The most successful small- to medium-sized business owners are accustomed to doing more with less. Resources are limited and revenues aren’t guaranteed, so business owners in this range aren’t blessed with the enormous staffs and deep pockets of the world’s biggest companies. That’s a challenging scenario, but it does allow small- to medium-sized business to be far more nimble and adaptable than their bigger counterparts.

The right software system allows small-business owners to focus on what’s more important rather than being bogged down in paperwork or menial tasks. Indeed, there are a number of software systems out there that can be a business owner’s best friend if utilized properly. Businesses range greatly from one another in terms of needs, but a good place for any business owner to start is to consider these following software systems.

QuickBooks

Out of all the types of software solutions out there, accounting software is the most invaluable. The consequences of not having a business’s finances in order are enormous. If your books are inaccurate or incomplete, it’s impossible to make sound decisions about your business’s future and be tax compliant. Despite those risks, many businesses don’t have integrated financial account software to track the numbers.

Fortunately, there are plenty of great accounting solutions out there to choose from. It’s a good idea to do some research and discover what might be the best fit for your situation. If you’re uncertain, it doesn’t hurt to go with the biggest and best known: QuickBooks. The most basic package for small businesses starts at a modest $10 a month. There are more sophisticated packages available if needed.

Zenefits

Another headache for small- and medium-sized business is human resources. This is an essential component of any business with a number of employees, yet it feels more like a drain on time and money than anything else. Fortunately, Zenefits makes it easy to handle payroll, health insurance, benefits and other essentials.

The company recently launched an integrated human resources app that works with Salesforce, Slack and other products you might already be using. There a number of free Zenefits apps that can handle certain tasks. The paid options begin at $5 an employee per month. That’s money well spent if you’re looking to save some time.

Skype for Business

Skype is the standard when it comes to letting friends and family communicate over long distances, yet its business options are just as useful. Skype for Business allows you to schedule remote video meetings and effectively communicate with employees from across the world.  

Because Skype is owned by Microsoft, there’s extremely useful integration with Outlook, Word and other Microsoft products. Plans begin at $5 per user per month.

When I Work

Balancing the needs and desires of even a small team’s work preferences can be a big hassle. That’s especially true in retail or service, where someone needs to be manning the businesses at all times. Instead of messing around with Excel or handwritten notes, When I Work offers a simple solution.

Its scope is limited to scheduling, but its specialized focus on one aspect of running a business makes it very easy to use. If your team needs days off or if someone calls in sick, this app can help reschedule everything smoothly. Full packages start at $29 a month, with the price going up for the more employees you need to schedule.

Wave Invoicing

Free is good, right? Wave offers a variety of paid financial and accounting software for businesses, yet Wave Invoicing is free. This software lets business owners create professional-looking invoices that can be automated if you have monthly or yearly customers.

If you’re wasting a lot of time with invoices and don’t want to spend money on a solution, then Wave Invoicing is the perfect fit. It’s not the most robust business software out there, but it completes its one task as well as anyone could hope for.

See What Works

You know better than anyone else what sort of software would make your life easier. If you’re not sure, the good news is that almost all business software offers free trials. If you’re on the fence, give the software a try and see if it works. If it doesn’t, then look elsewhere for a solution. All that testing will be worth the effort once you find the product that fits.

About the author:

Anum Yoon is the founder and editor of Current on Currency, a millennial money blog for anyone looking to get in control of their finances. Apart from finance, she also frequently writes about career, business and entrepreneurship.

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