Small businesses help to drive America forward.

While big name retailers love to tout impressive-sounding statistics, the fact is that more consumers prefer to shop at small businesses than larger companies –and many will do so if given the opportunity.

Despite the public’s preference for small companies though, the unfortunate fact is that many small businesses today don’t make it. Small business failures now outpace the number of new small businesses by 30 percent. Recent studies show that 50 percent of small businesses will fail within the first year –and a staggering 95 percent will close shop within the first five years. While the reasons for small business failure vary, in many cases it comes down to mismanagement. Many small business owners find themselves spending so much time working in their business, that they don’t have enough time to work on their business.

Mismanagement is a spiral that can cause a business to go downhill quickly. Before you know it, the business is out of control and no longer turning a profit. While in many ways, running a business today is more difficult than ever –due to factors like the rapidly changing global marketplace, and stiff competition –the good news is that there are a wide variety of helpful tools and software that can help to make life easier. Taking advantage of some of these tools can help you to ensure that your time and resources are being allocated properly, and can also help to simplify many tasks, and provide you with the data that you need to make informed –and smart business decisions.

If you have a startup or small business, here are some helpful tools that can help you to manage and scale your company –putting it on track for success!

Internet Based Time Clock Software

For a small business, excellent time management is an important part of keeping costs down. Employee payroll accounts for a high percentage of a business’ expenses, and for small businesses, this percentage can easily be fifty percent.

Software such as Buddy Punch can help you to track your employees’ time more accurately, allowing you to ensure that you’re not paying workers for time that they haven’t worked –and helping you to save time –and money when it comes to payroll.

Advertising Management Software

What business doesn’t struggle with their advertising efforts? With so many bigger “fish to fry,” advertising often falls to the back burner with small businesses. This is unfortunate because all businesses can benefit from advertising.

Advertising and marketing software is important to help keep track of your customers, build loyalty programs, and keep your business front and center with your clientele. Advertising and marketing is more than just “getting your name out there,” –it’s about grabbing the attention of your target market, and turning them into repeat customers. Using software like Signpost can help you collect and store customer data –allowing you to build loyalty and manage customer relationships; helping you to run targeted marketing and advertising campaigns.

Web Analytics Software

Finally, you don’t need to be a big company to know the importance of website analytics. If you have a website, or are doing any type of online marketing –whether you’re focusing on inbound efforts with SEO, or outbound with external marketing campaigns, being able to measure your success is vital for fine-tuning your efforts, discovering what’s working, and what’s not –and ensuring that your resources are being spent wisely.

Using a tool like Google Analytics or Kissmetrics can help you to measure your success, and ultimately, grow your business.

Starting a small business is one thing, making it successful, though, is another. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to take advantage of some of the great resources that are available today: give yourself an advantage –and help your business to be competitive and successful in today’s constantly changing marketplace.