While it used to be that most tech was inaccessible to small business owners due to the cost, these days there are plenty of budget-friendly options to choose from, whether you want to keep your website secure or offer more payment options to customers. The biggest task is narrowing down which ones you feel are best for your business.
You might start by keeping up with the latest in tech news at THETECHMUSK.com, which will help you feel more prepared to make an informed decision. You can also do a little research on your competitors to find out what they’re using on their end, as well as on your customers to determine what their needs are.
Another easy way to find great tech solutions for your business is to attend conventions and trade shows, where you’ll get access to tons of great new ideas and products that are specifically made for business owners. Not only that, attending these events will help you network and make connections in your field that could be beneficial down the road.
Ready to start narrowing down your options? Use this guide to get started when you need to figure out which tools are best for your business:
Start with free online tools and boost your branding
While there are several types of tech and software options that your business can invest in, there are also some free resources online, so it’s best to start there and knock out a few of your basic needs. If you need to start tracking your customers’ movements on your website, utilize Google analytics and learn more about your audience with detailed data that will help you make marketing decisions and financial projections. Need to update your website or social media pages with a fresh banner? Try a banner design tool that allows you to create banners online using a customizable template—just input your choices of colors, fonts, and styles.
Manage your social media accounts
Social media is another great free resource for business owners, but it can be challenging to keep up with several different accounts, especially when it’s necessary to post engaging content often and interact with customers. Fortunately, you can simplify the process by utilizing a social media management tool that will help with scheduling while giving you important insights into your posts and engagement. The more you can learn about your social accounts, the easier it will be for you to make crucial changes that will help you grow your reach and make better connections with your audience.
Keep your projects on track with helpful software
Social media isn’t the only area that needs a bit of management. Most business owners find themselves struggling to keep track of all the projects on their plate while ensuring that each team member is on task and has everything they need, but a resource like Trello will allow you to communicate with your team in real-time and keep everyone organized with color-coding tools. You can also use Zoho Projects, which is a cloud-based tool that helps you plan out your projects, automate certain tasks, assign work, and collaborate with your employees so that everyone is on the same page.
Keep it all secure
Using a lot of online tools means you need a quality security software suite to keep all of your information safe. Not only is cyber theft an issue for businesses of all sizes, but dealing with a data breach can leave your business with a damaged reputation and costly problems that last for months or even years. The good news is, that there are lots of security tools to choose from that will keep your business safe and protect your customers at the same time, but it’s crucial to read the details before investing in one. Some security software comes with a lot of extras that a small business may never need, and you don’t want to end up paying for features you don’t use.
Keep your customers happy
Ensuring that your customer’s information is safe is essential, but it’s not the only way you can keep them happy. Your clients need to know that they can get in touch with you and your team when they have a question or problem, and you need to be able to address their concerns as soon as possible in order to prevent future issues. Using a customer interaction management tool will allow you to do just that, even if your business offers multiple communication formats for your audience.
Share files securely and easily
Whether your business has confidential paperwork to share with customers or documents that are essential for a team project, it’s a good idea to have software that allows you to handle it all securely and quickly no matter where you are. Look for a cloud-based file-sharing tool that gives you the power to keep important docs under wraps and send large images without taking up storage space.
It’s also a good idea to make use of a document-signing tool that allows you, your team members, and your customers to share files that need signatures. This type of tool can be used whether you’re in the office or on the go, making it perfect for busy business owners who need to get things done ASAP.
Give your customers more payment options
The cloud can also provide multiple payment options for your customers that are secure and easy to use. Not only does this benefit them, but it’s also advantageous for you as well since customers are more likely to keep shopping with a business that accepts their preferred form of payment. Whether you need a processing platform that takes different credit cards or an online gateway for digital payment tools, offering more payment options with the right software will help you grow your business and create a loyal audience. These will also allow you to grow your e-commerce business, especially if you’ve only just begun to set up shop on your website.
Keep your inventory in check
There are also a few payment systems that can be integrated with your inventory system. These tools are essential if you want to keep up with your current stock, make informed decisions about orders, stay on top of theft and loss, and keep your cash flow healthy. A great inventory management system can help you get organized and will allow you to scale up your business while ensuring that your customers are happy. Not only that, you’ll be able to prevent gathering overstock that sits in your backroom and takes forever to move, which is a waste of money.
Boost your website
Managing your inventory and payment systems with the right tools can help you make more informed decisions regarding your stock and cash flow, but it’s also important to consider how these will interact with your website. If you haven’t updated your site in a while, it’s time to look for a few resources that will help you incorporate a blog, video content, and engaging copy for the sake of search engine optimization; you can also utilize online tools to refresh the layout of your site and ensure that your customers will find it accessible and easy to navigate.
Many business owners believe that earning their degree is enough, but in today’s tech-heavy world, it’s crucial to keep learning over the years so you can stay on top of the ever-evolving trends in business. Fortunately, there are several options available online for entrepreneurs who want to broaden their knowledge in a particular area, from free online classes to remote learning courses from accredited universities. You can also consider downloading a few apps that will help you boost your skill set, such as a language learning tool.
Use smart tech in your office or storefront
Learning tools that allow anyone access are wonderful resources for business owners, and the same can be said for smart tech. Now that so many advances have been made in areas like smart assistants and appliances, you can save time and money by utilizing items like energy-efficient, programmable devices in your office or store. These might include a smart thermostat that will keep costs down during the hottest and coldest times of the year or wireless printers that can be easily accessed by multiple devices. Do some research to learn more about smart tech and think about which products make the most sense for your business.
Investing in the right tech and helpful software for your business takes some careful consideration, so give yourself time before you make a purchase. Take steps like boosting your branding with a new banner, keeping your important information secure, and ensuring that your projects are always on track.
Have a question about the latest tech news? Get in touch with the pros at THETECHMUSK.com today.