Let's deal with the basics:
Every small business owner should have a CRM, a customer relationship management software platform. This software gives the ability to schedule e-mail to respond to essentially manage every customer and prospect that the company has. It's a fundamental. If you don't manage your customers effectively you don't have an effective business.
Secondarily, every small business owner should be on QuickBooks at least, with a professional advisor helping them set up their chart of accounts and linking this to their payroll and tax reporting. It is very simple to set up in the early stages. It's a total pain in the butt to do after the fact.
Thirdly, every business in today's world needs a website, and with the website it needs good analytic tools, the basic analytic tools are from Google,
Fourth, communication is essential in every business. Google apps are great for this.
Fifth, many early-stage businesses operate virtually. Two technologies stand out; free conference call.com, and GoToMeeting.com, which allow for virtual organization management and communication.
Sixth, VoIP, allows management of communications in a way that was not available years ago. Google voice is effective, and many of the providers now have the ability to have one telephone call routed via the Internet to whomever is appropriate.
Seventh: use guru.com, a place to find freelancers to get done all of the things that you think you can't get down at a reasonable price. It accesses the vendors from all over the world where you can receive quotes for things like logos and business cards and copywriting etc. it comes with guarantees, etc.
All of these technologies are easy to access and use.
Courtesy of Stewart Borie