SMB Software Types - Part 1
After a thorough search of relevant organizations and companies, several databases, and an extensive press search, we could not find data or expert opinion ranking software types in terms of replacement or implementation by US-based small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). However, we have provided ten notable software types utilized by SMBs, as described in a variety of relevant reports. Since no data by which to rank these software types was available in the public domain, they appear below in no particular order, followed by an explanation of our research methodology.
- This type of software is mentioned in numerous reports regarding important types of software for SMBs, including reports by Techgenix, FinancesOnline, Grasshopper, and others.
- This type of software allow for "streamlining of [SMBs'] budgets and keeping clear and legible accounts" of SMBs' business activities.
- SMBs may seek to implement this software type because accounting, even for a small enterprise, can be "as challenging as cracking a hieroglyph."
- FinancesOnline states that "QuickBooks (Intuit), Simplify Accounting (Sage), and Denali (Cougar Mountain) are the more popular products in this category."
Employee Onboarding Software
- Mentioned in Cflow's report on helpful small business software and Grasshopper's small business software report, among others, onboarding software helps streamline the hiring process.
- This may include providing SMBs with "a personal details form, a feature to upload necessary documents for verification, background check and assigning employees to their respective teams."
- While not all SMBs need to make use of such software, onboarding a substantial number of new hires, particularly in conjunction with a proportionally small HR department, may make SMBs more likely to replace or implement onboarding software.
- Notable onboarding software products include ApplicantStack, iCIMS Onboard, and Zenefits, among others.
Customer relationship management (CRM) software
- Mentioned in a report on essential medium-sized business software types by GB Advisors, CRM software is described as "a mandatory software for medium-sized companies."
- Generally, CRM software provides businesses with a "centralized platform that can manage communications and execute e-mail campaigns, as well as facilitate the sales pipeline through statistics and monitoring."
- This type of software may be implemented to understand and track sales prospects among a potential customer pool, promote cross-departmental collaboration, and generally streamline customer relationships.
- Notable CRM software products include Salesforce, Dynamics CRM, and Zoho CRM, among others.
- Mentioned in reports by Techgenix and Grasshopper, among others, sales and marketing software tools are prevalent among SMBs.
- This broad category includes a range of software products that assist with numerous "sales and marketing tasks" across channels. Given that these tasks can be "tedious," SMBs may be inclined to implement these products to streamline sales and marketing processes.
- Some notable software products in this space include MailChimp, HubSpot Marketing Hub, and Pipedrive, among others.
Process management/automation software
- Mentioned in reports by Cflow and GB Advisors, process management or automation software products can be important among SMBs.
- For most businesses, "processes are the backbone of an organizational structure’s success," and managing them is of vital importance. Using manual techniques such as paper recording "is considered antique," leading many SMBs to adopt process management or automation software tools.
- Notable software products in this space include Asana, JIRA, and Monday.com, among others.
Online payment software
- Mentioned in Grasshopper's small business software report, online payment software tools assist businesses in conducting business online.
- These tools primarily revolve around the functionality of executing payments online, which is significant for any business with an e-commerce component.
- Notable examples include PayPal, Square, Stripe, Shopify, and Amazon Payments.
- Mentioned in a report by GB Advisors regarding medium-sized business software, collaboration software can be an important part of SMB functioning.
- Simply put, these tools facilitate communication within and across departments, which is important for businesses of all sizes.
- Notable collaboration software products include Dropbox Business, Trello, and Basecamp, among others.
Human resources software
- Mentioned in a report by Techgenix, human resources software is often utilized by SMBs to streamline HR processes.
- While onboarding is one component of HR functioning, it is only one of many, from hiring to "tracking [the employee's] progress and managing the ever-important human resource in the workspace," all integral parts of every business's functioning.
- Notable human resources software products include ZipRecruiter, Workforce Now, and Gusto, among others.
CapEx/OpEx management software
- Mentioned in a report from Cflow, CapEx/OpEx management can be an important part of every SMB's day-to-day functioning, and relevant software can be used to more easily track and manage these expenses.
- Short for capital expenditures and operational expenditures, respectively, CapEx and OpEx refer to how a business utilizes and spends capital resources, and how resources are spent in day-to-day operations. Both need to be tracked and recorded, and CapEx/OpEx software can streamline this process.
Public relations software
- Mentioned in Grasshopper's small business software report, public relations software can be an important part of any SMB's marketing strategy.
- Though it may be grouped under the broader category of marketing, public relations deals specifically with how a company is portrayed by the media. As such, public relations software seeks to facilitate the relationship between a company and the media.
- Some software solutions in this space include Help A Reporter Out (HARO), Buzzstream, Mention, and Google Alerts.
Your research team employed the following strategy:
To determine the top ten software types that small and medium-sized businesses in the US are seeking to replace or implement, we first conducted a search of relevant authorities and organizations, hoping to find research that addressed this issue. This included searches of polling and survey organizations, such as Pew Research, which may have conducted surveys of US-based SMBs regarding their software needs and objectives. It also included major professional services firms, such as Deloitte, which often conduct similar research. Thirdly, it included searches of companies and organizations within the software industry itself, such as BSA, hoping to find relevant research regarding the focus of US-based SMB software needs. However, this search did not produce any useful results.
As a second approach, we conducted a search of various databases, again hoping to find research that sheds light on the focus of US-based SMB software needs. This included a search of various databases for scholarly, academic research, such as Google Scholar and Ingenta Connect. In this portion of the research we hoped to find data demonstrating the top software priorities (either in terms of replacement or first-time implementation) among US-based SMBs. Again, this searched proved fruitless. We also searched software databases, such as Capterra and TechnologyAdvice, hoping to find some metric by which the most popular software categories among US SMBs could be compared. However, no such metric exists on the software databases searched.
As a third approach, we conducted a wide-ranging press search, hoping either to find data or expert opinion expressed in a media report, or to find a media report discussing a useful research report that could, in turn, be examined for further data. We utilized several press databases, such as NewsLookup and Google News, as well as placing special emphasis on media outlets focused on business (such as Forbes) or technology (such as TechRadar). This search revealed some broad discussion around the software types most often employed at SMBs, but no hard data or expert opinion definitively ranking these types.
After conducting these three research strategies, we have concluded that there is likely no publicly-available data or expert opinion definitively ranking the software types that US-based SMBs are seeking to replace or implement. Given the lack of this information in the public domain, we sought to provide potentially useful information to serve as a rough proxy for this data. To accomplish this, we have gathered a variety of reports and studies from various organizations and media outlets detailing ten major software types utilized by SMBs. Since data or expert opinion ranking these types was not available, and, as such, determining which types are the "top" in this regard was not possible with any degree of certainty, we have presented the types in no particular order.