The wealth of software out there to help you keep on top of your business can seem overwhelming at times. With so many choices, it’s difficult to know what to invest in and what will just take up space. To help you decide, take a look at our list of the five tools that we think are essential for every business.
1- Cloud software
A great tool that all businesses should look into is cloud software. You’ll have undoubtedly heard a lot about the cloud, and its many uses certainly lives up to the hype. We find suites such as Office 365 and Google Drive to be some of the most useful as they contain essential business tools – word processing, presentation software, email – and, using cloud storage, allow them to be accessed anywhere.
There’s no longer a need for easily lost USB drives or any additional hardware; an internet connection is all that’s required for you and your employees to work from any location. This added flexibility significantly increases productivity, as employees are able to better fit their work around their other commitments.
2- Automatic backup
Following on from cloud storage, tools that automatically backup files and data are invaluable for any business. A lot of these make use of cloud storage by keeping the back-up files online, but many others can be programmed to back-up data onto an external hard drive.
This software removes the hassle of having to remember to manually back-up huge amounts of company data, as well as the fear of what happens if you forget. You can always be comfortable in the knowledge that there will be a recent copy of all of your company’s files available in the unfortunate event of a breach or disaster.
3- Book-keeping tools
Company finances are important to keep track of, not only for commercial reasons but for the legal need too. For that reason, we advise businesses to move away from unwieldy paper accounts or manual spreadsheets and invest in a robust tool that can take care of all of your accounting needs automatically.
These online tools have advanced to the point now where there is hardly even a need for manual data entry – some tools can be connected directly to your bank account and other data sources so that the numbers appear immediately within the programme. Tools like this are particularly useful for the smallest businesses for whom a professional accountant is not a viable expense.
It may seem basic, but a surprisingly large number of businesses do not have antivirus software beyond the basic pre-installed provision. Free antivirus software that comes with operating systems like Windows can be suitable for personal computer use, but business owners should seriously consider upgrading to an antivirus suite designed for them.
As there are details of finances and other sensitive information which is at risk of cybercrime, antivirus software can prove invaluable in preventing what could be a debilitating breach. Antivirus suites do not have to be expensive either, and many run free trial periods or offer reduced pricing upon negotiation.
5- Encryption software
Finally, we think that all businesses should be using some type of encryption software to protect their data. Even if you follow all of our advice and your antivirus software is top of the line, there is still always the potential for data to be stolen. However, if your data is properly encrypted, it becomes useless to any cybercriminal and allows your business operations to continue unimpeded.
There are a number of options out there at varying price ranges, so it is not difficult to find a data encryption programme suitable for your business and the data that it keeps.