As millennials we have grown up around technology, so when it comes to setting up a business it makes sense to utilize this. Not only are older, manual methods time consuming and tedious but they’re something we’re lucky enough to never have had to experience. Instead, we can make use of the incredible technology out there to create an efficient and productive business.
The only problem is, with so many programs, apps, software and gadgets out there these days it can be difficult knowing exactly what you need. If you’re in this situation, here are some types of technologies you should be utilizing in your small or medium sized business.
Good Business Software
Business software takes a lot of the hassle and hard work out of many elements of your business. CRM (customer relationship management) software for example can help to give customers a more personal experience with your company. It keeps all of their details in one place, meaning it can target ads and recommend products based on their preferences amongst other things. HR software can come in useful, especially the shift planning features they offer. Otherwise you could end up short staffed or double booking shifts and end up losing money. You could even end up with employees getting confused where the shifts weren’t planned properly. If you’re wondering how to deal with no call, no show employees there’s plenty of advice online on this matter. Good accounting software means you can keep your books in order and carefully manage spending and other financial elements of your business.
When your accountant comes to do your taxes, it will be quicker and easier for them- and therefore cheaper for you- since everything will already be in order. If your business involves selling and pitching ideas to customers and clients, you might need presentation software. Some keep things simple, while others give you the ability to create more intricate presentations so it all depends on what you’re selling, your preferences and budget.
A Live Chat Feature
These days, phone calls can actually feel a little dated and will be most customers least preferred method of communication. As well as being able to contact you via email, contact form and social media, a live chat feature is a fantastic addition to your business. It gives customers a chance to quickly have queries resolved, and provides a convenient and fast method of communication. Not all customers will pick up the phone to have a question answered and may leave your site without making an order. Having a live chat feature there can give people the boost they need to go ahead and buy with you. Your best bet is to provide customers with as many contact options as possible, but live chat is certainly one that most people will be happy to use. There are lots of programs out there so decide which works best for you.
Cloud Online Backup Software
Are you old enough to remember storage like floppy discs? From there we moved on to things like hard drives, but there’s something still inherently wrong with this kind of backup. If something happens to your disk or drive, whether it’s theft, flood or fire, you lose the information stored on it. Cloud based storage on the other hand means no matter what happens to your devices, your data is safe. It means you can access information from any computer too, and with more companies getting on board with a home- based work force (at least some of the time) this is particularly useful. When you use cloud based backup services, the information is encrypted for safety and stored away so it’s safe from theft and physical damage.
A Blogging Platform
Blogging has really taken off in the past few years, and the benefits of blogging for business are well understood. It can boost your page rank in search engines meaning more organic traffic. Blog posts promote social shares which mean free advertising and exposure for you. They also help to build up trust from potential customers as they can see you know your stuff in the field you’re selling in. Blogging platforms like WordPress easily integrate with websites so it’s an additional thing you can do to boost business and utilise what’s currently out there with technology.
Email Marketing Tools
Email marketing tools are quick and easy to use, and can really help to boost your business and profits. They can attract new customers as well as maintain relationships with existing ones. Email is cheap and has a large reach, and best of all has been shown to lead to increased leads and sales. It’s a quick and efficient way to deliver a message to your customers, and is a proven method to promoting business. When you’re shopping for an email marketing program for your business, go with one with a great user interface and is simple to use. It should of course contain all of the features that you need specifically for your business.
Powerful Computers and Smartphones
You can’t upgrade your software and programs without first upgrading your equipment! Give your employees access to fast and reliable computers– this will make them more efficient and productive and means you’re not wasting minutes or hours of your work week waiting for repairs. If you have employees that are out on the road such as sales reps or those that travel to hold conferences and meetings, it could make sense to kit them out with a good smartphone. That way they can do everything they need to without having to stop and use a laptop. While most people have their own smartphone these days, you providing one means everything can be monitored and will be free of personal distractions.