Wondering how to choose office software for business?
Hopefully, yours is a formal, written one. Even if you've winged-it without one, business plan categories are still great guidelines for choosing software, because you'll proactively address needs and put out fewer fires.
Simply think of each area of that business plan.
Executive Summary, Company History, Business Concept, Strategy
You've worked hard to create your business, so continue to document and share your ideas using some core office suite elements.
- The mighty word processor of course carries the day for general writing purposes--which your business is likely to need a lot of. Every office suite contains one.
- Continue to communicate your inspired brainstorms with mind mapping software.
- As your concepts grow, capture them with an organizational or note taking program, which allows you to integrate those ideas into task lists that are easier to manipulate later.
The customers, the competition, the business climate. Each is a huge part of the story you will need to show investors, customers, and other stakeholders.
- Provide charts, images, and bulleted main points using slide show or presentation software.
- Customer management should begin early, using the appropriate email and contact management software. Part of communicating is, you'll need to be able to read and open their documents. Make sure you can open a PDF, and that you have chosen an office suite that is compatible with as many other suites possible.
- Desktop publishing software will become your in-house graphic design program. Even if you outsource your design, you will still have in-house marketing tasks that pop up out of nowhere: business cards, a flier for the break room, a brochure, etc. The less artistic you are, the more you should check out templates available.
What will your day-to-day look like?
- Diagramming software can help you map out processes and even organizational charts, with a tool known as a flow chart.
- It is also important to start thinking about how transactions will be processed and maintained in your company. A database application can help you as you grow your business. For very large businesses you may need a customized tool beyond what is found in an office suite.
Financial Projections and Resource Planning
Part of explaining who you are, to yourself and others including the government, is accounting for what you bring to the table.
- You'll need accounting software from the outset. Even if you use an accounting service at tax time, most will want you to supply your financial comings and goings in a digital, documented way.
- Calculations are easier using the mighty spreadsheet. It will allow you to easily transfer and update data from one financial form to another.
- You can find financial software and financial templates for everything your little business heart longs to explain, explore, or quantify.
Management and Human Resources
To properly lead and communicate with those who work for you, you'll benefit from some of these solutions.
- Project management software can create intricate timelines for complex projects. Since this type of software is not typically included in a suite, an option can be sure to check out a web-based web-based project management tool. Some free suites such as Calligra offer planning software, as well.
- You may also need to investigate a human resource management system.
Take the time to test-drive a number of office productivity suites rather than leaving the choice to just popularity or price. Instead, look for software that is straight-forward and makes you efficient.
Remember, software should provide you and your team more output compared to your input. As one of your most important business decisions, your software productivity choice can truly empower your overall business plan.