Over the past decade, The United States has seen exponential growth in people starting their own businesses. That number has skyrocketed after 2020.
You may be starting a business with your own drive, passion, and talents. But you’ll need some critical business tools to keep it going. Luckily, there are plenty of options to help you stay on track of anything business-related, from cash flow to communication.
Here’s our breakdown of the essential tools you need to make your business run like a machine.
Money management tools
Keeping track of your cash is one of the most important things you need to do as a business owner. First, you’ll need a good business bank. Banking with a financial institution, like Bank Midwest, that allows you to view your account balances, make transfers and deposit checks online or on a mobile device is essential in today’s business environment. Larger businesses will find more advanced online solutions like Cash Management (or treasury management) valuable. You’ll easily manage your account’s funds, from initiating wire transfers or moving money between accounts through ACH originations.
Beyond tracking your cash flow, you’ll also need to be able to pay your employees accurately and on time. Using payroll software can help. This is particularly useful to the small-business owner who has a small staff and limited accounting knowledge. NerdWallet recommends checking out Gusto, formerly known as ZenPayroll, because it’s easy to use, effective and affordable. Patriot Payroll and Intuit Quickbooks Payroll are also highly recommended products, according to FitSmallBusiness.
Finally, it’s a good idea to find a good tax filing software. Though you only file taxes once a year, investing in the right program can save you time, money, and the headache of trying to figure out tax law. Quickbooks and Gusto both offer tax filing capabilities.
Payment processing tools
The right processing tools will make collecting customer payments as simple as possible. Your business bank likely has payment options that can help you get set up.
If you have a brick and mortar or website where you make sales, Square is a popular service that comes with a handy device that plugs right into your phone or tablet. It’s intuitive to use both for you and your customer. PayPal offers a similar tool, NerdWallet reported. They both offer chip and magnetic strip reading abilities.
Email marketing tools
Many businesses like to make an effort to keep their customers engaged, and email marketing is a popular, effective tactic. Email marketing helps businesses stay top of mind (and top of inbox) by showing customers new offerings, encouraging them to interact on social media, or alerting them to a big sale.
Smooth communication is critical to any company. Slack is one tool many businesses use to organize their teams’ instant messages and allows team members to share documents of many types and sizes. You should also invest in Google Workspace or Zoom for video conferencing, chat, and voice calls.
Managing a small business isn’t always easy, but when you have the right tools in your back pocket, you can simplify some of the most important small business operations.
When your business is ready for a business checking or savings account, payment processing solutions, or a commercial loan, reach out to the financial experts at Bank Midwest.
Updated post. Originally published February 2018.