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Q: I’m a small business owner looking for the simplest, “user-friendly” software to manage my daily receipts, inventory and products, client appointments, etc. Can you recommend any software packages that might best satisfy my requirements?
–C. Wheeler, Via the Internet
A: There are a host of solutions on the market to manage your small business needs—from basic contact management, or personal information management (PIMs) software, to full-fledged powerhouses. For small business contact-management needs, consider Act! 6.0 (www.act.com) and Lotus Organizer, which is part of the SmartSuite package (www.lotus.com). Another good choice is GoldMine Business Contact Manager from FrontRange Solutions, which can serve you well as your business grows (www.front range.com).
For financial management, the clear choice is QuickBooks (www.intuit.com), which is an excellent option for small businesses in need of a simple, user-friendly product that doesn’t require you to be a CPA. QuickBooks offers three business software applications: Basic is the entry-level product, pro has more advanced features, and premier is the top of the line.
NetLedger and MYOB are also good options to consider. The key in selecting any product is to make sure it has the features you need to manage your business finances and contacts —and that the product can accommodate your business as it grows.
Mail your technology questions to Cyberwise, BLACK ENTERPRISE, 130 Fifth Ave., New York,NY 10011, or send an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.