It doesn’t matter how big your company is, the chances are that you use at least some level of technology in your business. Tech has become ubiquitous in recent years, and indeed it’s gone from being something that’s nice to have to be something that’s absolutely vital. It’s just part of the price of doing business in the 21st century.
The technology that we choose to use can have a big impact on the success (or lack thereof) of your business, and if you’re a small business then it can even mean the difference between your company surviving and going under. The good news is that we’ve done the hard work for you and brought together five of the best tech solutions for small businesses.
5 Tech Solutions You should Implement in Your Small Business
1. Communication tools
An astonishing 97% of employees believe that communication has an impact on the tasks that they perform on a daily basis, and perhaps that’s unsurprising. After all, unless you’re working in a vacuum then the chances are that you rely on other people to some extent, whether it’s a boss who briefs you on what work to do or whether it’s a customer with specific demands.
That’s why one of the most important uses of technology in business is to facilitate communication. The good news is that there’s a huge range of options out there on the market, including Skype for video calls, Slack for instant messaging and Trello for task management. The exact tools that you use don’t matter too much, as long as they’re helping your team to communicate.
2. A website
One of the most important elements of doing modern business is an online presence. This means having both a website and active social networking profiles. The problem is that to keep them going, you need to keep on pumping them full of fresh content if you want to give people a reason to keep coming back. And not only do you need to post content, but also you need to make sure that it’s unique and that it’s never been posted elsewhere.
The good news is that it’s relatively easy to check plagiarism online, and there are tons of free services where you can upload your content and get an instant report on whether any of it is duplicated. This is super important if you want to get found on search engines, and while it’s a bad idea to blindly trust your writers, there’s also a chance that they might accidentally plagiarise just by subconsciously rewriting something that they’ve read elsewhere.
QuickBooks is a dedicated software program that’s designed to make it as easy as possible for small businesses to take care of their accounts. Business owners and finance teams will be able to track their cash flow in real-time, and they’ll also be able to reduce the amount of time they spend actively working on monitoring their accounts. That’s a big deal when you consider that self-employed people in the UK waste around 15 days every year on managing their finances.
The good news is that QuickBooks covers everything from expenses and mileage to VAT and digital self-assessment. It’s also entirely cloud-based, which means that you can access it from any internet-connected device and manage your finances on the go.
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and is the same technology that Skype uses to enable telephone calls over the internet. You don’t have to use Skype to take advantage of VoIP though – you can pick up VoIP phones, which involve an upfront cost for the hardware but which will reduce your operating costs and ultimately save you money.
If you’re planning on making a lot of phone calls or if you regularly have to dial internationally, VoIP is a solid choice for you. Even if not, it can help small businesses to run virtual phone numbers so that they can have different numbers for different departments, even if they’re all crewed by the same person. Ultimately, VoIP can save money over time while making the company to appear as professional as possible.
According to IBM, every dollar spent on online training leads to $30 worth of productivity, which is a pretty impressive ROI. That’s why it’s a good idea to take advantage of the opportunities that online training has to offer, with Skillshare in particular standing out as one of the top sites for personal and self-development. That’s because they have such a wide variety of courses covering everything from writing and graphic design to meditation, communication and more.
Now that you know the five most important tech solutions for small businesses, the next step is for you to figure out which ones work best for you in your situation. The good news is that you can take out trials of most of these solutions to play around with them and to see whether they work for you or not.
Remember too that this list is only a partial list of tools, and there are plenty of others out there for those who are prepared to take advantage of them. If the tools on this list don’t work for you, don’t hesitate to drop them or to look elsewhere for alternatives. The most important thing is that they add value. Good luck.