Nowadays, business and technology are two fields that go hand in hand. They’re like cheese and wine, bacon and eggs, or mashed potatoes and gravy. I’m not saying that you should treat them like food. Instead, they’re more like two fields that complement each other very well. And the sooner you realize this, the better it will be for you and your business.
A recent survey listed the common technologies that most small businesses use. Small businesses, in particular, need the help of technology to move forward. Without technology, it would be hard to run a business in today’s digital-centric world. That’s why to help you determine which technology is best for your business, we’ve listed the top 10 that you should consider:
You can’t do business without having good data security. Your online data is always in danger from viruses, phishing, DDOS, and other malicious programs. That’s why you need a useful data security application to make sure your data is safe and secure.
Right now, 68% of small- to medium-sized businesses use this technology. That’s a fair amount. But if you’re one of the 32% that don’t, your business is in grave danger. The issue of data security is so severe that some countries made laws about it. For instance, in the United Kingdom, businesses that are found to lack data protection are subject to a fine.
You might think that you don’t qualify since you only have a hand few of clients. But that makes you even more vulnerable to online attacks. So, do yourself and your business a favor by implementing online data security. You’ll thank me later for it.
Human resource software is a program that’s designed to aid both employees and management. By automating some of the human resource work, both parties can perform at their utmost potential. Having HR software will also boost work productivity. In turn, it will improve employee satisfaction and morale.
Implementing HR software to your small business will also help improve operations and make things easier. Tasks like tracking long-term employee development will no longer be a manual job. Instead, you can automate it by having your software track each employee’s performance and rating.
Custom Relationship Management
Customer relationship management, or CRM, is the lifeblood of the entire business. You can’t grow and progress if you don’t have a healthy relationship with your customers. Fortunately, engaging with your customers and cultivating a good relationship with them is no longer a challenging task to do. With a customer relationship management program, you can automate everything.
From responding to customer inquiries to guiding them towards making a purchase, a CRM has all the tools you need to connect with your customers. If you’re looking to grow your business, you can’t progress without proper CRM. That’s why you should consider getting one.
While it is an essential program to incorporate, only a meager 56% of small- to medium-sized businesses implement it. It’s time you do, too. If your business doesn’t have a CRM, get one and see how amazing it is at managing your customers. Trust me; the difference is night and day.
Website Implementation & Enhancement Tools
Don’t have an online presence? No worries! There are tons of website tools available that will help get one for you. Have a website but don’t know how to optimize it? Again, no worries! There are lots of website implementation and enhancement tools that you can use.
Always keep in mind that having a website isn’t enough. To take full advantage of it, you need to make sure that it’s fully optimized. With a website enhancement tool, you can see what areas within your website need work and what needs improvement. That way, you can fix these areas and improve your website’s overall visibility on the internet.
In addition, you can even improve the overall user experience. Another thing to keep in mind is that your customer’s impression of your website will be crucial. Do they think it’s too cluttered? Did they have a problem with navigation? Are the colors striking? Is the content relevant? All of these questions will be addressed when you have the right tools for it.
You may not know it, but your business may find more success if it has its mobile application. You might think that this strategy is only worth it if your business is already big and relevant enough. But trust me, starting early is the key to success.
People want convenience. That’s why 95% of what they do are found on their mobile device. Want to contact someone? Check. Want to browse the internet? Check. Want to buy something? Check. Want to watch movies, order pizza while also calling your friends to come over? Check, check, and check! What I mean is that mobile applications are relevant, and you need to take advantage of it.
Let’s say you run a small ticketing office. Your customers will appreciate the convenience of ordering tickets from you via a mobile application. Just have them download your app, and they can transact there. Again – mobile applications offer convenience, which is the biggest feature any business can offer its clients.
Cloud computing is the delivery of on-demand computing services – from application to storage – without the user’s direct active management. In short, it lets users save their data online in safe and secure storage called a ‘Cloud.’
If your business finds itself recording and saving user information, you need a ready cloud computing application. Not only will it save data, but your customers will also appreciate the convenience. With a cloud computing application in place, your customers won’t have to manually enter their personal information.
Right now, 59% of small business owners claim that cloud computing made their business more agile and scalable. Another 51% called it a necessary feature to have in a modern-day business. It’ not much of a surprise considering the cloud can help strained data filing systems and budget.
Innovative Payment Methods
Just because you offer multiple payment options doesn’t mean people are going to be interested in that. For one, you’re still taking money from their pockets. So, why not make it enticing for them by offing an innovative payment method?
It’s obvious that people who shop online want to pay for their orders in the same manner. But that doesn’t always mean the traditional ways (e.g., bank transfer, PayPal, credit card, etc.). Sometimes, you need to think of ways that will convince your customers and entice them to pay. If you’re looking for inspiration, look at Microsoft Pay. It’s a method that Microsoft uses to request payment from its valued customers.
Another great example are invoicing platforms. ReliaBills, for instance, is a great invoicing system as it offers a plethora of features that will help you get paid. Not only will you get a variety of templates to create your unique invoice, but you will also automate the entire payment process. You can schedule your invoice and get notifications when it’s received and payment has been made. For more information, visit www.reliabills.com.
Artificial technology has improved throughout the years. Now, you can use it to communicate with your customers. Chatbots provide a convenient way for you to respond to each of your customers’ queries. Chatbots are software applications that are generally used to conduct online conversations via text or text-to-speech.
As your business grows and your customers increase in numbers, a chatbot application will make more sense. You can’t just go through your social media messenger or email and expect to handle a boatload of messages from customers. Instead, you need the help of artificial intelligence.
With a chatbot in place, you can focus more on your business without having to worry about people trying to reach out to you. Of course, you can hire customer service representatives to respond to queries from customers. But a chatbot will make it twice as fast and convenient.
Also Read: Bitcoin guide for beginners
Email marketing has been a thing since 1978. Today, it’s still a relevant method to promote your business. By using email marketing tools, you can create a sequence that will automate all of your emails. That way, you won’t have to manually send them yourself (doing so is a nightmare).
Manual email marketing is only viable if you’re sending your blasts to one person. But since we’re doing business and we are targeting multiple customers, automation is inevitable. Fortunately, tons of email marketing platforms available are not only effective but user-friendly as well.
We’ve just covered nine of the most useful technologies for Small Businesses. This long list might overwhelm you with information, and you might think that you need all of them. But you don’t. In fact, you’ll only need a few of these technologies to get your business going. Before you chose, assess what your business needs first. Determine how you can improve your operations and what particular area you’ll need to improve.
Ossian Rey is a Digital Marketing Consultant at ReliaBills, a software that helps businesses getting paid on time. Loves milk and small chat.