According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, over 50% of small businesses fail in the first year and 95% fail within the first five years. In this New York Times business blog post, one reason mentioned for failing businesses is owner stubbornness.
Granted, most of the reasons that small businesses fail is due to economics, not stubbornness. However, some business owners believe they can do everything themselves. Nobody can do everything themselves. Sometimes, you need the help of technology to power your business.
Here then are some of the top tech tools your small business will need to succeed.
#1: Project Management/Task App
Don’t drive yourself crazy thinking of all the little things you’ll have to do to get your business up and running. And don’t clutter your office with post-it notes with reminders. Instead, use a task managing software app such as Basecamp.com or Asana.com (just to name a couple). Task/project management software can let you assign tasks to your store manager (if you have one) or other employees.
You can easily share files (for example, copy for upcoming promotions, menus or store catalogs, etc.) and make comments in the app. Think of it as a mini Facebook for just you and your employees/collaborators. Instead of having your inbox cluttered with emails (or your desk cluttered with sticky notes), it’ll be much easier for you to keep track of the myriad of projects that need to get done before your grand opening and beyond….
#2: POS System
If only there were some piece of technology that let you do the following:
- Track inventory
- Track employee hours
- Crunch sales data
- Print, email or text receipts
- Process payments
- Manage customer rewards
- Email customers special promotions
- Operate a cash drawer
- Notify a hostess/waiter when a table/order is ready (for restaurants)
The good news is that a best-in-class point of sale (POS) system can do all of these things and more. A POS system can be the wisest investment a small business owner can make. Without a POS system, you or a manager will have lots of extra work on your hands.
These days, more and more POS systems operate “in the cloud,” which means you can access store data any time of day from any device that has an Internet connection.
Learn more about POS technology here.
#3: Accounting Software
The easiest way to track revenue and expenditures is by using Quickbooks or similar accounting software. Managing finances can be tricky if you have to write everything by hand. However, Quickbooks and other accounting software makes it very easy.
#4: Payroll Software
Another reason why you should have a best-in-class POS system: it integrates with any payroll software so you can import employee hours.
#5: Payment Processing Hardware
Unless your new business will be a cash-only store, you’ll need a credit card processing device. To reduce your liability against credit card transaction chargebacks, you’ll need a chip card reader (EMV). And to make sure you can take as many orders as possible, ensure that your business can handle mobile payments (Apple Pay, Google Wallet, etc.). Customers are carrying less cash these days. If you don’t accept all forms of payment, if there’s a competitor in your town that does, customers will patronize that store instead of yours.
(This is yet another reason to invest in a best-in-class POS system; it will be able to process mobile payments.)
#6: Employee Screening Software
Make sure you do due diligence on potential employees. It’s one thing to mildly fudge accomplishments on a resume; it’s another thing to, say, hide a felony conviction for a violent crime. Use a software service such as Goodhire.com to screen potential employees. The service costs as little as $30 per background check.
Interested in a point of sale (POS) demonstration? Contact us today.