Many considerations are important for a small business but one of the most important is what software to purchase. Every business requires some type of computer software to operate efficiently and productively. However, the best small business software consists of backup, accounting, word processing, virus protection and form generating software.
Backup and Recovery Software – The first software purchase a small business should make is a good backup and recovery software. Many small businesses do not invest in a backup program for their files; therefore, when an unforeseen event causes the loss of valuable data, a small business is completely shut down. Avoid losing precious resources by purchasing reliable backup software for your small business. NovaBackup 11 Professional ($50) has excellent features, is user friendly and is inexpensive. Nova Backup offers offsite storage, in addition to local backups, for extra protection. It also provides virus protection for all backups and the updates for the virus feature are free.
Accounting Software – The second most important software for small businesses is good accounting software. Having a good accounting software will make a small business more efficient in addition to providing detailed information to help the business owner increase revenues. Intuit’s QuickBooks Pro ($160) is the best accounting software for small businesses. QuickBooks is very easy to learn (I taught it to myself) and expands as the accounting needs of a small business grows. QuickBooks allows a small business to quickly process invoices and track customer payments – – something that is important for a successful small business.
Virus Protection – The internet is a valuable tool for small businesses. However, using the internet and email means the potential for viruses. In order to protect data, files and records, a small business must have an excellent antivirus software. Norton, McAfee and Trend Micro are all good software packages; however, after using Kaspersky Anti-virus ($40) I will never use another virus protection software again. Kaspersky is easy to install, set up and update.
Office Suite – WordPerfect was the leading word processing software until Microsoft Office ($150 – $500) moved far ahead to being the industry standard for most businesses. Word, Excel and Outlook are indispensible in most businesses to keep track of data, perform word processing and stay connected through email. The current version of Microsoft Office has features that enable a small business to design inexpensive flyers, mailers and advertising materials to increase business.
Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro – Adobe Reader is free; however, the full version of Acrobat ($450) is expensive but a long-term small business software goal that is worth the cost. Acrobat is an excellent small business tool for creating customized PDF documents for your small business. Word and Excel documents convert to PDF forms with fillable fields and data export from PDF forms to Excel spreadsheets are great for quick analysis.