As the year winds down, business leaders are thinking about what to tweak for 2020. One of the areas most likely to be under the magnifying glass: software.
New tools and platforms spring up every day, and it’s not easy to identify which are right for your company. If you aren’t seeing the returns your vendors promised, it’s time to ask whether a replacement is in order.
If your HR, operations, sales, or marketing tools aren’t cutting it, take these options for a test drive:
If you expanded your team in 2019, you learned firsthand just how quickly HR work adds up. Switching platforms every time you approve a PTO request or update an employee’s address wastes an enormous amount of time. OnPay’s small business HR software’s unique combination of features keeps everything in one dashboard.
Most HR platforms cover the basics — time tracking, benefits summaries, and so on — but few allow much customization. Most also fail to combine them with a full suite of payroll features. OnPay makes managing people easier by letting you process payroll, customize vacation accrual rates, and store documents like offer letters in one spot.
Every team needs a way to schedule meetings and keep tabs on its members’ calendars. Calendar tweaks meeting invites for each recipient’s time zone, follows up if someone has yet to RSVP, and transcribes meeting notes automatically.
The best feature of Calendar, however, is its schedule analytics. Calendar gives you a person-by-person look at where you’re spending your time. This analysis can be broken down across different time intervals. In short, it helps you spend more time with people whose contributions will move the needle for your business.
Business dashboards let you view key metrics associated with your business from a single page. But because data visualization is a hot field and the tools are relatively easy to develop, the market has become flooded. Geckoboard has a customizable interface that lets you pick the KPIs most important to you, from open customer support tickets to website sessions.
Geckoboard offers more than 60 code-free integrations with services like Salesforce and Google Analytics. For do-it-yourselfers, Geckoboard also lets you import spreadsheet data. Its drag-and-drop interface makes swapping metrics easy, and it’s made to display on screens ranging in size from massive to mobile.
While tools like Geckoboard are great for at-a-glance updates, there will be times when you need some number-crunching muscles. Business intelligence software is great for digging into the finer details of your company’s performance, and Alteryx is a one-stop shop for data preparation and analysis.
Alteryx’s flexible cross-department analysis abilities are what make it stand out. It runs the gamut from customer data enrichment to real estate investment predictions to tax forecasting. Alteryx’s features are tailored to companies in the healthcare, finance, retail, and resource extraction sectors.
Most companies’ idea of collaboration software is some combination of email, Slack, and Google Docs — which is workable, but hardly efficient. To get the most out of your teammates, you need to make sure they’re working as closely as possible. For that, a collaboration platform like Quire is a must.
Quire gives you a range of task management tools, like Kanban boards and smart folders, to track projects and see who’s making progress on them. Its built-in messenger platform makes communication simple and seamless. Quire’s biggest perk, however, is its price: The platform is completely free for small businesses, and its base features will remain so for all early adopters.
Tailored for agencies, law firms, gyms, freelancers, and accountants, Zistemo is a tool for keeping tabs on your most precious resource: time. Zistemo lets you track hours worked, time spent on various projects, and documents like receipts and expense reports.
Zistemo is a natural partner for project management platforms like Asana, Trello, and Jira, each of which it integrates with. It imports data like hours worked into invoices and retainer agreements, which Zistemo allows you to create in different languages and currencies. After sending the invoice, Zistemo sends automatic payment reminders.
It’s impossible to know what 2020 will hold for your business, but getting better tools is a smart way to start it. Invest in the right ones, and you won’t need to repeat the process every time the calendar turns.