The 5 types of tools essential for the self-employed

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Independent entrepreneurs have many faces: doctors, sales representatives, notaries, etc. Whatever their profession, each of them needs a certain number of IT tools necessary to carry out their activities.

1. Don’t miss a customer

Whether you are a designer, a trader or an intermittent showman, you need a customer base to list your contacts, encourage sales and loyalty, maintain a relationship of trust and proximity with your buyers, etc.

You cannot ignore an efficient CRM, it is even the tool that will be most useful to you if sales is your main task. We advise you to be careful when choosing customer relationship management software: features such as email campaign management, customer loyalty management, analysis and monitoring could be very useful for your business.

They are available on some CRMs (as modules or directly integrated) without having to spend more money on additional software.

2. Save time on accounting

Any self-employed person must be able to justify his activities to the State and have an eye on his expenses and income. An accounting software allows you to manage your purchases and sales, and in particular to manage the various VAT and expense reports (travel, meals, etc.).

You can also find tools that automatically generate your accounting entries, ensure the remote transmission of your tax return, or allow you to automatically import your bank statements without re-entering them.

Note that you can also choose to digitize your official documents, in which case you do not need physical archives but you must be able to store and protect your digital documents, so ask before choosing your accounting tool if the solutions are equipped with digital archiving and file sharing solutions.

3. Get the tools you need for your job

Most self-employed people have specific IT needs to manage their activities. Where a winegrower needs an input traceability tool, the independent dealer uses a fleet manager, and the doctor must be able to send his teletransmissions to insurers and read the vital card of his patients.

Feel free to ask, there is necessarily a business software specialized in your field that could support the functionalities of an accounting or customer relationship tool that would be sufficient for you.

4. Ensure your success on the Internet

Don’t underestimate the impact of a page that talks about you on the web. Although professionals often prefer physical contact with their customers and prospects, communicating on the Internet via a website is essential, if only to allow your prospects to find out about your offers and find useful information to buy or contact you.

Use a CMS, free or for a fee, to enter at least the essential information, such as the name of your company, your identity, the opening hours of your office or store, an email and a telephone number where you can be reached, etc. Also remember to fill in some useful information in Google Maps (1 or 2 well-cropped photos can make a difference).

You can also use some SEO tools to get an idea of how many people visit your site, what your visitors ask for, the most interesting visit times, etc.

5. Protect your data and equipment

Especially if you have digitized your archives, do not take the risk of losing all your data due to a virus. In addition, professionals are particularly solicited on their messaging by sales representatives, but also by other more dishonest senders: anti-spam software will quickly be welcome.

Protect yourself from an unfortunate click by opting for an effective antivirus program with a high level of performance. You can also make a duplicate of your archives to keep in case of failure of your computers, via a DMS or data backup software.

Finally, to ensure the confidentiality of your data, if you work in a coworking area for example, you can use a password manager to save time by logging in and generate passwords that are difficult to find and stored directly in the solution.

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