll have a solid foundation helping you move forward faster in your business.