You probably already know that software has transformed how we work – enabling us to do more work for a fraction of the time and cost it took us years ago.
It is only 30 years ago (which is the average work-life of the person) that typewriters and paper-based processes were how work got done.
Today software has eaten the world. Every single business needs to be technically savvy to thrive. Show me a business that is resisting the adoption of software for the productivity of their teams and I will show you a business that will not thrive in the long run.
Here is a list of 10 essential software tools we recommend every business should have in their arsenal to run an efficient business
Every business needs to have a home on the internet, and that is your domain name.
With your domain name e.g. yourbusiness.com, yourbusiness.co, yourbusiness.net, etc - you can have a website as an address where your clients and stakeholders can find you.
You also get professional emails when you own a domain (Please stop using yourbusiness@gmail as your business email) PS.
If you are looking for a .co.ug domain name, we recommend https://i3c.co.ug/about-us/services/domain-registration/
If your teams need to move around for business – Uber for business is something we highly recommend.
With Uber for business, your team members order a ride using the Uber app when they need to take a ride, and instead of paying with cash or their personal cards – they bill the business.
Your business can apply policy to determine who takes rides and when they can take rides and you get a detailed log of where team members traveled too.
With Uber for business, you avoid ad hoc travel requests, reconciling travel receipts and people traveling out of policy e.g. going to the club at 11 pm and billing the office LOOL.
Get started with Uber for business here https://www.uber.com/gb/en/business/
Microsoft has been the leader in office productivity tools for the last 30 years bringing us tools we all know and trust like MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, etc.
Today all those packages are packaged as Microsoft 365.
With Microsoft 365 you get online and offline licenses for office applications as well as Microsoft teams for team meetings and collaboration, MS Exchange for email, One-Drive for document storage, and SharePoint that you can use to create company websites to store, organize, share and access company information.
Get your Microsoft 365 licenses here https://www.microsoft.com/en-ww/microsoft-365/business/compare-all-microsoft-365-business-products?market=ug
Online meetings were already gaining in popularity as you can have business meetings with people across geography and time.
Covid-19 accelerated this trend making Zoom a verb.
Today it is commonplace to see people in coffee cafes, in their cars, or even walking down the street attending a business meeting.
Zoom is an essential tool if you need to set up online meetings and whilst they have a free version that limits meetings to 40 minutes we suggest small and medium businesses that usually hold large meetings pay for a license starting from $14.99
Get Zoom license here https://zoom.us/pricing
Online advertising is an effective way to find new customers. One of the most, if not the most effective way to find new customers is through Facebook ads.
You can put on your message in front of a large, relevant audience and they have many tools to drive awareness and conversion for your product or service.
Start advertising with Facebook here https://business.facebook.com/
Every business needs to keep books of accounts to account for how they make money, how they make money their profitability/loss position.
There many accounting solutions including Tally, Wave accounting, SAP accounting, NetSuite – just to mention a few. Preference will depend on the size of your business, levels of automation and complexity of your business environment – however, we recommend that every business have an accounting package and Quick books are one of the best for small to medium enterprises as it is easy to use, cloud-based and versatile when it comes to connectivity.
Get QuickBooks https://quickbooks.intuit.com/global/
If your company provides software to clients/customers or you have custom software for internal use – you need to have the ability to host the websites, web services, databases, and other services that run your software.
Today cloud hosting is very popular as it reduces the headaches of managing your own data center with associated hardware and software. It also reduces the headaches of scaling as you do not need to buy new hardware or software as your business and transactions grow.
They are several cloud providers including Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud services, Herouko just to mention a few – so whichever you choose will probably work for you.
That said Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a solid choice for your business.
Get AWS here https://aws.amazon.com/
Businesses and their teams need to connect to the internet to get work done. Most (if not all) internet providers like MTN, Airtel, Africell, Smile, Roke, and Liquid have business packages that will work for your businesses so the choice will come down to coverage, accessibility, and price – and MTN is very competitive on all those parameters.
Get MTN internet here https://www.mtn.co.ug/product/internet-for-business/
Client/customer conversions are important for your business to engage with potential new customers as well as support existing ones who might have any issues with your service. We have tried many – some very pricey and we like Whatsapp business the most.
The base product is FREE to use and almost everyone has Whatsapp installed on their phones so it is very easy to start engaging your customers. With API connectivity it is now possible to automate Whatsapp conversions making it an apt choice for many businesses.
Get Whatsapp business here https://www.whatsapp.com/business/?lang=en
Last but not least, we recommend that every business sign up for Xente to manage everyday payments and company spend. All the tools we have mentioned in this article need to be paid for and the best way to do that is using Xente Visa Virtual Cards.
Cards issued by banks are prone to overcharging and fraud as they don’t have smart spend control. With Xente Visa virtual cards you issue a unique card for each vendor making it easy for finance and admin teams to have visibility into online spending on vendors and also control overcharges and fraud.
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