There’s nothing like having to handle several projects at the same time to test your organizational skills as a small business owner. While challenges are always good, your managing many tasks at once will only leave you drained and feeling swamped. Instead, rely on the following project management tools to ensure you can keep your project on target, and please your clients at the same time.
These days, filing cabinets are out of the question, and hoarding information on bits of paper is the fastest way to run a disorganized business…straight into the ground. Thankfully, there’s a slew of collaboration and documents apps that empowers any small business owner to find the information they need at the drop of a hat, right out of the cloud, and available on all their devices.
Digital dashboards, also known as business intelligence dashboards, enterprise dashboards, or executive dashboards. These are visually based summaries of business data that show at-a-glance understanding of conditions through metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). Dashboards are a very popular tools that have arisen in the last few years.[when?]
Take a step up from Google Sheets or Excel by moving your data over to a real database. In the past, databases have been the reserve of the IT team, but with tools like Airtable and Fieldbook, non-technical teams can easily get the power of relational databases to create their own tools and systems (like we did for our content asset tracking, as explained here).
With Vyew, anyone can host an Internet session that lets scattered colleagues work together on a project in real time. This Web conferencing platform gives you a very simple whiteboard where you can upload documents for discussion, share your desktop, or create designs from scratch. You don't even have to register to use Vyew, but if you do, you get access to VoIP and other audio services. (free for up to 20 live participants; additional services extra)
Robot Framework is an open-source automation framework that implements the keyword-driven approach for acceptance testing and acceptance test-driven development (ATDD). Robot Framework provides frameworks for different test automation needs. But its test capability can be further extended by implementing additional test libraries using Python and Java. Selenium WebDriver is a popular external library used in Robot Framework.
As most people in the software industry know, there are distinct differences between manual testing and automated testing. Manual testing requires physical time and effort to ensure the software code does everything it’s supposed to do. In addition, manual testers have to make a record of their findings. This involves checking log files, external services and the database for errors. If you’re familiar with manual testing, you know this process can be extremely time-consuming and repetitive.
“Another common mistake is trying to get testers to do both jobs, so when management gives the go ahead for automation testing, any QA related job these days requires some level of automation and testers might get excited about the potential for test automation. But these are both full-time jobs, so often times [these] teams struggle with deciding what to spend limited time on.”
QuickBooks offers literally hundreds of templates for almost any report you could conceivably need. Invoicing? You got it. Accounts payable? Not a problem. Inventory? Check. Time tracking? Yes. QuickBooks will manage your contacts and handle tax issues, forms and returns. It will create a budget for you and do your payroll — although the payroll feature is an add-on that costs a little extra. QuickBooks does pretty much everything except drive you to work.
A subscription to Xero runs varies depending on the plan you choose. Xero will handle five invoices for you, pay five bills and reconcile up to 20 transactions a month with the starter version. You get unlimited reconciliations, invoices and bills with the Standard or Premium plans, and the Premium plan will also handle payroll for you. You’re not locked into the plan you choose — you can change at any time.
You can buy the QuickBooks disc for a “one-time” cost or download the super-duper version for some more dough, but you’ll probably end up footing the bill for upgrades in future years (and the upgrades cost almost as much as the original software). And some of the software’s features and reports just aren’t necessary for small businesses, so you might end up with a lot you can’t use. QuickBooks Pro accommodates up to three users, but the second two will cost you extra, too. It’s only compatible with Windows.
During my three years at Socialtext, I helped maintain a test tooling system through a user interface that was advanced for its time. O'Reilly took it as a case study in the book Beautiful Testing. The team at Socialtext uses the same framework today, although it now has several tests running at one time on Amazon's Electric Compute Cloud. Although we had a great deal of GUI-driving tests, we also had developer-facing (unit) and web services (integration) tests, a visual slideshow that testers could watch for every browser, and a strategy to explore by hand for each release. This combination of methods to reduce risk meant we found problems early.
When it comes to running a small business, having the right tool for the job can make a huge difference in both your workday and your business performance. That’s why now is a great time to be an entrepreneur — you still need to wear a lot of hats, but there have never been more business tools available to help you fit into those hats a little better.
Automated testing is, well, automated. This differs from manual testing where a human being is responsible for single-handedly testing the functionality of the software in the way a user would. Because automated testing is done through an automation tool, less time is needed in exploratory tests and more time is needed in maintaining test scripts while increasing overall test coverage.
Selenium Testing Tools Cookbook is an incremental guide that will help you learn and use advanced features of Selenium WebDriver API in various situations for building reliable test automation. You will learn how to effectively use features of Selenium using simple and detailed examples. This book will also teach you best practices, design patterns, and how to extend Selenium.
You may have noticed that many of these solutions are either built on top of or compatible with Selenium testing. Selenium is undoubtedly the most popular automated security testing framework for web applications. However, it has been extended quite often to add functionality to its core. Selenium is used in everything from Katalon Studio to Robot Framework, but alone, it is primarily a browser automation product.
Sage Intacct is a financial management solution for growing businesses. Sage acquired Intacct in the summer of 2017, a move that gives companies a scalable solution from small business to enterprise. Intacct gives smaller businesses access to accounting, invoicing, purchasing, ordering, and collaboration tools. Optional features include supply chain and project-centered modules that make Sage Intacct customizable for all types of growing businesses.
Automation frameworks provide guidelines to achieve beneficial results from test automation tools and automated testing activity. They establish a universal standard for testers to achieve the specific goals of the automated tests. The framework should be easy to maintain and easy to change. Consider dedicating the role of framework design and development to a dedicated, qualified tester. A poorly designed — or hard to maintain — framework causes problems even if you are using the right automation software tools. Poor planning and the failure to create or select the appropriate framework to guide test automation activity limits the benefits of automating tests.
The platform is not just handy, it is also powerful, giving users absolute control over financial management. It has a myriad of useful features such as P and L, cash flow statements and balance sheets creation, to name a few. The dashboard is pleasant to the eyes and is able to display financial overviews and graphs. Aside from these, the solution is also capable of streamlining other back-office functions.
Although this a complete list of the best software for small businesses in each of these categories, there might be other options that work better for your company. Click on the category headers below for a full list of available products. For personalized recommendations based on your business needs call one of our Technology Advisors at 877-822-9526 for a free, 5-minute consultation.