When utilized correctly, technology and software solutions can dramatically boost your company’s efficiency and, conversely, your profits. Keeping up to date with the latest industry technology is imperative for every modern-day business, that strives to be successful. Read on to find 10 ways to effectively utilize technology as a small business.
1. Accounting software
Accounting software, such as an invoice app, offers opportunities for users to fine tune their financial processes, record accurate data quickly and make informed decisions based on real-time information. As a small business owner, keeping up-to-date with invoicing is essential. Aside from it being the only way your clients or customers will pay you, it is also necessary tax compliance.
It is, therefore, critical to ensure that you have a system in place for recording when your customers have paid and to keep track of any debts that have remained unpaid. With accounting software, you can record and track your payables and receivables. This enables you to know your current as well as future cash flow status. Keeping records of invoices and bills can also help you avoid late fees and overdraft fees.
2. Project and task management tools
Using project management and task management tools are critical to staying on top of your daily business responsibilities when part of a busy team. Cloud-based software gives you everything you need to create team projects, assign and schedule tasks. If you manage a dispersed team, no matter where your team members are, you can remain on track with your scheduled projects.
3. Cloud-based file storage
Cloud storage has proven to be one of the most popular investments for small businesses. Cloud storage allows your files to be accessed on the go by you and your employees. This provides instant access to your files whenever you need them and acts as the perfect file-sharing tool when you need to transfer data in a hurry. Perhaps the biggest benefit of cloud storage, however, is the security it provides in protecting your important business documents off-site.
4. CRM Software (Customer Relationship Management)
CRM software will keep track and automatically organize your customer support, sales, data, interaction, services and a wide range of other information that is important to maintain the relationship between you and your customers. It can also provide you with detailed and accurate statistics to assess your recent performance, in order to identify the areas in which your business needs to improve.
5. Business Phone Systems
Ensuring that excellent and affordable communication is available to your employees is essential to fostering an efficient team. Business phone systems are the solution for any small businesses who are unable to afford expensive telephone equipment and phone bills, and who want to improve the work performance and coordination of various departments.
6. Customer Service
Technology allows small businesses to interact with their customers in ways never before possible. In fact, connecting and engaging with customers and clients has never been easier. Social media allows small businesses to interact with potential customers and advertise their products without the costly fees associated with radio or TV advertising. Online interaction with your valued customers means you can respond quickly and resolve any customer issues promptly.
7. Online Appointment Scheduling
Online appointment scheduling is crucial to ensuring efficiency and teamwork amongst your employees. Online scheduling allows your team to see where each team member is at a glance. It also helps you schedule new appointments with clients or arrange a team meeting in an online setting that is easily accessible to all of your employees.
8. Email marketing
Software that enables automated email marketing is a must for every small business. The automated software enables you to spend more time on growing your business, and less on repetitive and time-consuming tasks. Most email marketing solutions now integrate SMS messages, to ensure you get to your target audience every time.
9. Predictive analysis
Predictive analysis software is a crucial tool in order to make smarter business decisions. This type of software provides small businesses with data-driven and actionable analytics of their finances in order to drive their decision making. Predictive analysis software is also being utilized by small business sales teams, as a way to gather insight into which tactics have successfully engaged your current clients and customers, and how they are spending their money.
10. Mobile apps
More and more small businesses are following the mobile trend to strengthen their businesses in the Digital Age. According to a Gallup survey, almost 90 percent of the mobile-phone time is devoted to using apps. Investing in a mobile app for your small business is key to staying competitive and driving customer demand for your products or services.
Technology can help small business owners leverage limited capital in smart and effective ways. Utilizing technology is imperative to propel forward into emerging markets, and to establish yourself as an industry competitor.