Software Services for Running a Small but Mighty Organization

A walk through the software that we use to run Harled Inc, a small business in Canada.
Chris Young
Chris Young
May 31, 2024

Picking the software tools and services to support you business is not only hard, but it robs you of a lot of time that could be invested in running or growing the business. As a small organization there are never enough resources to go around. Because of this, we wanted to share with you the software that we use to run our company.

This stack has been used for a team of two, a team of five and scaling to a team of fifteen. We are in the tech sector, however, this stack works for many organizations and we've found that it offers a great mix of price/performance and functionality.

Our Philosophy

We appreciate how easy it can be to accumulate an endless number of services. They start as experiments, end up playing some critical business role and then have a tendency to dissapear or jack up the price. As a small business, continuity is already a big enough problem, the software stack shouldn't be adding to it!

Because of this, we work very hard to minimize the tools that we use and to avoid redundancy wherever possible. In our handbook we offer explicit guidance on the purpose of each tool and how we leverage them. When we do decide to change platforms, we aggressively migrate. The alternative is a bunch of half used tools, also known as a mess. We are well aware of the "YAT" effect, Yet Another Tool!

Our Minimalist Software / Service Stack

At a high-level the stack involves the following software tools and services:

  • Google Workspace - Email, document collaboration, file storage and video meetings.
  • Slack - Team chat and occasionally huddles (video calls).
  • Google Analytics / Google Search Console - SEO, site performance.
  • PeachyHR - Team performance management, learning management system and daily collaboration.
  • Digital Ocean - Cloud hosting (compute, storage, networking).
  • Wagepoint - Payroll.
  • Quickbooks Online - Accounting and financial reporting.

Next we'll dive into each tool and why we've stuck with it.

Google Workspace

We've evaluated (and used) alternatives like Office 365 and Zoho, but Google Workspace just works. It is straightforward for document collaboration and the inbox / calendar is familiar to virtually everyone. Meetings do what we need and the overall administration (done in a secure way) is a very manageable effort.

Learn more about Google Workspace


Slack has been the de facto for team chat and collaboration for our team for a long time. There are free tiers that work well with paid tiers that offer boots in features and data history. We've run with both, and depending on your policy the free tier can work very well (treat everything in Slack as temporary).

Learn more about Slack

Google Analytics / Google Search Console

We use both tools to manage the performance of our various domains / landing pages. It is easy to get lost in the features, however, both provide some easy insights at the top-level which we find sufficient to tell us how we're doing and where we can improve.

Learn more about Google Analytics


First off, we built it. But Peachy offers us a slew of tools to help us multiply the output of our team. It handles goals, learning, meeting agendas and much more. It integrates with Google Workspace and Slack and functionally makes up the heart of the Harled OS.

Learn more about PeachyHR

Digital Ocean

We're fortunate in that we're a tech business and we have the ability to interface with Digital Ocean. If your organization is less techie then this option probably won't work for you. We've worked with all major cloud vendors and Digital Ocean just makes things easy. We can spin up low cost droplets for experiments, integrate storage and DNS all without a PhD in IAM.

Learn more about Digital Ocean


We use wagepoint to handle all payroll, including employees (salary), contractors (invoices) and directors (dividends). They offer an effective payout price point and a simple interface to keep track of employees and generate / deliver any relevant tax documentation.

Learn more about Wagepoint

QuickBooks Online (QBO)

We originally worked with Wave (and loved it), however, when migrating to corporate accounting firms QBO seems to rule the day. We use QBO for our financial performance reviews, bookkeeping and tax.

Learn more QuickBooks Online

We hope that giving you a glimpse into the software that we use to run our business helps you in running yours. If you have any questions about the role an item plays in our organization, or even if you have a suggestion about something you've had a great deal of success with then we'd love to hear from you via the contact us page.

About the author

Chris Young

Chris is dedicated to driving meaningful change in the world through software. He has taken dozens of projects from napkin to production in fast yet measured way. Chris has experience delivering solutions to clients spanning fortune 100, not-for-profit and Government.