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Small Business Information - Making Best Use of Small Business Tools & Templates

Small Business Information - Making Best Use of Small Business Tools & Templates

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.

The same thing applies to financial planning templates and website design. Not to mention other commonly used tools like spreadsheets designed and ready for various uses like financial statements or balancing checkbooks. There are sample documents, letters and formats available for various functions from B2B contracts to job application forms and independent contractor agreements.

Then there are the checklists. It may seem superficial, but entire businesses have collapsed because there wasn't a checklist handy when needed. Collect checklists for everything from franchising to trademarks and dealing with the taxman, customer lawsuit or a subpoena. The only option to not having checklists is to keep an expert for each crucial issue close at hand and ready to offer advice, if the business can afford it.

All of this is but only the tip of the iceberg. The real value lies in more complex usage, like customer relations, sales & marketing, HR management and performance analysis. Some of these are freely available, like a tool which helps poll customers and tabulate the survey data into charts and reports.

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.

But perhaps the single best use of small business tools is to be found in the marketing & sales department. This is where it is important to use applications to gather metrics and analyze data. This means using worksheets to evaluate the effectiveness of ad campaigns, and calculating the customer acquisition costs. There are telemarketing tools that can push sales off the charts and on track to becoming a not-so-small one.

It's important here to not turn this article into a laundry list, considering that one page is hardly going to be enough. So let's just say that before doing anything, remember that there's already a tool for it. This is true for every aspect involved in running a business, big or small.

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