Making Best Use Of Small Business Tools & Templates

Comments Off on Making Best Use Of Small Business Tools & Templates 19 December 2010

Without the use of small business tools, managing the show would be akin to reinventing the wheel. It’s hard enough as it is to run a company without having to do it all by hand and from scratch. For instance, without using small business templates, the businessman would be forced to focus on the aesthetics instead of the actual content of the plan.

This also applies to similar things like website design & financial planning templates. Then there are the many spreadsheets required, like checkbook balancing and financial statements. There are also the truckload of office document formats like contracts, independent contractor agreements and job application forms.

Another important tool in the toolkit should be a set of checklists, which many neglect, but at their own peril. There should be a checklist for anything important that could possibly happen at any time, such as trademark disputes, franchise enquiries, subpoenas and customer lawsuits. If there isn’t a checklist handy, then it will need a call to an expert who will charge a heavy fee for essentially reading out the checklist to the owner.

This is all very useful, but it is just a fraction of what a full toolkit contains. The real stuff is used for bigger things, like sales and marketing strategies, HR management, performance analysis and customer relations. A survey tool, for instance, would easily be capable of polling all customers about specific issues and collecting the data into a report or charts for analysis.

Whenever there is a task to be done, just head for the search engines or a biz resource site and find a tool to get it done quick and easy. For example, anyone could be forgiven for thinking that there won’t be any tool that helps in selling or buying a company. But there are actually many that can be really helpful, such as valuation calculators which will spit out an instant ballpark figure. This is an incredibly useful tool when trying to research the value of many companies.

Also useful is an HR toolkit that contains everything from job application forms to appraisal forms and employee satisfaction survey forms. There’s no need to mention how hellishly complicated the employee benefits programs are. The time and energy devoted to maximizing tax credits from these programs can be reduced a lot by using the right business tools.

Even more useful than HR toolkits are the ones used in sales and marketing. Metrics need to be collected and the analysis needs a bit of expertise. There are standard toolkits to help with this, such as a worksheet that can track the effectiveness of an ad campaign and provide customer acquisition costs. Also, a telemarketing tool used the right way can put sales on the fast track.

Let’s not get too caught up compiling a toolkit laundry list here, because it’s not possible to sum it all up in a single page. Just remember that when something looks like it has to done manually all the way, there’s always somebody who’s been there, done that and created a tool to do it easy and fast. This holds true for every business planning aspect of the business, bar none of the small business tools.

Grow your small business with the aid of advice, business taxes, and small business resources. Read some business blogs that can help you prepare for challenges facing your business.

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