Some entrepreneurs hear the word software and automatically assume that they need to be computer pros to get the most out of the product. In fact, the opposite is true. The best software for owners actually calls for very little technical acumen. Plus, even if you don’t yet own a company, you’re probably using at least a half-dozen forms of software without even knowing it. Standard cell phones, tablets, desktop computers, and some of the latest watches use bundles of applications to do their jobs.
The only difference between those programs and the ones used at the enterprise level is power. A good example of one product that overlaps personal and business use is tax-prep programs. When IT experts design apps and complex versions of high-end software, they do their best to keep the end-user in mind.
The goal is to come up with a hassle-free solution for a particular task, like tax preparation or inventory management, that requires almost zero technical expertise. What are the latest, and most beloved apps and software solutions for entrepreneurs, managers, owners, and retail merchants in the 2020s? There’s no definitive list, but the following candidates appear on just about everyone’s roster of favorites.
If you’re trying to figure out how to earn interest on funds in the corporate treasury, someone has to sit down and make a series of decisions about where to park the money. Unless your team includes a trained broker, investment advisor, or CPA, you’re at a loss. However, at least a half-dozen products can help you deal with this dilemma and at least give you a fighting chance to earn something from your available capital.
Robo-investors are compact, powerful apps that require just a few pieces of basic data from you. After that, you’ll be presented with a short list of suggestions from which to choose. The beauty of these products is that they’re adaptable for individuals, groups, non-profits, and for-profit companies of all sizes.
Owners and managers who oversee vehicle fleets face dozens of unique challenges. In addition to keeping track of deliveries, routes, driver hours, truck maintenance schedules, fuel consumption, and loading data, there are reams of safety, accounting, legal, and other points to consider. Fleet management software from Samsara.com is an excellent way to process and keep an eye on everything that goes into transporting goods from point A to point B.
And, the programs work for companies with two to two-thousand, or more, vehicles. One of the best ways to learn how to get the most out of fleet management platforms is to review a guide on how to select the best software package based on your company’s size, market, location, and other factors.
One of the most common complaints among new owners is the need to do long-range planning but don’t have the time. Automated planning products are not perfect, but are a good way to get started on a chore that often falls victim to procrastination, lack of expertise, or both. Some of the better offerings currently available are pure Q-and-A style arrangements. Some include as many as 100 detailed questions for business owners to answer and take several hours to complete.
But the payoff is worth it in most cases. For your effort, the app creates a customized long-range plan that you can tweak as you wish. Included in typical packages are 5-year and 10-year financial goals, marketing estimates, pro-forma income and expense statements, personnel suggestions, investment advice, and much more.
A 1970s buzz-word is making a comeback in the digital era: MBO, or management by objectives, is a unique way of operating a company. The discipline has its detractors and advocates, and it doesn’t lend itself to every product and service field, but the philosophy has withstood the test of time and has now appeared in the form of application products. The MBO way is to assign each worker with a set of written, detailed, achievable objectives, hence the name.
Managers regularly check-in with employees and measure progress. If benchmarks are being hit consistently, all is well. If not, strategy sessions seek to find out why. MBO platforms now offer new supervisors a quick and free way to systematize their jobs, keep tabs on staff for day-to-day operations, and gain a foothold on what it means to be responsible for someone else’s progress.
Among the most successful digital products for entrepreneurs are those that assist with workflow. Whether you need help coming up with a basic, day-to-day schedule, a monthly production matrix, or a company-wide assignment tracking schematic, work-flow apps get the job done. Like so many other offerings in this niche, the best versions are Q-and-A based.
Unless you choose to outsource the entire payroll function, you’ll be learning how to configure one of the digital solutions. No matter your organization’s size, these programs can handle thousands of variables, hours, rates of pay, paid time off policies, bonuses, vacation data, and much more.
Your job is to input all the information correctly and choose from a variety of formats for display, configuration, output, and customization. Payroll is a complex piece of the entrepreneurial puzzle, and it certainly represents one of the must-have categories for a computerized solution.
Unless you’re a sole proprietor, you’ll need a way to schedule your team’s hours, vacation days, time off, etc. When computers became common in offices nearly a half-century ago, one of the first tasks humans assigned to them was scheduling. Of course, the discipline has come a very long way in that time, with today’s products among the simplest of all to deploy and use.
Tax Prep Programs
If you own any kind of an entity that receives money for goods and services, you need one of two things, which are an outsourced tax services provider or tax-prep software. These inexpensive, easy to configure products can handle everything from simple to complex corporate returns, and even take care of special forms for non-profits, LLCs, and other types of entities.