Streamlining operations: Essential software solutions for modern businesses

6 minute read
Streamlining operations: Essential software solutions for modern businesses

Running a business in the modern world is like juggling squirrels at a rave.

Mixed metaphors aside, you have to balance a lot for any business, no matter how large, small, simple, or complex your plans might be. On top of that, you have to keep up with the digital world. Everyone demands it, and falling behind means death in pretty much every industry these days.

It’s ok to need help, and since we’re discussing modern businesses, software tools can provide a lot of the help you seek. In particular, there are a handful of software categories that prove essential for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Take a look to see if some might suit you.

Finance software

Every business has finances. Even non-profits are responsible for money to at least some degree.

Financial responsibilities come with legal and regulatory obligations, and it all gets very complicated very quickly. Financial software helps you meet your obligations while cleaning up your financial management and saving a ton of time in the process.

There are a ton of categories related to finance. You might find tax software, payroll, accounts payable, receipt tracking, investing software, and general accounting.

You can also find software packages that provide multiple services in a single package. Many businesses benefit from consolidating their software. It simplifies management, reduces risks of compatibility issues, and gives you a more robust approach to keeping books for the business.

Ultimately, you’ll have to find what software works best for your business style, but it’s worth playing with some of the most popular names in the financial software industry. This can help you get a baseline for comparison. Additionally, popular software usually comes with more resources to help you if you have a problem (such as free third-party tutorials).

With that in mind, these four names lead the industry:

  • Intuit
  • FreshBooks
  • Zoho Books
  • Xero

You don’t have to stick with one of those four. They’re just a good place to start investigating accounting software.

Industry software

Financial needs are universal, but the truth is that you run a unique business, and you’re not in every industry. Tools that help carpenters might not prove useful for local restaurants. You get the idea.

Still, you want software designed to help your business operate within its niche space. For this, you want to explore industry-specific tools.

Now, this guide aims to help businesses across industries, so it’s too much to list every possibility here. Instead, consider a pair of case studies to help you understand what specialized software can do for a business.

First up is ServiceTitan. This is a software package designed specifically for HVAC service providers. Clearly, it’s going to have tools that make little sense for professionals outside of the industry. But, we can explore a few features to get an idea of why specialized software helps so much.

One tool in the fleet manages dispatching. An HVAC company can use it to automate aspects of dispatching. The software knows which technicians are available for work at any given time. When a job comes through, the software assigns the technician, notifies all necessary parties, and gets the ball rolling.

The second case study considers a completely different industry. Release Lackey is a tool that helps users design and use release forms. Photographers and talent agencies can streamline the release form, saving a lot of time and organizing releases to ensure they’re all up to compliance standards. 

While these examples may not cover your industry, you can see that niche products exist in many industries. With a little digging, you can find tools that solve problems and streamline processes that hold your business back.

Marketing software

Marketing technology can be complicated and expensive. DailyStory is easy, cost-effective, and measurable. Spend more time on your business automating your digital marketing through this accessible software platform. Features include:

  • Email marketing and SMS marketing
  • Unlimited users, automations, and campaigns
  • Pricing for any budget, starting at free

DailyStory is simple to use, with customer support that is accessible 24/7. Get started for free at no risk to you.

General tools for every business

Niche software is amazing, and you can spend a lot of time down that rabbit hole. Yet, there are more software categories to consider. The rest of this list focuses on generic bits of software that prove useful regardless of your industry. 

Similar to financial software, everyone needs some or all of these tools at some point, but they might be less pivotal for some businesses compared to the things covered above.

Let’s get into it.


Word Processing

Sometimes, you have to do formal writing. Maybe you’re creating a project proposal or a pitch for a client. You could be creating a company manual for employees to follow. There are countless possibilities.

For businesses that do formal writing daily, this is a no-brainer, and you probably already have a favorite word processor.

For other industries, it’s not as obvious, but you still need these tools now and again. A good word processor will help you with formatting, double-check your style and grammar, and make you look more professional with your writing.

The newest tools even offer content generation — using AI tools to do some or most of the writing for you.

To keep a long story short, find the word processor that works for you, and you’ll be glad to have it when you need it.


This is the other side of the word-processing coin. Your finance software and niche tools will probably do a lot of spreadsheet organizing for you, but sometimes, you still need to build custom spreadsheets.

A generic spreadsheet platform takes care of that. Excel and Google Sheets are by far the most prolific options on the market. If you have a distaste for either of them, you can find countless alternatives, and most modern platforms are cross-compatible with the others.

This really boils down to preference.


In order to run a business, you will interact with other human beings to some degree, and communication software helps with that.

Sure, you might try to do a lot by phone or email, but additional channels of communication help a lot. Most of us have at least some experience with Zoom at this point — a great example of how and why you need those extra forms of communication.

As you explore communication options, you’ll find that communication management platforms exist. These platforms allow you to put all of your email, texts, digital meetings, and more into one place to help you organize communication and keep track of your messages.

Most of these platforms cater to specific industries, but you can also find things like customer relation software (CRM) and management platforms that simplify communications.

These categories are enough to get you started. As you try out different software solutions, you’ll see that the right software feels amazing while the wrong tools needlessly complicate your life. Be picky. Take your time. Most of all, don’t ever be afraid to abandon software that isn’t working.

About the author


Ashley Nielsen earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration Marketing at Point Loma Nazarene University. She is a freelance writer who loves to share knowledge about general business, marketing, lifestyle, wellness, and financial tips. During her free time, she enjoys being outside, staying active, reading a book, or diving deep into her favorite music.

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