Technology helps us reduce our workload while giving us the tools to work smarter and more efficiently. For businesses, this means saving time while generating more profits. It also means easy communication and increased brand awareness.
And the benefits of using tech for your business cannot be overstated. One study by Oracle found that firms that utilize emerging technologies increased their annual revenue by approximately 58%.
Yet not many small businesses are using technology appropriately. According to a study done recently by Deloitte, as many as 80% of US small businesses are not taking advantage of full digital tools.
For this reason, we put the following article together to help you identify must-have technologies for your small business that will bring efficiency and operational success.
Project Management Software
As a small business owner, you are constantly juggling workload that includes paperwork, budgets, ongoing projects, and dealing with clients. All these tasks can become overwhelming, especially if you lack a system that helps with organization.
This is where you’ll find project management software useful. If you prefer working in a smart and organized way, then you should consider using project management solutions. You’ll be surprised at just how much time and effort you can save by using such.
For instance, if you have a lot of ongoing projects, managing them all at once would be incredibly frustrating, not to mention time-consuming. But using reputable project management software (PMS) allows you to not only manage all your projects in one place but to also assign tasks to your team members while collaborating on the same.
We recommend checking out GanttPro if you’re a new entrepreneur or Teamwork if you’re looking for the best project management software for client work. Some PMS like Teamwork, allow you to communicate by creating messages within the different task projects. What’s great about such solutions is that messages on PMS replace email communication.
This saves you a lot of time digging through old emails trying to look for a specific one. It also streamlines communication, allowing you and your project team members to communicate and handle any issues that involve the completion of your projects.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System
CRM systems are tools designed to help businesses manage their interactions and communications with both existing and potential customers. If you want to put your sales and marketing efforts on auto-pilot, you should consider using a CRM system as they are also handy in this department.
A solid CRM system will help you collect, analyze, and organize client information from various sources, including website forms, email correspondence, phone calls, and social media interactions. This information is typically analyzed for customer behavior, preferences, and needs.
Having CRM software is essential for small businesses as these tools allow them to improve their customer engagement and, in the process, streamline their sales and marketing. It also adds an element of efficiency to their operations.
Data Security and Privacy Technologies
It’s normal for small business owners to overlook data security and privacy as people assume that such concerns belong to the big corporations flaunting deep pockets. Unfortunately, that’s not the case; small businesses are also prone to cyber-attacks.
One study showed that 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses. Another one showed that 60% of small businesses that get hit by a cyber attack go out of business within six months. Such alarming numbers outline the importance of data security and privacy for small businesses.
These security technologies help protect your sensitive information, whether it’s your customers’ personal data or your own confidential business information. Such technologies include encryption software, firewall, VPNs, and two-factor authentication solutions.
Another tool you should consider using to bolster your data security and privacy is antivirus software. The best antivirus software protects your computer and network from harmful viruses that can compromise your sensitive information, damage your computer, or hold your data hostage.
An Online Scheduling Calendar
An online scheduling calendar is another tool that will help you save time and money as a small business. As a business owner, you probably have a notoriously busy schedule. And as most business owners, you could hire a person on a full-time basis who you’ll pay thousands of dollars every month to help you with scheduling.
However, if you’re looking to save money and time, you should consider using an online calendar. Fortunately, there are a ton of calendars out there. But consider those ones that have integration capabilities. Also, consider those ones that allow you to send reminders.
For instance, Schedule One allows you to send reminders before and after appointments. It even thanks clients for showing up to the meeting afterward. You can send a link to your clients, and they can see your availability. From there, they can choose their preferred meeting time.
A Dedicated Phone System
Small business owners typically use their personal lines, including personal Gmail accounts and phone numbers to communicate with their clients. This is understandable, considering that most small businesses are fairly new and might lack the resources to have a fully-fledged phone system. However, this is a significant mistake that you could be making even without knowing.
You want to show your clients that you are professional and have an established business. One of the ways that you can achieve this is by using a phone system that allows you to interact with your clients professionally.
What do we mean by this? For example, you need a phone system that allows your calls to have an automated response such as, “Press one if you want to speak to an agent.” Such systems have a recorded voicemail that gives you the opportunity to leave a branded message.
They also allow you to route the calls to different people. This is especially important for small businesses that operate remotely or virtually.
Although there are many solutions out there that can help with this, Emitrr has stood out as an all-in-one customer communication solution. And remember, a vital part of any successful business operation involves efficient customer engagement. Emitrr Solutions offer great tools that will help you interact with customers wherever they are using phone, text, and chat.
Small businesses that embrace technology and make use of full digital tools have a greater chance of succeeding than those that don’t. Having the right technology goes a long way in handing your business the success it deserves.
But for the right tech solution to work, you must first have a general idea of your needs and the different types of tech solutions out there. Before you go splurging on your next tech solution, be sure to revisit your business’s unique needs.
With that said, some of the most important tech solutions that you should consider investing in as a small business include project management software, online scheduling calendars, a dedicated phone system, a CRM system, and a data security/ privacy system.
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