Entrepreneurs are business superheroes – and busy people! There are only 24 hours in the day, so for small businesses, the battle against the clock is real. Tools and software that increase efficiency are a solopreneur’s best friend.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best cloud-based software products that will help your small business customers succeed.
What is a cloud-based product?
A cloud-based product is a piece of software which runs over an internet connection. Rather than install and run software on a user’s local computer or network, cloud products run on the vendor’s servers, with users accessing products via an internet connection.
Why should small businesses use cloud-based products?
Cloud-based products are good for small businesses because they are cost-effective, reduce the need for maintenance and updates which means small businesses don’t need specialist IT staff. Small businesses can also scale cloud-based products easily as they grow.
Whether saving time, making marketing easier or profits greater, here’s the rundown of the cloud software your SMB customers need to thrive in 2021.
The best cloud products for small business in 2021:
Getting online is a priority for small businesses. A website is a store, a marketing tool and the basis of small business’ digital footprint. In the midst of a pandemic, a website is even more important: with physical stores closed or restricted and opportunities to meet customers face-to-face reduced, a website is a bona fide route to market. Website builders make it quick and easy to create a beautiful, functional, commercially-viable site, no web designer required. BaseKit has been helping small business get online, and thrive, for over a decade.
Online booking and appointments
For businesses that provide a service, a bookings tool is crucial. Comprehensive bookings software allows SMB owners to take reservations, manage appointments and even process payments. This saves time and reduces the stressful admin associated with manual bookings, as well as making the process smoother for the end-customer. Watch out for BaseKit’s product updates for exciting developments on our own bookings software.
Accounting and finance software
Keeping on top of the finances is key to the success of any small business. Cloud accounting software lets SMBs see what’s coming in, what’s going out, process tax returns and send invoices and receipts. Whether a small business is operating full time or as a side-hustle, a good product takes the stress out of money management. Options include Quickbooks, Xero, FreshBooks, Sage and more.
Get organised! All entrepreneurs need to keep on top of their projects and responsibilities, no matter how large or small the business is. Software such as Trello, Monday and Asana allows business owners to create tasks and lists, to prioritise and work collaboratively online. No more paper trails and ream-time updates mean everyone is on the same page. What’s not to like? Projects that run smoothly and on time create a successful business.
No matter what kind of business your SMB customers run, they’ll need to use the written word at some point – in their marketing, when communicating with customers, suppliers and even staff. Clear writing makes the business look professional and helps create a positive impression which builds trust and enhances business. However, not everyone is comfortable with the written word. Cloud products such as Grammarly highlights errors and suggests alternatives to improve the flow and clarity of writing. Perfect for the reluctant writer!
Sales and marketing:
A big topic for any business, not least for small businesses who have to do everything themselves. There are different kinds of software and the main benefits of each of them are: organisation, consistency and active management of customers.
Here’s our pick of the best cloud-based sales and marketing software for small business in 2021.
CRM software allows business owners and marketers to keep a list of customers, so the business can engage them with marketing campaigns. SMBs can create, run and measure campaigns, as well as gain a deeper understanding of customer behaviour by analysing campaign results. Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign and HubSpot are good examples of CRM software for small business and are widely used.
Social media management
Repetition can be tedious, especially to the small business owner who has lots to do. Social media management tools allow entrepreneurs to manage multiple platforms from a central dashboard. Schedule posts to save time and measure engagement with reports and analytics. Hootsuite is easy to use and offers a free option as well as paid versions.
Cloud products for design and images
SMBs will likely need graphics and images in their marketing toolkit – if they’re posting on social media regularly, this is a must. Cloud-based design software such as Canva is simple yet effective, and with its drag-and-drop formula you don’t need an art degree to make beautiful designs. Quick, easy to use and affordable for those running side-hustles or small businesses, DIY design software makes SMBs look as good as they are.
How cloud-based products help small businesses thrive
Software that automates repetitive tasks, removes stumbling blocks such as affordability and expert skills, or gives SMB owners a leg up is good news. Solopreneurs, side-hustlers and business owners that don’t have to worry about mundane tasks can focus on what they do best. Their businesses are more likely to thrive which is good news for the owner, the economy, their customers and their suppliers.
If SMBs can access those helpful cloud-based products through their service provider, they’ll stick around for longer as their business grows too. Might equipping your SMB customers with the tools they need to succeed create a stronger sense of loyalty? All while you do your best to support entrepreneurs. Discover how you can help your SMB customers thrive online and how our white label website builder has helped service providers create long-term customer engagement – contact our partnership team today.