Most small businesses operate on a tight budget, often believing that much of the latest technology is beyond their modest means. However, with so many innovative and cloud-based solutions now available, there is cost effective technology that can help your small business grow or operate more effectively.
Simple Ways Technology Can Help Your Small Business
1. Exploit the benefits of cloud features
Cloud software hosting is a great option for small business as it provides access to best-practice technology and software that would otherwise be beyond the reach of many business budgets. It also provides remote access to systems and software, making working from home and mobile work accessible.
Some cloud-based solutions benefiting small business include:
Time Management and Invoicing Software
There are a number of straightforward and affordable cloud-based invoicing and time management systems including Reckon, Quickbooks, Freshbooks, Xero and Invoicely. Tracking expenses, recording client hours and issuing invoices are just some of the features available. This software is easily accessible, and it can improve professionalism and efficiency.
Whether your employees are still working remotely or have returned to the workplace, effective company-wide collaboration tools have never been more important.
Use a Project Management or cloud-based calendar planning system
Effectively manage individual and team appointments, documents and projects with a cloud-based calendar, project management, or planning tool. Calendar systems that come with Google Apps for Business and Outlook, or more comprehensive collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams can help you manage schedules, documents and share updates and ideas. Used properly, they can also greatly improve communication and reduce mistakes and duplication in the workplace.
Implement effective security
With cyber security risks growing every year, as a business owner it’s crucial that you implement effective security processes, technology and software to protect your business. Cyber incidents can cost your business dearly so ensure that you have the latest anti-virus and malware programs installed, and educate your staff to help protect your business.
If you don’t have the knowledge or capacity to implement and manage cyber security internally, it’s prudent to engage an expert IT company who can help you develop and implement an effective cyber security strategy.
2. Improve Your Marketing
Spread the word on social media
Social media can be an effective (and free!) way to build strong customer relationships, improve brand awareness, and drive new customers to your business. It’s simple to set up your company profile on social platforms that tend to attract your customer demographics Like Facebook or Instagram, and start posting updates on your products, services and other interesting topics that will appeal to your customers and potential customers. You can also promote your business through cost-effective and targeted social media advertising.
Consider an email newsletter
Distributing a regular email newsletter is a great way to stay connected with your customers, and to grow your audience. Create content that is engaging, delivers value, and promotes your products and services, but without the hard sell. There are numerous free and low-cost newsletter systems like Mailchimp and Hubspot that manage subscriptions (including compliance with the Australian SPAM Act) and offer professional template designs.
Take advantage of Google’s free tools
Google offers a range of highly useful free tools that can help you better understand your website, marketing and search engine performance, and also help you become more visible in search engines. Google Analytics provide comprehensive data about your website performance, user behaviour and conversions, amongst other things. Google Search Console measures your website’s search traffic and performance, fix issues, and improve your rank. Google My Business provides not only a free business listing visible in search results, but also allows you to more easily connect with customers through reviews, search and maps.
3. Provide better customer service
Cost effective and user-friendly customer relationship management systems (CRM) like Hubspot, Zoho and Pipedrive can help you take great care of your customers. They offer lead and contact management, help you better understand your customers, manage effective marketing campaigns, and build customer support and loyalty. A CRM is an essential tool for small businesses who want to run or scale efficiently and remove dependence on manual processes.
Access expert assistance
If you are keen to incorporate new forms of technology into your business, but are uncertain as to the best way to go about it, Surety IT can help you identify and implement the right tools and systems to help your business grow and stay competitive.
We have years of specialist experience in analysing businesses to identify the IT systems and structure changes that can deliver the most benefit, and can work with you to develop a tailored digital transformation strategy that aligns with your business objectives, and delivers time and cost savings, and increases profitability.