The Essential Software For Your Startup

Finding the right software for your startup can streamline your day-to-day so you can focus on the important parts of running your business; nurturing and growing it. If you’re really smart about the software you choose, it can help you with growth and nurturing parts too! We have identified some essential software for any startup and what to look for.

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POS (Point of Sale) System

In order to take payments, you’ll need a POS system. These can vary in complexity and features depending on your needs as a business. At the very least, these allow you to process payments either by cash or card. You can also add additional features such as:

– Inventory Management

When you make a sale, the system deducts the items purchased from your stock levels, so you automatically know where you are with your inventory. This can also apply to restaurants so you know exactly what is in your kitchen. Some even provide the facility to offer recipe suggestions so that you can keep an item on the menu.

– CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

Easily build customer profiles, purchase habits, and even capture a customer’s email for use in email marketing. All of the information on a customer is stored here, which you can segment and use not only for marketing but also to build a business profile of overall purchasing patterns, style and frequency. This is a core tool for developing your business using trends so you can improve and identify what is and isn’t working.

– Loyalty Schemes

If you run a loyalty program, this can be applied through your POS. Customers paying with a loyalty card or building up points can all be run easily through the system. Again, this information can be used to build a profile of spending patterns and repeat business.

There are many POS systems on the market, often tailored to specific industries to provide the specific features you need in your business, for example, Toast for restaurants, or Lightspeed for retail.

Accounting Software

It’s essential that you have rock-solid accounting procedures for tax purposes and ensure your liability is calculated and paid correctly. Accounting software helps you do that. You can get easy-to-use solutions that cover the basics such as Quickbooks. They can track sales, expenses and profits. They can also handle invoice creation, tax deductions, and receipts and even payroll can be managed as an added feature.

You may need more specialist accounting software for your specific industry. For example, Touch Bistro is designed for restaurants and can handle recipe and industry management, tableside ordering, staff scheduling and budgeting and sales forecasts in addition to standard business accounting. Accounting software is essential for any business to be able to track and forecast effectively.

Digital Signage

Digital signage enables you to display offers, information and even menus in an eye-catching and cost-effective way. It can be placed in-store or in your display window and you can communicate virtually any message. People naturally gravitate towards digital signage and pay attention to the offer or message. You can make changes quickly and easily, so for example, you can instantly communicate price changes, offers expiring or, on a menu, the special of the day can be switched over daily.

In particular, digital signage for new businesses is invaluable as it gives you the ability to integrate your entire sales and marketing strategy; you can add a QR code that customers can scan to follow you on social media, perhaps for a discount incentive, or the code can even link customers straight to a review site such as TripAdvisor or Trustpilot. The best time to get a good review is at the point of sale; after the customer leaves, it’s unlikely they’ll leave a review at all unless they’re unhappy or a particularly prolific reviewer. Digital signage can be applied across multiple sites if you have more than one, and any edits are instantly applied across them all.

Digital signage from specialists such as MandoMedia encourages extra sales from passing foot traffic, in-store engagement, and social media sharing. For example, customers can take pictures of their new hairstyle in a salon or meal in a restaurant, and it can be displayed on your signage. This kind of immediate engagement is very popular in an increasingly social media-driven world and portrays you as a company that is engaged and ahead of the curve.

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