Are you a proud small business owner in search of new ways to boost productivity and efficiency?

The moment you start a small business is the moment you should commit to learning more about the many available software applications. Even if you don’t have a traditional office, but make money from home online with a dropshipping or ecommerce business, you should still focus on the software available to help take your company to the next level. While there is no one-size-fits-all software application to meet every business need, there are some solutions that can be applied to just about any business model.

  1. Payroll Software

If you’re the sole proprietor and the only employee, your business payroll systems are pretty easy and probably don’t require software. But if you’re like most business owners, you have at least one or two employees helping you steer the ship, and payroll software can dramatically simplify these processes for you.

The nice thing about payroll software is that there are so many options to choose from. PC Mag does a great job outlining the best applications available today. As a business owner, you’ll quickly learn that payroll can be one of the most time-consuming and paperwork-laden parts of the job, so streamlining and automating this task can be a huge time (and stress) saver.

  1. CRM Software

Customer relationship management, or CRM, is every bit as important today as it’s ever been. In fact, with so much competition in almost every industry, many companies agree that it’s more essential to their success than ever before.

According to HubSpot, it takes an average of 18 calls to connect with a buyer. If you don’t have CRM software guiding you, it can be a challenge to keep track of every move you make and ensure you’re connecting at all touchpoints. This means that you could be losing track of hot prospects and qualified leads, costing your company money. There are both free and paid CRM applications, so finding one that suits your budget and business shouldn’t be a problem.

  1. Budgeting Software

Even if you all you do is answer questions for money online, every business model has its expenses. As your company grows, you can expect your expenses to do the same.

Gone are the days when pen and paper or a clean spreadsheet were the best ways to budget. While some business owners still rely on these “old school” methods, there is so much new software available to save time and help business owners avoid common budgeting mistakes.

For example, Nerd Wallet outlines a handful of the best free budgeting apps for smartphones, which make it easier than ever to track your spending and stay on top of the budget. With one of these, you never again have to worry about losing track of your spending. As a business owner, you want to maintain a good credit score just in case your business should ever need a quick loan to scale, and sticking to the budget and paying bills on time is just about the best way to protect your credit.

  1. Backup and Recovery Software

You never know when something could go wrong with your computer. If this happens and you don’t have backup and recovery software in place, you could lose everything. And if that wasn’t frightening enough, business owners today need to be increasingly aware of the potential for a cyber attack or security threat and take steps to protect customers’ sensitive information.

2017 was the year for cyber hacks, and consumers are paying close attention to the ways in which businesses look to protect their information. Not only do you want to protect your business in case of data loss, but you also want to protect it from hackers. Backup and recovery software can help you avoid these worst-case scenarios from becoming realities.

  1. Word Processing Software

Content is king in the marketing world, and businesses are churning out more written content than ever before for their websites, blogs, and social media pages. This means word processing software is hugely important to every business, regardless of your industry.

The good news is that the days of having to pay for Microsoft Word or Office Suite are long gone; The Balance shares 11 free alternatives to Word, all of which have something unique to offer business owners. Even if you don’t think you’ll need a word processor very often, you’ll still want to have a program in place for when you inevitably find that you do need a solid writing system.

As you review the types of software your small business is currently using, you may find you’re missing out on new tools that could have a positive impact on you organization. If you’ve yet to experiment with one or more of the software types detailed above, now’s the time to learn more. This one small change could do wonders for your business.

What software applications are helping you run a successful business?