Cutting-edge innovations aren't just for huge corporations. Small businesses can likewise benefit from technology, which can help make operations more efficient and save money. The key to success is picking the right technologies that offer a practical benefit to your everyday business life and will thus offer a good return on investment.
This guide highlights some of the most useful tech tools and software products that no small business should be without. Take a read through to see what might be useful for you.
A quality smartphone
Still clinging to your old phone? It's time to upgrade. With the right aps, a great smartphone can become a multifunctional work tool, helping with everything from project management to appointment scheduling. Many of the tech tools and softwares discussed below have apps, allowing you to make the most of your technological investment even when you're on the go.
Reliable video conferencing technology
Video conferencing is the way of the future. As the business world increasingly embraces remote working, it's critical that you have a reliable tool you can use to connect with clients, vendors, workers, and more. RingCentral offers a roundup of the best video conferencing software, including Google Meet, Zoom, UberConference, Zoho Meeting, and Microsoft 365.
Cloud-based file storage
From invoices to contracts, digitize your paperwork. This will save you valuable space, eliminating the need for clunky files. Plus, it's more secure, since your documents can be easily backed up. You won't have to worry about papers getting wet or otherwise ruined. Opt for a cloud-based storage provider, which can enhance cooperation and improve security.
A digital project management app
Project management software allows you to keep control of project deliverables and schedules, minimizing the risk of delays. This can be especially useful when your business is juggling multiple projects simultaneously. When selecting a tool to use, look for essential project management functions, like resource allocation, budget costs, and time tracking.
Payroll automation software
If payroll is taking up too much of your time, try switching to a full-service payroll software platform. You'll be able to automate processes like employee time tracking and payments (for example, with automated same-day direct deposits). Advanced technologies like QuickBooks can even provide options that include automatic calculations to streamline your business tax filing, full support to ensure accuracy and compliance, and protect you from tax penalties.
Website management tools
A user-friendly website can be a great way to attract customers to your business. Unfortunately, a website isn't something you can create once and never think about again. Your digital platform requires constant upkeep. Luckily, there are tools available to help with managing everything from design to ecommerce, SEO, marketing, analytics, and more.
Social media automation technology
Social media is one of the most valuable marketing tools for small businesses, as it's both cost-efficient and effective. That said, maintaining multiple channels can get tiring. HootSuite provides a primer to automation tools that can make it easier, like Zerofox and Chatfuel. By devoting less time to social media, you'll have more time for your core business tasks.
From your website to your email, you want to secure your online business activities. Data theft is a common issue for businesses. In the worst-case scenario, a data breach can compromise customer data and put you at risk of a lawsuit. Invest in cybersecurity software like malware protection.
You might think that you're doing your small business a favor by avoiding spending money on technology. In fact, you are putting yourself at risk of falling behind. Technological innovations like those described above will ultimately benefit your business.