When it comes to the financial management of a small business, one word usually sums it up: stretched. A lack of resources - both monetary and time - is a fairly typical characteristic of a fledgling company, and if you’re flying solo as an entrepreneur, then your personal finances are likely to be bound up fairly tightly with business as well. So, does software hold the answer? Can the right programmes help you to stay on top of things?
Accounting in the Clouds
Cloud-based accounting programmes are helping many small businesses to get better than ever at getting those vital invoices in. Solutions such as ZipBooks are adding great new features almost every week. While more established offerings from Sage and QuickBooks Online are focused on developing a seamless experience for the end user. And while good desktop accounting software was prohibitively expensive for many start-ups, cloud models tend to be subscription based with a low monthly buy-in. This includes upgrades, security updates and usually an auto-backup function. Accessed at any time - even from your smartphone - you can even issue invoices from your bed! Plus, many of these solutions integrate easily with complementary add-ons if you need more features in a particular area, such as inventory management.
Cashflow and money management are a constantly evolving picture, and one that you need to be responsive to. So get some software to help you manage your financial picture.If you like to trade, then keep tabs on your algorithmic trading. Similarly, MoneyFarm offers affordable wealth management, allowing you instant access to a trading platform and wealth management advice without the hefty fees. Keeping an eye on market trends can help to guide your business strategy and allow you to respond flexibly. And using a personal banking app should be second nature - easily move money between business and personal accounts, and have a picture of your companies financials at your fingertips in seconds.
Getting More Done In A Day
Productivity is one of the biggest issues that all businesses face, especially solo entrepreneurs trying to do it all from the kitchen table. But software can also help to boost your productivity - meaning time to complete more jobs, and therefore more incoming cashflow to the business. If you find that working from home dilutes your focus, or that you find it hard to estimate project completion time, and end up under-charging for the time that you’ve put into a project, FocusList can help. It allows you to set timers to use the Pomodoro Technique - a proven system of 25 minute intense working sprints, with 5 minute mental rest breaks in between. In this way you can stay focused on both the task, and the big picture. If you need to collaborate more effectively with others to get more done, why not try out a software programme like Basecamp? It allows you to instant message, work on documents, presentations and more in a live environment and use project management tools to monitor the progress of various elements of a project. With more streamlined working, there will be more money coming into the business.
Walter G. is a software engineer with over 10 years of professional experience. When he isn't blogging or being a CTO he enjoys coding randomly complex things that he hopes many people will get a chance to use one day.