In today’s global marketplace, no company can afford to risk being overtaken by the competition due to inefficiency. In a world where the Internet has made it possible for even the smallest of businesses to compete with some of the world’s best-known brands, the fight for customers is fiercer than ever. To succeed, small businesses need to identify every available opportunity to decrease costs and increase inefficiency.
One of the ways that a small business can streamline their operations and trim unnecessary costs is to make use of Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions to meet their operations needs. Today, there’s a whole raft of SaaS solutions tailored to the small business market, and they contain rich feature sets that would be equally at home in the largest of corporations. Here are four SaaS solutions that no small business can do without.
One of the technological advantages that big companies have enjoyed over the last few years has been that they were able to support the high costs involved in deploying a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software suite. A CRM makes it easier for a company to track all aspects of their customer relationships from initial contact all the way to repeat sales. Now, small businesses can enjoy the benefits of a CRM solution with no upfront costs. The HubSpot CRM SaaS solution offers many of the advanced features found in corporate-level CRM products, designed with small businesses in mind.
Maintaining control of business finances is critical to operating a competitive business. For years, though, small business financial tools were aimed at simple accounting and invoicing services, and offered little financial visibility. That’s no longer the case. The Xero SaaS platform offers a complete set of small business financial tools, as well as an entire ecosystem of 3rd-party apps to handle functions like inventory, time tracking, and point-of-sale functions. Best of all, there are readily available Xero courses that make learning the platform a snap – no accounting degree required.
For small businesses, reputation is everything. Finding and engaging new customers is important, but turning them into a loyal following is essential. That means that excellent customer service is the lifeblood of a successful small business. The problem many small businesses face is that they cannot devote endless amounts of resources to customer service tasks, no matter the import. For them, a solution like Freshdesk is a revelation. It’s a complete customer service helpdesk and ticketing platform that eliminates redundant responses, provides self-help options for customers, and streamlines customer service outreach activities.
As previously mentioned, efficiency is a necessary part of any cost containment strategy, and that means that small businesses need to get the most out of every employee. To make that possible, those employees need access to collaboration tools to aid in their work. That’s just what Wrike aims to provide. It includes document collaboration tools, workflow planning, and communication tools to keep everyone on the same page and working towards the same goals. Wrike also provides a highly visual way for managers to gain insight into how their teams perform on a daily basis, making fine-tuning strategies far easier.
A Competitive Advantage
There’s another major advantage in using these fantastic SaaS tools, and it’s one that plays right into the core strength of every small business – flexibility. The average small business is nimble enough to change course to react to changing market conditions in a way that a larger business can’t match. SaaS solutions work in much the same way. With no hardware and licensing costs, a small business can continue to look for new and better software solutions without fear of losing hard-won capital. It’s the ultimate in business agility and efficiency, and it makes small businesses and SaaS a match made in heaven.