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Tips and Tools for Small Business Owners

If you’re spending more time managing payroll, taxes, and revenue than running your small business, it might be time to consider getting some help. When you’re running a company on a shoestring budget, however, you probably can’t afford to hire an accountant even on a freelance basis. You are the only resource your company has. The good news is there are plenty of inexpensive resources to help.

QuickBooks

If you’re not using cloud-based software, why not? QuickBooks can help you organize your business data in one spot and you’ll realize time savings and better reporting because of it. QuickBooks Online offers the same abilities as the desktop version, along with on-the-go capabilities that you can tap into with your smartphone.

There are a variety of tools in the program which you can use to easily store and track data no matter where you are and no matter what gadget you’re using. Conduct banking activities, run reports, review invoices and more from your smartphone, desktop, laptop, or tablet. Best of all, you have 24/7 access to all your business functions.

Additional benefits in the cloud version include automated data backups, customer support, and automatic upgrades and updates. You don’t need to hassle with installing upgrades on all your computers and you don’t need the further hassle of making sure data files and other software can work with the upgrade.

Cyfe 

How much time would it free up if you no longer had to worry about collecting, reporting and analyzing data? This cloud-based service is designed to give you the ability to monitor and share up-to-the-minute business data from one location, giving you time for other endeavors.

Cyfe is a dashboard app that goes beyond previous tools, allowing you to observe and analyze data in real time that you’re now accessing from a number of websites such as Salesforce and Google Analytics.  Why run reports when you can see the data live? Build an information-rich dashboard that helps keep clients and/or employees in the loop and pass on your “reports” to management and others simply by sharing dashboards.

You can also customize your dashboard with pre-built widgets that pull data from a variety of websites such as PayPal, QuickBooks, and Xero. Add social media sites such as FaceTime and Pinterest, include project management information from Basecamp and your dashboard is rich in sales information.

 

Mint MyBusiness 

You may know Mint MyBusiness as a personal finance tracking tool. But did you know that it offers the same service for businesses? In fact, you can get a look at the really big financial picture and track both your business and personal finances from one place.

Connect all of your bank accounts to Mint MyBusiness and use its features to run spending reports and compile expenses by category. It can also suggest budgets based on your spending. You’ll have cash flow, bills, and budgets all in one place and you’ll be able to see where your money is going and where you can cut back.

Trigger

Scheduling can be a headache no matter how big or how small your company. Small businesses especially seem to hire more part-timers and freelancers because it’s a great way to save on employee expenditures. If you own a small business and work with non-fulltime workers, you know it can be hard to juggle everyone’s schedules so you can get client projects done on time and keep the paychecks coming.

Trigger can help. This easy-to-use tool helps you streamline project management at either the company or employee level. It’s easy to use and helps you track budgets, productivity, and billing to make your job easier. It features a task timer and can break down projects into tasks. Everyone in the office can use it to track time spent on projects and provide progress updates so you’ll know exactly where a project stands. Get updates on economics and financial news affecting from business owner and expert Don Gayhardt.

 

TurboTax

Tax season inspires groans from everyone. For small business owners, it can be a little scary knowing that you could face a fine if mistakes are made. TurboTax gives you a little breathing room with an app made just for you. It costs $100 a year, which includes filing fees for one e-filed tax return.

TurboTax is known for its knowledge of tax laws and its step-by-step process that helps you fill out the return; both of those features are in the app, too. Additional features include the ability to make employee W2 and 1099 forms and tracking of your expenses throughout the year, which will make tax season a little easier.

As a small business owner, you’ve invested plenty of time, energy and maybe some—maybe a lot—of your own money in your business. Save yourself some stress and free up some of that time with useful tools such as these listed here. Some services may even give you a free trial if you ask.

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