Starting a small business is one of the toughest things you will do in your life, so its important that you are equipped with the right tools to make it a success.
The following are the tools you must have when starting a small business:
Lead management system
A good lead management system or better known as CRM is a crucial tool for any entrepreneur or a small business owner. Many small businesses spend thousand’s not to mention the time investment in tracking down their first few potential clients but when they are rejected they quickly move on to the next potential and never actually keep in touch with their initial leads.
It can take 6-10 touches to close a prospect and it can take weeks, months or even years to build professional trust with some clients before actually do business with you. All these prospects and there the last conversation and the next action point need to be recorded in a smart, simple-to-use CRM solution.
Here are a few suggestions:
- https://www.zoho.com/crm/ (this is what I use in Profits Plus Accountants)
- https://www.pipedrive.com/ (crm plus email integration)
- https://www.drip.com/ (transaction email marketing solution)
There are many more out there and you should feel free to trial each one before reaching a decision. Important: Make sure that you are happy with the Email Integration options with whichever CRM you choose. It should be easy for you to send mass emails to the database.
Smart Phone and Business Laptop
Using your old phone or laptop when meeting prospects does not cut it. The number of times that I have met with owners pitching their services using their old phone and laptop and then apologising by saying ‘my laptop is old’ or ‘I don’t have data’, its just not the right approach.
Get a good smartphone with ample data and invest in a used Core i5 laptop at the minimum. If money is a problem then purchase a reconditioned laptop. I bought a reconditioned ThinkPad Corei5 for AED 1000 and its just a good looking powerful machine.
Latest smartphone with unlimited data seems to be normal for teenagers but it should be mandatory for an entrepreneur.
Email on the Go
Do not think that you are too big to not have access to your emails ‘all the time’. I have read countless business blogs that preach leaving emails in the office and I doubt the writer of those blogs can actually afford to do that.
Email on the GO is mandatory.
Did you know that Microsoft recently made all their MS Apps available free to download to mobile platforms and G Suite for Business has always offered a free app that integrates with existing Gmail application.
Although we do need to take a break from work it is important to be able to access critical applications on the go if the need arises.
Cloud Storage (File Sharing)
Please tell me that you do not store your business files locally on your laptop or PC?
The only way to work is to have one of the cloud storage platforms setup on your working machine and are able to access it across all devices.
Check out the following options with brief explanations.
Dropbox is the best and its FREE. Its the most seamless solution on the market and simply works. However, if you start to build a team then you will need to use the paid version which is not so expensive.
Google Drive is great if you are collaborating on documents with other team members such as word or excel documents. It is free if you already have work Gmail or you can use your personal Gmail. Either way, its good but Dropbox is much more seamless when synchronising across several machines.
If you are in business to make a profit (trust me not everyone thinks this) then you will need a committed accountant to help you understand if you are actually making a profit or if you are just turning over money.
Modern-day accountants still use traditional accounting methods, expecting to visit clients each month or the client visits the accountant to drop off his ‘books’. This is counterproductive and instead you should retain a cloud accountant such as Profits Plus Accountants.
Profits Plus Accountants are committed to providing all accounting services through Xero Cloud Accounting Software. Getting to grips with the Profit and Loss is very important to business owners and leaving it to an accountant who will produce your accounts after 15 months at the earliest is just business suicide.
Our dedicated team of qualified accountants help clients produce monthly management reports through real-time accounting solutions like Xero which offer invoicing and payment integrations.
Profits Plus Accountants
We are a British Accounting Firm based in Dubai and we help businesses navigate the FTA requirements using the most advanced cloud accounting software in the World.
We make sure that you remain 100% compliant.
As a Silver Partner of Xero Cloud Accounting Software, we have a local team based in Dubai with over 20 years of experience (collectively).
If you are looking for an accountant in Dubai then speak to Mubashir Malik, a Managing Partner at the firm. You can reach him directly on [email protected].
Note: www.profitsplus.ae is a domain belonging to Profits Accounting and Bookkeeping, an accounting and bookkeeping firm registered with Dubai Economy, Trade License No. 796316.