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There are 8 Areas Tech and Software Can Boost Your Small Business.
It seems like it wasn’t that long ago when you could manage your small business operations with basic computer skills and a phone. But the reality is that those elements won’t get you very far in this day and age. To launch and grow a thriving business now means that you must have an arsenal of tech skills and software at your disposal. After all, chances are your competition is taking advantage of the technology available to small businesses, and you don’t want to get left behind.
If you know that your company needs to step up to the plate but aren’t sure where to start, that’s OK. Technology is constantly evolving, and most business owners are either playing catch-up or striving to stay a step ahead of competitors. ResearcherStore is on your side. We’ve put together a list of eight areas in which your small business can use tech and software to boost efficiency and profit. Let’s get started!
To people who are not business owners, payroll may seem like it would be pretty simple. Little do they know it’s one of the most complex parts of running a business and that the smallest error can result in significant penalties.
If you need help making your payroll system more efficient, look into full-service payroll services like QuickBooks. This platform has tons of features that will help your payroll stay organized, including same-day direct deposit and electronic tax filing, calculating, and payroll scheduling. Implementing such a system is especially beneficial for growing businesses.
2. Document Sharing
Chances are, your team is going to need to share documents and data with each other at some point, if not every day. You want to make sure that you can do this securely, and you want it to be easy. Note-taking apps like Evernote provide an easy-to-use interface for storing research and sharing sources with others via the cloud. Google Workspace is one of the most comprehensive cloud-based sharing platforms, as it comes with Google Docs, Google Sheets, and many other programs. Another great thing about Google Workspace is that the programs are compatible with Microsoft, so you can quickly change a document or a spreadsheet into a Microsoft format if necessary.
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3. Time Management
No one needs to tell you about the importance of productivity. Without it, no business has any chance of success. Fortunately, there are many software solutions on the market to help you and your team stay organized and work efficiently.
Time tracking tools like Toggl make it easy to track how much time is being spent on each project. If you’re a fan of making to-do lists, you might like Remember the Milk, which is an online to-do list app that emails you reminders of tasks that need to be completed. Then, there’s the Freedom app that will literally disconnect you from the Internet so that you can tackle your tasks with minimal distractions.
If you work with a remote team, you have tons of resources at your disposal these days. For example, Slack is a communication/collaboration app that allows you to chat with team members, automate menial day-to-day tasks, and streamline jobs between team members. Basecamp also allows you to chat but it brings some project management aspects to your fingertips, such as document and file sharing and clear timelines.
Another excellent communication software is Zoom, which is one of the top video chat apps on the market. Zoom allows you to have up to 500 participants per video, as well as up to 10,000 views. It’s an indispensable tool for virtual meetings, training, workshops, technical support, and many other video functions.
5. Customer Service
Nothing is more important to the health of your business than how you interact with customers. These days, most customers expect quick and helpful responses to their questions and problems. If you show your customers that you hear them and value them, you stand a good chance of building a loyal base of support. Consider investing in software like Help Scout, LiveAgent, and Salesforce to boost your customer relations and, ultimately, your bottom line.
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6. Website Platforms
Business owners used to have to bring in a programmer every time they wanted something altered on their website. Those days are over. Now, there are various website platforms on the market that are tailored to people with limited experience in web design or development. Wix, WordPress, and Squarespace are a few of the leading platforms among small business owners.
If you want to make upgrades to your website without having to call your professional developer each time, invest in one of these platforms. You’ll be able to add, remove, or edit content and make design changes in minutes. Speaking of design, you have access to a wide array of customizable templates, as well as a wealth of SEO features that can drive some serious traffic to your site. And all of this comes at an affordable price.
7. Email Marketing
Social media gets a lot of attention, and rightfully so. But email is still a very effective channel for reaching customers. Use software like MailChimp or Constant Contact to execute brand campaigns by sending out coupons, exclusive promotions, and newsletters to your customers. These solutions also allow you to reach new audiences by compiling email lists of potential customers, and they provide excellent analytics so that you can track your campaign progress.
8. Social Media
As previously mentioned, social media deserves all the attention it gets. It’s the single most important marketing channel for most types of businesses, and it can be used to get your brand in front of millions of people.
However, using social media effectively is not as easy as many business owners believe. To develop a solid presence, you must go further than simply promoting your products and services. Look into all the platforms (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) to see how you can engage with your audience, and provide helpful, interesting content on a regular basis.
Using tech and software is more than just recommended in this day and age. It’s critical for the health of any small business. Boost the efficiency of your operations and stay ahead of the competition by learning about and implementing the ideas above. And always keep looking for other ways to stay relevant and push your company forward!