Super Software: 5 Types of Must-Have Business Software

Operating a small business requires devoting your time to many different tasks, from sales and accounting to daily administration. Keeping up with the workload can be a huge burden for entrepreneurs with limited staff. Fortunately there are many software tools available to streamline, organize, and even integrate different business roles and processes. Here are four that every growing company should consider essential.

Customer Relationship Management

CRM solutions allow you to store, track, and organize your customer information. Details such as contact information, service histories, transactions records, and even notations or advise can be added or edited for every customer you have on record. Centralizing this data provides an in-depth profile so that customer-facing employees such as sales or customer service can call up the information and see at a glance who they’re dealing with. This includes what the customer’s preferences are and other insights to create a smoother, more rewarding experience for both parties.

The information can also be used for reporting or integrated into business intelligence to provide analytic insights for marketing, customer acquisition, and customer retention.

Point of Sale

POS systems are important for any retailers, but also for companies who have sales people, service agents or consultants in the field authorized to accept payments. POS technology is basically a high-tech, convenient cash register, but benefits your company in many ways. POS systems are designed to upload transaction data directly to computer systems, so that you can monitor sales activity in real time, or later analyze sales histories down to specific products, locations, timeframes, or sales people with little effort.

With the rise of smart phones, mobile payment apps allow your field staff to utilize the same activity. This saves your company time and money over traditional manual sales data collection. Automated receipts and expedited payments are also conveniences the customer will appreciate.

Enterprise Resource Planning

ERP solutions allow you to do material and equipment management reliably. Many systems include a range of functions, such as inventory control, automated materials ordering, reporting, analysis, allocation, and scheduling. ERP systems can be used to manage a single warehouse and production system, or multiple locations over the cloud. They can also integrate with mobile apps so that your sales people, delivery drivers, or job estimators working in the field can utilize ERP over the cloud. They can also work with vendors to monitor pricing and lead times.

ERP, in effect, lets you monitor every aspect of your logistics to save costs, shorten lead times, support collaboration, adhere to regulatory compliance, forecast material usage, and other benefits that improve efficiency and increase your competitive edge.

Business Mobile App

In today’s technologically advanced world, no business is complete without a mobile app. Having an app instantly increases your customer base to those consumers who prefer to complete all their transactions on their mobile device. It also provides instant advertising when you make your app available for download. If you’ve never had an app before, it would definitely be a good idea to work with a professional to make sure it is well-designed and intuitive. The consumers who will be most attracted to being able to access your business on mobile will also be the ones who will be most concerned with ease of use, so it’s imperative that the two go hand in hand.

If you are thinking that your business would not benefit from a mobile app, remember that today even banks and credit unions have mobile applications. Nearly every business imaginable will benefit from getting on mobile, and it’s very likely that yours is no exception.

Project Management

Growing business are bound to be engaged in many projects, such as installing new machinery, improving layouts for greater efficiency, or developing new software systems or projects. All of these, and essentially any business function or changes, are managed more efficiently with project management software. Usually, project management solutions are handled by a project manager, or PM. The PM is responsible for developing time tables, providing labor, tools, and materials in the right time and place, and meeting stated requirement while coming in on time and under budget.

You can make this complex and demanding role easier for your company with software. PM programs allow different aspects of the project to be designed and monitored from one central solution. The data that results can also be used to suggest improvements and insights into later projects. Choosing the software packages for your business needs creates a work environment that’s more productive and coordinated. They help to reduce errors and improve productivity. While cost and training requirements are also considerations, integrating powerful software tools into your activities is a smart investment.

104 Mobile MArketing Facts

Mobile marketing currently represents one of the newest forms of digital marketing present on the market. For those who do not know, it provides customers with personalised information, promoting services, goods and ideas. The technique has been regarded as any marketing activity that is conducted through a network that mobile users are constantly connected to.

Some of the main benefits associated with mobile marketing include the possibility to send location and time-sensitive pieces of information, via a wide variety of channels, including push notifications, app-based marketing, QR codes, SMS, MMS, Bluetooth, in-game mobile advertising, voice email and even through automated calls. As we live in the era of smartphones, mobile marketing carried out via push notifications is essential to promoting services, establishing brand loyalty, encouraging people to purchase products or services, but also making sure that existing customers return to buy more.

In this particular infographic compiled by the team behind Website Builder, you will be able to find 104 interesting facts that you don’t know about mobile marketing, including desktop vs. mobile comparisons, niches that work best, great mobile marketing techniques, but also usage, user friendliness, adoption, commerce, search and conversion stats.

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How App Development Has Changed

The millennial generation may find it hard to believe that there was once a time when people survived without smartphones and apps. Today, there are over two billion smartphones across the globe. These devices have dramatically revolutionized things in the mobile phone industry and have presented unique opportunities for app developers, designers, and other stakeholders associated with the industry. Mobile applications have become an ingrained and essential part of today’s lifestyle, improving the efficiency of processes, and making many daily tasks easier.
Of course, mobile app development has been in continuous growth since the introduction of the technology around two decades ago. The best is yet to come as developers integrate new technologies in the development of smartphones and mobile applications. These are some of the changes that have occurred in app development over the years.

App Installation Process

After the initial development of mobile apps, users had to visit a technician’s shop and pay to have the app installed on their device. While the process seemed meaningful at the time, now it is viewed as cumbersome and time-consuming. The installation process for apps has revolutionized over the years. All you have to do is visit the Google Play Store or Apple iTunes, find the app you need, and install it. These platforms have even made it easy for users to pay for premium apps through credit and debit cards and other digital modes of payment.

App Rating and Reviews

Research indicates that as at July 2015, there were 3.1 million apps in iTunes and Google Play app stores. The iTunes store alone receives around 1,600 new app submissions every day. With so many applications to choose from across the various categories and genres, it would be difficult to get the best ones without a review system. However, developers have made it possible for users to rate apps on a 5-star tier, and even provide useful feedback on their experiences. The info makes it easy to identify the best apps with high ratings and reviews without going through the pain of installing and testing them out on your smartphone.

Capabilities and Features

Initially, apps were primarily designed to run mobile phone tasks only, including accessing the Internet, communication, entertainment, and the like. However, today, apps have been integrated with other technologies to increase their capabilities and functions. For instance, apps have been developed to control televisions, computers, door locks, vehicles, and other gadgets and appliances. Once the app is integrated with the device, you can send remote commands to the gadget and monitor its activity.

Applications like AtHome Camera have taken home security to another level by allowing you to keep an eye on your home when you are away through remote monitoring with cloud video recording. Upgrading your home security is easy with mobile apps like Pulse and are gaining traction with home owners and business owners. These apps come with advanced features such as motion sensors, alarm recording, remote capture, split video viewing, and two-way talk. With these, you can monitor the safety of your home and even communicate with individuals in the home in real-time.

Possibilities for App Developers

A decade ago, it would take months or even years before the launching of a new app. The negotiations and processes involved were lengthy and complicated. However, today the process of digitally downloading software has led to the emergence of a new type of mobile web developer. The ability to design, develop, and launch an app has been made easier, and developers can take even minutes to get one in the market.

App development has and is still evolving as the world goes through continuous tech advancements. This comes as good news to developers who will be able to get something out there without spending months behind a computer. As for consumers, these changes are providing access to millions of apps that will improve their lifestyle and increase efficiency in their daily operations.

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