Looking for small business tools to help your retail store thrive? If you're just starting your small business, the U.S. Small Business Administration is the best place to start. There, you'll learn how to create a business plan, hire employees, and more. Most retailers, though, are looking for tools that can make their lives easier once their shop is up and running. The best ones streamline and automate key business processes so you can focus on the parts of your job that you love. These are our favorites.
1. ACCEPT PAYMENTS EVERYWHERE YOU SELL WITH SQUARE
You've likely already seen or used Square. These mobile-friendly POS systems streamline card payments wherever a business makes sales, whether that's at a food truck or in a pop-up store.
With Square for Retail, you can now access their easy-to-use Square Stand for card purchases, set up your full inventory, and even seamlessly connect your online and in-store sales into one system. These are perfect for small shops or those who are on the move.
2. MANAGE SHIPPING AND INVENTORY WITH SHIPPINGEASY
Fast and easy shipping is one of the key differentiators for eCommerce sites. ShippingEasy is a solution that works seamlessly with all major shopping platforms. This system:
- Allows you to print shipping labels automatically
- Provides discounts on shipping rates
- Tracks shipments and notifies recipients
- Helps with returns
Along with that, it tracks your inventory and puts your shipping data to use in automated customer marketing campaigns.
3. KEEP IN TOUCH WITH MAILCHIMP
Go beyond simple automated emails with MailChimp's robust email marketing platform. With this small business tool, you can:
- Set up automated welcome emails for new customers
- Create abandoned cart messages
- Send shipping updates to customers
- Schedule marketing campaigns for new arrivals and promotions
Most importantly, MailChimp also lets you take control of your data by creating targeted email campaigns for different customer groups.
4. CHAT WITH PROSPECTIVE CUSTOMERS WITH INTERCOM
Want to convert even more of your website visitors to buying customers? The integrated and easy-to-use chatbot services from Intercom make that easy.
Set up real-time chat and self-service systems in minutes. Help customers at key points on their shopping journey. Even better, Intercom's data sync easily between other small business tools like G suite, shopify, and more.
5. HANDLE PAYROLL AND BENEFITS WITH GUSTO
Managing payroll for a large team, or one with irregular hours, can be challenging. Gusto streamlines your payroll tasks, setting up tasks like automatic deductions and filings, direct deposits, and more.
It also helps you manage:
- Employee benefits
- New hire onboarding tasks
- Time-off requests
- Time tracking
6. MAKE HIRING EASIER WITH UPWARD
Set up job openings, receive and manage applications, and track candidates in one easy-to-use system with Upward.
Posting a job only takes minutes, so you can get your listing out quickly before big holiday hiring cycles or other busy times. They can also push to multiple job boards.
7. RUN BACKGROUND CHECKS QUICKLY WITH GOODHIRE
After you've connected with your potentially next great hire, ensure you run all background checks with GoodHire. This is one of the best small business tools for retailers who hire for multiple stores or need to run additional background checks.
With GoodHire, you can use their web or mobile software to quickly review new candidates, background check results, and more.
8. KEEP LEARNING WITH BUSINESS AUDIOBOOKS
Finally, these small business tools focus on one or a few aspects of managing your store, but they can't help you with the larger strategic work you need to do to make your business thrive.
Enter business audiobooks. Learn more about managing employees and building your business while on your commute, in the gym, or simply doing household chores.
Small business owners must wear multiple hats, easily transitioning between projects and roles. It's part of the fun of running a business (it's never boring!), but the amount of tasks can become overwhelming. Thankfully, small business tools like these apps and other resources can help.