Whether you are a new entrepreneur or an established businesswoman, you are probably happy to learn anything new to increase your business productivity. Fortunately, there are a host of solutions online that are designed to increase your output and maximize your efficiency. To get a better idea of what you may need, ask yourself: Where am I getting held up? Where does everything bog down? Is there something you always forget to do? Or is there a new way of doing some routine activity that can really speed things up?
To understand your options, following are some of the most common small business productivity tools:
Word Processing Software
Word processing software is unsurpassed for creating professional-looking documents. In the days before word processors, you had to type everything on a typewriter or write it out longhand. Thanks to this software, you can compose, edit, and save documents in no time at all. While Microsoft Word is the most popular program, there are some freeware versions available such as OpenOffice or UltraPad.
Spreadsheet software has replaced old-fashioned ledger books, offering everything you could possibly need to keep accurate books or create inventories. The most common spreadsheet programs are Microsoft Excel for PCs or AppleWorks for Mac, but there are freeware versions such as Bean Sheet or As Easy As.
Think of presentation software as your replacement for the days of overhead projectors and transparencies. Designed to help you present information to an audience, presentation software helps you create polished seminars with very little effort. PC users are probably most familiar with PowerPoint, while Mac users are used to Apple Keynote. Open Office Impress is a good freeware alternative.
Graphic Design Software
Graphic design software is great for helping you create illustrations for anything from websites to flyers. If you are a professional graphic designer, you obviously have a favorite program that is of expert caliber. Depending on your needs, there are also a host of freeware programs available for small jobs, such as Gimp, Picasa, or Paint.net.
Organizational software is just that: it helps you stay organized. This includes online calendars, to-do or task lists, appointment reminders, and so forth. While most software suites include this as part of the programs they offer (think Microsoft Outlook, et al), you can easily make your email service a part of your drive to stay organized. Most internet email services offer calendars, appointment reminders, and tasks lists to keep you on track.
There is software available that helps you collaborate with others as though you were actually physically sharing an office space. This includes web conferencing, document collaboration, shared workspaces, and email migration. The most popular version of this software is Business Productivity Online by Microsoft.
Basically, business productivity software is any kind of program that helps you continue doing your job, and helps you do it faster, easier, or better than before. By investing in some basic productivity tools, you'll be able to create polished and professional documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. With organizational software, you will continue to stay on track and maximize your productivity. These are a great investment for any small business owner seeking to increase efficiency.