A successful small business depends on many things, one being the tools that are utilized. 

Having the right tools can make a huge difference in how successful a business ultimately becomes. Being an effective manager means employing the tools necessary to attain profitability long-term, you'll need more than your brilliant mind to get ahead. The new year is just a couple weeks away, which makes this a great time to look into the tools your business is utilizing now, and those it will need to continue success through 2015. Now is the time to make sure your business isn't lagging behind with the tools that it employs. Check out the tips below for more on what successful businesses use to improve productivity:

1. Internal messaging system
Many businesses avoid internal messaging systems because managers are afraid that their employees will abuse the privilege, and waste time chatting rather than working, according to Yast. The problem is, if you're a manager who focuses on the potential downfalls of internal chat systems, then you're missing out on all the benefits that they could provide for your business. Internal messaging will allow your employees to share vital information without disrupting their workflows too much. And don't worry about spending too much money – systems such as Google Chat are totally free and allow for simple sharing of information. 

2. An online presence
While this may seem obvious to most, it is still important to note that an online presence is necessary for success, Paychex explained. For example, the payroll and human resources company cited a study that found 82 percent of small businesses have established an online presence. The National Small Business Administration also found that 85 percent have small businesses sell their products through that website. This can be a big task, and it will require constant work, but it is vital to running a successful business these days. 

3. Document storage systems
One issue that a number of small business face these days is how to store the files that tend to build exponentially over time, Yast noted. Internal file storage systems can be expensive, whether they be massive filing cabinets or costly external hard drives. This is why it is a good idea for small business owners to look into cloud storage in order to save money and ensure their documents remain safe. You probably don't want to lose next year's financial plan. Keeping files in the cloud allows businesses to save money, keep space-taking filing cabinets out of the office and access important documents with little-to-no effort at all. 

4. Promotions and premiums
One way that businesses can bring in customers is to offer promotions and premiums, according to Investopedia. A number of small businesses hand out coupons to customers and offer gifts that come along with various purchases. Some also offer discounted gifts at events such as charity get-togethers. How effective these promotions and gifts will be, though, really depends on the target audience and what you are handing out to them. 

5. Billing and invoicing software
Another fairly obvious tool necessary for small businesses to survive is billing and invoicing software, Yast explained. If customers purchase your services, you're going to have to track those transactions somehow. Cloud-based programs can be very useful for small business owners that don't want their billing and invoicing files to take up too much space. This will ease the billing process and make the transactions your business gets involved in much smoother. 

Business owners need a set of tools for success. It is difficult to run a business, and every bit of help can prove significantly useful. Use some of the tools listed above to make your business more productive.