As a recent Inc. article noted, the SBA disclosed that there were 27.9 million small businesses in the U.S., with 52% of them being home based. That's 14.5 million businesses being run out of homes across America.

Home-based business owners have the same need of having to manage their business as corporate CEOs do. But unlike the big CEO, the "company of 1" entrepreneur needs to wear all the hats and juggle all the responsibilities in the business.

So, what kinds of management tools do these owners use to successfully run their businesses? Here are 3 that have proven invaluable:

Software

The bottom line of any business is...the bottom line. And how well you manage that is crucial. Whether you need help managing projects, accounts, money, yourself or all of the above, there's software out there to assist you.

Trying to get your business organized is one thing. Getting it done on the cheap is another. And getting it done for free is the best thing. As a business owner with likely no employees but yourself, you won't need a robust business management software tool to get what you need done. So why pay for what you don't need?

There is plenty of free software that will do the job nicely. And some can even be found in the clouda place where more and more companies, such as SkyChildCare.com, are turning not only for data storage but for all aspects of the business. The popular childcare management solution provides a free option that's ideal for daycares and allows them to do everything from managing enrollment and scheduling classes to automated tuition collection using credit cards and bank debits. But no single software program will likely satisfy your every management need, especially the free version. Assess what you need now and find one that can provide itand that can upgrade to services and features you may want in the future.

Social Media

You can have the greatest products or services on the planet, but if no one knows about them, how successful will your business be? Even if you're just a company of 1, you need to market it (and yourself).

In today's world, social media is a critical part of any successful marketing plan. Your business will be infinitely moreand more quicklysuccessful with the direct and immediate access to potential customers that social media provides. Plus, its initial cost is minimal. And even if you expand to include SEO and more complex campaigns later, the additional cost is easily justified by a great ROI.

As you venture into social media marketing, you need to figure out the following:

How-to books and websites can help you get started on a simple DIY social media marketing plan. But if you want something more than the basics, you can look for a marketing company that has the small business expertise and specific services to provide what you need.

Hardware

Computer? Laptop? Tablet? Smart phone? You already know about that hardware and likely have at least a couple of them.

What you don't realize you need, for the "home" part of your home-based business, is the most comfortable and ergonomically correct chair you can find and afford. You think it's a luxury? Not if you end up having to squeeze a chiropractor, physical therapist or surgeon into your already overcrowded schedule. Not to mention the costsin medical bills and also in lost business (because you were out of commission or simply so grouchy that you alienated customers).

The perfect chair will be your happy place when seemingly everything else is in utter chaos around you. And that is smart management at the highest level

Published on: Jun 20, 2015