The digital age makes small business owners feel like kids in a candy shop. There are numerous technological innovations, advances, and inventions that all offer unique benefits for generating business growth. It’s up to them to choose the software and equipment that’s best for their business from a huge variety of options.
No doubt, these inventions make running a business easier while improving the overall business process’s efficiency and effectiveness.
But it can be confusing to decide what technology you need as a small business owner. And your budget is likely limited. This means you can’t keep trying out different technologies until you settle on the most beneficial tech. As an entrepreneur, you need to find out what works best and use it right away.
Here are four must-have technologies all small business owners need for a complete setup.
1) Financials (Payment and Invoicing)
Asides from making it easy for your customers to pay (whether your business is online or physical), you also need to invoice and track your cash flow. Invoicing software, payment processing tech such as PayPal, and a host of other financial tools can improve your business’s efficiency.
Remember, your customers are on the lookout for businesses with convenient payment methods. And if you make it difficult to pay you for your services or products, the customer is likely to try the next available option.
2) Customer Relationship Management
Businesses are all about relationships, and this is doubly important for small businesses. You have to make every interaction count and create connections.
A customer relationship management (CRM) tool is a cloud-based or server-based software that enables the business to organize the following information:
- Customer data
- Segment customers
- Reward loyal customers
- Forecast sales data
When used correctly, you can expect the following benefits:
- Customer retention
- Increased conversion rates
- Reduction in marketing costs
- Increased revenue
When looking to sign up for a CRM solution, try out a couple before deciding which fits your business and gives you the best price-performance ratio. Some popular CRM software includes Zoho and HubSpot.
3) Social Media
Social media is a must-use for every small business owner. It’s one of the most affordable marketing channels — not only from a paid media perspective but as an organic medium for speaking and engaging with existing and potential customers. Small businesses can feed their entire marketing funnel (awareness –consideration–conversion) with high-quality leads entirely from social media.
It’s also a fantastic channel for building emotional connections with the brand’s target audience. Plus, it lets small businesses break free of geographical boundaries with their marketing efforts.
4) Finally, Websites
While you probably hear this all the time, it bears repeating — websites are crucial to your small business’s success.
Once a customer hears about your product/service, the next thing they are likely to do is to search for your website. A website is the first impression most customers will have of your business. Plus, it also acts as a contact center for customer complaints.
Without a website, customers will likely assume that the business isn’t digitally-savvy and are not expected to buy from them unless your service is essential. When building a website, remember to ensure it’s mobile-friendly.
Technology is vital to the growth of your small business. While there are tons of technologies out there, investing in the tools mentioned above is likely to bring you returns in the near future. And, you will prevent your business from being sidelined by competitors that are investing in this technology. Instead, you’ll keep up as a threat.
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