And that's the rub: Great gains are possible using productivity software, but they require nothing short of constant tinkering to tease out the actual business practices that improve my bottom line. In effect, to make these tools work, I am always monitoring how we exchange information here in Blumworld. I am always experimenting to make data and project flow as effective as possible. I am always asking my employees to try something new. Now, this all sounds very Jack Welch, Harvard Business School noble of me, but I assure you the process is very much not that. Change can drive you and your employees nutty. So as I review these productivity packages over the coming months, you'll see change for what it is: cold, irritating, never-ending, wasteful even ... and marvelously transformative. Yes, you will need a real willingness to fight the integration fight it will take to fit these tools into the quirks of your own living, breathing, imperfect small business. But imagine the power that lies ahead. These business automation tools offer a once-in-a-generation opportunity to the exact same technology the biggest companies in the world use to be, well, the biggest companies in the world. If you can find -- and master -- the right business software tools for your business, I can't see how any competitor in your market can stop you.