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~by Anica Oaks~

The right software can spell the difference between productivity and profit or struggling to get things done. Fortunately, the entrepreneurial sector has expanded, so there are more software options catering to small to medium businesses (SMBs).

Here are four software program ideas that boost productivity while remaining affordable.


Surprisingly, many companies put a low priority on this and are still using spreadsheets to generate and maintain client or staffing schedules. As it happens, there are more sophisticated solutions designed for specific needs. Programs like Booker allow customers to schedule their own appointments online, and it connects with social media. When I Work is a program that helps manage employee hours — even swapping shifts and requesting time off, all from mobile devices.


SMBs may or may not have a full time accountant or bookkeeper. If they do, the bookkeeper is probably relying on accounting software. Maintaining thorough and accurate records is too important not to take for granted. There are a number of SMB-oriented accounting programs that can make it easier. QuickBooks is still popular, but more affordable and easier-to-use cloud versions are available, such as FreshBooks.

Managed IT

It isn’t easy keeping up with the latest hardware and software that best fits your operations, let alone worrying about security and hiring and supporting good IT staff. The average total cost of a data breach is over $5 million. Managed IT services in Ottawa and elsewhere can take many of those worries away by integrating with your network to provide security assessments and solutions, system analysis and design, and desktop support, along with many other IT functions.

Human Resources

Hiring new staff is an essential part of business growth, but hiring the right staff and top talent can be a tricky and often difficult process. Few entrepreneurs seems to appreciate the drain on time and expenses this represents to HR. But the whole process of hiring new employees or training and managing existing staff can be simplified with the right software. Zenefits and BambooHR, for instance, are both cloud-based applications that help manage payroll, benefits, and the onboarding process.

Business software is a huge market that can be confusing when it comes to finding the right programs. You don’t want to pay too much for features you’ll never use. But using outdated methods could be costing you in the long run. It’s important to understand your own requirements and processes, and look for solutions that specifically address them.

Meet the Author: Anica Oaks

Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean and anything outdoor related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.