The Small Business Administration estimates that there are around 30 million small businesses in the U.S.
If you’re one of them, you should know that number goes up substantially every year. As a matter of fact, over half a million startups open their doors monthly!
If you want to continue to fuel your customer pipeline in the face of all that competition, you have to take technology in business seriously.
Investing in technology is one of the best, most cost-effective ways to engage consumers in a digital world. It also enables your company to cut costs and use those saved dollars for other avenues of corporate growth.
Curious to know what kind of tech you should be investing in? Below, our team outlines a few of the hottest investments businesses of your size are making right now!
If you’re paying for a landline phone provider, there’s a good chance you’re not getting everything you can out of your phones. We’re also willing to bet that you’re overpaying for service.
VOIP phone service works like a traditional landline, except it leverages your internet connection to make calls. That connection to the internet enables you to mine data from calls including recordings, call length, and more.
2. Online Bookkeeping
Keeping track of income and expenses can get very sticky as a business owner. This is especially true if you deal with selling Keeping track of income and expenses can get sticky as a business owner. This is especially true if you deal with selling physical inventory. The best way to manage your business’ daily operations and finances are through online bookkeeping software.
You’ve might have heard of a number of products in this space. Some of the most popular ones include QuickBooks and FreshBooks.
Through online bookkeeping, you can log business transactions, your accountant can manage your data remotely, and you can auto-file quarterly taxes!
3. Cloud Storage
If you’re like most businesses, you’re creating tons of data every day. All your corporate files need a place to live that’s safe and accessible if you want to optimize your productivity.
Enter cloud storage.
Cloud storage allows you to upload all your business files to an “access from anywhere” server that features encryption.
To get on the cloud storage bandwagon, you can buy your own server. For added ease, you can rent cloud server space through Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox or a number of other companies.
4. Social Advertisements
Pay per click advertisements work. While most business owners have tried pay per click at some point, the best way to attract today’s tech-savvy consumers is to hit them on social media.
Facebook features one of the most impressive ad targeting systems on the planet. We recommend that you and your marketing team learn how to use it well since it can improve your bottom line.
5. Email Lists
Email marketing is one of the most effective selling vehicles businesses use today. It allows you to entice prospective customers to buy into special offers. This type of marketing can also help turn former customers into repeat customers.
The best part is that getting set up with an email list has never been easier! Tools like MailChimp offer generous, free service plans that are simple to use.
We recommend leveraging MailChimp’s pop-up form to boost your opt-ins when people click on your website.
6. Virtual Communication Tools
Companies are ditching their expensive office leases and are moving their teams online. If you’re considering doing the same thing to ensure that your team keeps up productivity, you’ll want to turn your technology in business sights towards “VCT’s” (virtual communication tools).
There are a lot of products in this space, including email clients and Yammer. Our favorite tool though is Slack.
Slack is a fun and easy way to keep people talking and what’s best is that it’s free for small teams!
7. Virtual Private Networks
Did you know that a cyber attack costs the average business over 3 million dollars? To avoid getting your customer’s data stolen, you must do everything in your power to encrypt the data that you send over the internet.
The best way to do that is by subscribing to a VPN (virtual private network).
VPNs encrypt your data and bounce it off of remote servers en-route to its destination. This prevents hackers from picking your information off as it’s moving from one point to another. VPNs also prevent internet service providers and government agencies from spying on your web traffic.
8. On Demand Online Training
This is a relatively new technology in business that we’re seeing and one that’s proving very valuable to companies. Given that training can be a hardship when onboarding new people, organizations are now starting to film their training. They then upload the videos onto their organization’s internal website so that new employees can watch them.
This practice reduces the amount of manpower involved in training. It also boosts productivity since existing employees can reference materials when they forget how to do things.
To start leveraging on-demand training in your business, you can have your IT team set up a video portal on your existing intranet website. You could also use third-party video providers like Wistia or Vimeo.
Wrapping Up Technology in Business and Why You Need It
Technology in business expands your reach. It makes your team more productive, and best of all, it saves you money.
If those three benefits mean anything to you, we recommend integrating the tools we’ve mentioned above into your business operations as soon as possible.
Doing so will help you stay ahead of the curve and ahead of your competition!
For more content on all things business, check out additional articles on Small Business Brief today!