Your Business With James Caan 2017 - 167
Help your business run smoothly by choosing
the right software for every task
oftware is crucial to running
your business. Whether it's
your daily operations, important
in-house functions or general
communications, you need to get
the best fit for your firm.
There are many options available,
from paid-for software to free
versions. You can also outsource
a lot of your business processes,
which allows you to control costs
and focus purely on your business.
Then during periods of high demand
for a particular function - such as
marketing or HR - you can ask the
third party to add more resource.
There are two types of email.
Webmail, such as Yahoo, Gmail or
Outlook, stores your mail online and
can therefore be accessed from any
device with an internet connection.
Desktop email is stored by
company-owned servers, effectively
restricting access to on-site only.
Desktop email is considered to be
safer, as you own the data, can set
encryptions and back up your emails
at will. You can also rest easy in the
knowledge that neither Google nor
Microsoft is scanning your emails
for tips on how to advertise to you.
If you're considering paying for a
desktop email client, Postbox is a
solid choice. If you're looking for a
free option, Thunderbird is your
best bet. However be aware that the
latter is no longer releasing any new
features; there will still be stability
and security updates, but don't
expect any additional developments.
If you'd rather access your email
on the move, you can't go wrong
with the classics. Gmail has
powerful filtering tools, automated
sorting and several different layouts,
providing flexibility in how you
want to interact with your email.
Outlook offers a single look but
blends well with other Microsoft
productivity tools, such as Evernote.
If you want to use your company
name in your email address, both
Gmail and Outlook charge for this.
Yahoo Small Business has a website
building tool that includes an email
address that matches your domain
name, with prices starting from as
little as 75p a month.
When it comes to productivity
software, Microsoft Office has
always been the top dog. However,
you may find the cost of a licence
outweighs its usefulness, so it's
worth looking at your business
needs. There are now several
competitors who are cheaper but
mirror many of Office's functions.
LibreOffice is one such
competitor. The interface is similar
to Office, but an injection of colour
keeps the suite feeling modern.
Although it shares many of the
Microsoft Office features, functions
such as automatic word completion
and an emoji toolbar show that the
developers are still innovating.
Leading the pack, though, is
Google Apps. One of its key features
allows multiple people to edit a file
simultaneously, which is especially
useful for those communicating
remotely. As long as you remain
online, any changes to documents
are constantly saved. It isn't the
fastest package, but it doesn't
require a download - and it's free.
As one of the most used pieces
of software in any business, your
browser needs to be fast, intuitive
and safe. Google Chrome is still a
reliable choice and best in class, but
may run poorly on older machines
owing to the amount of memory
(or RAM) that it uses.
If your computers run
Windows 10, you may want to
consider using Microsoft Edge,
a powerhouse of a browser
designed to function in harmony
with the company's current
operating system. User-friendly,
sleek and fast, Edge is Internet
Explorer for the modern age.
It may be relatively unknown,
but Opera is fast proving itself to be
more than just the underdog of the
browser market. It seems to relish
whatever limitation you throw at it,
with options to reduce battery usage
of laptops and improve performance
by routing your traffic through its
own servers. If you don't have
sufficient bandwidth for your needs,
this is the browser for you.
Intuit QuickBooks Online is the
most popular accounting software
among new business owners, as
well as with accountants. Its highly
simplified interface complements
the ability to automate tasks, such
as making payments or recurring
invoices. There are three packages,
offering businesses varying features
and levels of account management.