Small to medium sized business are vital to any economy as they provide the backbone of service and product provision, create much needed revenue for government in the form of taxes and provide job opportunities which contribute to a low rate of unemployment. The creative side of small businesses is highly valued, as many innovations in product and service design start from these humble beginnings. Additionally, small businesses, as a function of their structure and flexibility, are able to react to market trends and changing consumer preferences and behaviour. This results in many gaps in the market being identified and commercially provided for by small business.Small businesses generally form at the invention of one person’s ideas and actions – an entrepreneur. Commonly entering the market as a result of turning an opportunity into a marketable product or service, entrepreneurs are valued as they are prepared to take risks, are driven by achievement and self motivated, who are not put off by potential failure while driving to be ahead of the competition.Small businesses are well placed to build personal relationships with customers, employees and suppliers. With a small business, you know who you are dealing with, as the face you are commonly seeing is usually the owner. As there is little, if any, hierarchical chains of authority, they are much better positioned than large businesses to develop and respond in a flexible manner to any problems and challenges that may arise. Large companies often have set ways of operating and establish procedures which are often hard to change.Due to their size and flexibility, SME’s are well positioned to introduce and develop new ideas and concepts in a commercially viable manner. This is empowered through the owners not having to seek approval for any immediate changes to the business, its offering or how they operate. In contrast to larger firms where their overheads must be offset with high levels of output to spread the costs, small businesses, through their ability to make a profit on much lower sales figures, are able to sell to smaller markets, establishing a niche where they have competitive advantage over larger firms.However, it is not all rosy for the SME, as they face many barriers in the delivery of their products and services and the owner is usually at a financial risk with the monetary investment required to open the operation. Additionally, financials and economies of scale that larger firms enjoy are not achievable, resulting in the purchase of materials that form the businesses offerings to market, being of a higher price. The owner often lacks many of the necessary skills required to successfully operate a business, which is reflected in the high number of failures within the first year of operation. The lack of experience and knowledge is often hindered by the inability of the business to afford consultants which have expertise in the areas of accounting, marketing, stock control and other essential elements of performance.In reaction to this, software developers have created a suite of small business software management tools that level out the playing field, with affordable and workable management solutions that assist the small business in the development of business financial reporting, financial budgeting and planning, stock control, employee payments and tax responsibilities. Don’t let your lack of experience hold you back from streamlining your operation.A small business software management tool will allow you to take back control of your business, reduce costs and allow you to spend more time at what you are good at… identifying more opportunities in the marketplace to be fulfilled.