Small businesses can’t operate without the right tools. No matter how much of a shoestring operation you’re running, you can’t make things work without the right tools. So, what are the essentials that every small company needs to run smoothly?
With a small team especially, transparency is key to everything working. This means you’ll need a good communication service that you can use – especially in times like these when a lot of people might be working at home. You want something that supports individual chats, group chats, scheduling meetings, and conference calls. Many of these services are free, with a limit on how much history you can view, so if you are using a free option, make sure you’re sending all important information through an alternative source like email to have it saved. As your team grows, you should think about investing in the paid version of the tool to make things easier for everyone.
If you’re in the manufacturing business, you’ll need some way to keep track of all of the materials you will need. Step in – MRP software. As the folks at MRPeasy say, it’s a way to prevent running low on inventory and automates inventory transactions. There’s only so far a spreadsheet can take you, so switching to a software like this one will make your life so much easier. For a company that relies on production, it’s crucial that you can track these changes and keep an eye on your stock both up and downstream.
The best way to run a business is if everyone knows exactly what they are doing and what their task is. The way to do this is by using a program that organizes tasks and tracks progress. You want something that suits the way you run the team – if you’re using an agile system, then a program like Trello might do the trick, because you can easily organize sprints, move tasks around and reassign them as necessary. This also works as a great motivation tool because the team can always see how much work has been done and how much there’s still left to do. Using an estimate template is also an excellent way to stay ahead of the game.
You’ll want to have some sort of internal platform where you can share any important information with your team. Something like Confluence can do this job. It creates a sort of internal Wikipedia, where you can make pages with specific information that your team can access, modify, and comment on. If you need something more specific, you can contact someone to make a platform that suits your needs, whether that’s something that looks more like a company version of Facebook or LinkedIn. If you do opt for creating your own platform, use a premade one first to make sure you understand exactly what you need to be done differently.
Most companies will start with some variation of these tools, but you will naturally find through trial and error the tools that suit your specific needs best. Just keep experimenting and don’t be afraid to change to something new if what you started off with doesn’t end up working the way you want it to.