5 Must Have Tech Tools for Your New Business

Half of all businesses fail within five years of opening and only one third make it over 10 years, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Studies have shown that incompetence is the number one reason businesses fail. If you plan on making it past the elusive 5-year mark, you need to get started on the right foot. There are numerous tools you need in your arsenal, and the best part is that many of them are affordable if not free.

Accounting Made Easy

The IRS doesn’t care if you are new to business or were unaware of a tax law. Therefore, accounting software is one of the first things you need to put in place when you start your business. Sage One offers an online accounting software for $10 a month. Its ease of use is the main draw, but it also offers more complex features, such as multi-currency billing, online invoicing and seamless bank integration.

Digital Signatures on the Go

The days of faxing documents back and forth for signatures are over. Now, tech-savvy and eco-friendly businesses use DocuSign to transmit documents to their customers for digital signatures. Packages start at $10 a month, and the digital signatures are legally binding. Bonus: Everything can be done from your smartphone and tablet.

Paperless File Box

Evernote is a program that acts like a digital file box for your small business. Scan and file away your business license, LLC agreement, contacts, presentations and anything else that is business-related, so you can easily access them from any of your devices when you need them the most. Evernote Business costs $12 per user. However, if you are going to be the only person using this program, the Premium Plan for individuals will suffice. It only costs $49.99 a year.

Use Your Time Wisely

Time-management software keeps you honest about what you spend your time doing each day. ATracker is a great program because of its simplicity. Track your time, set goals and analyze your daily reports to find out what is eating away your hours. It syncs with Dropbox and your calendar, too. The lite version is free, and the pro version is $4.99.

Customer Contact

Businesses see an average return of $44 for every $1 spent on email marketing, according to the Direct Marketing Association. To get a piece of this industry, Constant Contact is the program that points you in the right direction. Manage contacts, create and send newsletters, and share the good news about your business. Pricing starts at $20 a month.

Now that you have your first five business tools to get you started, you are on your way to beating the odds. Look for other programs and apps to help your business run better by pulling some of the weight for you.

Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.