It is obvious that 2020 has been a particularly difficult year for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in France. The economic impact report published in September by Yelp concluded that the restrictions and uncertainty related to the coronavirus had caused the bankruptcy of nearly 100,000 businesses. These closures concern the hotel sectors in particular, while services to individuals and professionals have most often managed to cope with the exceptional difficulties arising from the pandemic.
To adapt to the crisis, these small companies have undoubtedly relied, in the management and execution of their operations, on automation software and technologies. Online ordering, mobile payment, contactless transactions have become the norm, and continue to grow in popularity. In fact, the total value of mobile transactions made in 2021 is estimated at more than $161.41 billion . explore software and tools that can help you achieve your ambitions and solve your problems, without emptying your bank account.
The best management software for your small and medium business in 2021
So here are the nine software and tools we’ve spotted to help small businesses simplify their day-to-day operations and finally put Excel files aside. We have chosen these tools for their performance tested over the long term and their ability to meet the specific needs of SMEs. As a priority, we wanted them to be easy to use but also intuitive, economical, flexible and accompanied by a quality technical service (because small and medium-sized companies or even start-ups rarely have access to a dedicated IT service in case of problem).
1. The best accounting software: Xero
Overview : Xero is a cloud accounting solution specifically designed for small businesses. The system enables real-time financial and cash performance tracking, and includes access features for accountants to help them monitor their clients’ balances. Financial reports are customizable to better observe the main indicators and compare logistics and financial forecasts to real-time performance, over the periods of your choice. To date, the system can accept payments by Stripe, Paypal or credit card in multiple currencies. Xero simplifies the creation and sending of invoices and can be configured to send automatic reminders to customers for their overdue invoices. Software available in English only.
There are many other accounting software worth considering:
Intuit Quickbooks , accounting software designed for small businesses and accessible on-site or remotely through Quickbooks Online and the mobile app.
Freshbooks offers accounting software to simplify invoicing, expense reporting, time worked, project management, settlements, automatic deposits, and reporting, among other day-to-day tasks.
Freeagent is accounting software designed for small businesses, micro-entrepreneurs, freelancers and the accounting firms that work with them. It simplifies the creation of multilingual and multi-currency invoices, the management of payments and the automation of essential daily accounting tasks. Freeagent received the Excellence Comptable conference award for Best Small Business Accounting Software of the Year. Available in English only.
Wave is free accounting software for freelancers and small businesses. Accounting, invoicing, and receipt scanning are free, but payment processing is charged per use. Wave also benefits from a large online community that allows users to help each other. Available in English only.
2. The best e-commerce software: Shopify
Overview: There are many e-commerce software on the market. We selected Shopify because it brings together in one solution all the features that allow businesses to quickly launch an online store. Users can easily create web pages with the built-in online editor and sell their products worldwide with local language support. Marketing tools allow you to adjust meta titles and descriptions, create unique URLs, and boost promotions on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Shopify also offers a wide range of plugins to simplify certain tasks, such as inventory management.
Technical Support: Shopify offers 24/7 phone or chat technical support
Free demo: All features are available for free for 14 days.
3. The best project management software: Trello
Overview: Trello is a collaboration and task management tool suitable for projects of all types: marketing campaigns, content development, customer support, sales tracking, data entry, HR management… The one big exception is the integration of budget tracking and invoices, although these documents can be added to it. For small businesses, it’s a convenient and easy-to-use tool that helps organize project tracking by managing deadlines, cover photos, users, tags, priorities, and even a system. sharing comments. You can attach files, images, and documents that will appear in the pipeline of the project concerned.
Technical Support: Customer service is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, excluding holidays.
Free demo: Trello Business Class is available as a demo version for 14 days, and gives unlimited access to all options and features.
4. The best time management software: Toggl
Overview: For very small businesses, freelancers, and those looking for a simple time management utility, Toggl is a safe bet. There are many IT solutions capable of integrating expense reports, mileage tracking or even workforce management, but most small businesses do not need all these features and do not want to. pay the price. With Toggl, it’s all about simplicity: the user can monitor the time spent on hundreds of other apps, computers or devices. Just click on Start to start the timer. Toggl is free, and paid options start at €9 per month.
Free Demo: Toggle offers a 30-day free demo with unlimited access to all features.
Technical support: Toggl offers a free online help center.
5. The best online payment software: PayPal
Overview : PaypPal and Stripe are the two major providers of online payment solutions. They have many features in common and the processing fees applicable to each payment are the same on both platforms (2.9% + €0.35), but PayPal remains the best option for freelancers and small and medium-sized businesses. . Stripe offers great customization options for larger businesses, but PayPal is easier to set up and use, making it a favorite for smaller business entities. Worldwide, PayPal helps millions of sellers and buyers send and collect payments using their bank accounts or cards, and remains the most commonly used platform for online stores. The famous PayPal button can be easily added to any page to allow users to pay for their purchases in a few clicks with PayPal, their PayPal credits or Venmo. From start to finish, PayPal is the easiest and most accessible payment service for both businesses and their customers.
Technical Support: PayPal offers several customer support services, including an online community forum, resolution center, and text or email support.
6. The best email marketing software: MailChimp
Overview: In our opinion, small businesses can’t go wrong with MailChimp: the software is flexible, cost-effective, and allows for the addition of features as a business grows. It is also free for companies with less than 2,000 subscribers. This is a huge advantage for small businesses and for the self-employed who must limit their expenses as much as possible during the first years, especially since the higher rates also remain quite affordable (Essentials plan at €8.31 and Standard plan at $12.47 per month) (Note that exact pricing varies by number of subscribers) MailChimp typically offers a wide range of features including behavioral targeting, A/B testing, customizable templates, and subscriber segmentation, that allow the most inexperienced of entrepreneurs to discover the advantages of target marketing and customer relationship management. (Note that Act! suite plans also offer these automated marketing features)
Technical assistance: Assistance is provided online in self-service, or by email, and is accessible to all subscriptions. Phone or chat support is available on paid plans.
Free demo: MailChimp offers a free version up to 2,000 subscribers. The free version lets you send up to 12,000 emails per month, set up multiple users, and access email or chat support for the first 30 days.
7. The best collaborative utilities: Slack
Overview : Slack is the true Swiss army knife of collaborative projects. It allows all members of a team to communicate through a mobile device or computer, which is particularly useful for companies that do not have fixed premises (or whose employees operate from home). during the Covid-19 pandemic). Slack offers a wide variety of functions, such as audio or video calls. It easily integrates with other software used by businesses such as MailChimp and Google Drive, enabling the efficient sharing of information from one platform to another. Slack also allows you to download and share many formats, such as doc, jpg, mov and pdf, as well as
8. The best project management software: The G-Suite
Overview : The G-Suite is Google’s collaborative solution integrating cloud management and productivity tools. It is ideal for small businesses and the self-employed and combines the management of all documents in a single software. Using individual apps, users can easily create and share their documents (Google Docs), spreadsheets (Google Sheets) and slideshows (Google Slides). Teams can access video meetings, their emails, secure data, and even customize their email addresses to give a more professional impression. The G-Suite offers 15 Gb of free storage space allowing you to easily download and share all your documents, even the heaviest ones, internally or externally The creator of each document can define the level of access for each recipient, such as “Read only”, “Read and modify” or even “Unlimited access”. The G-Suite is easy to use, secure and compatible with many devices.
Technical Support: G-Suite technical support by phone, email or chat is open 24/7
Free demo: There are several versions of the G-Suite: Basic, Business or Enterprise, as well as school and association versions, all offered as a free demo for 14 days.