While large corporations characterize the business world, small businesses form the core of every economy, especially in developing countries. Even in countries as advanced as the United States, there are approximately 30.2 million small businesses, which constitute 99.9 percent of total companies in the country.
While starting a small business isn’t that challenging, running it is. From brick-and-mortar fashion boutiques to bars, small businesses comprise a wide variety of business types, with significant competition in every industry. Luckily, technological advancements and the advent of a variety of tools have allowed small businesses to not only survive but perform efficiently.
Here are six tech tools that can help you run your small business smoothly.
Short for extract, transform, and load, ETL tools refer to a data warehousing process that allows users to report and analyze data relevant to their business using batch processing. ETL software helps business owners make data-driven decisions, thereby directly impacting the operations and strategy of your business.
ETL tools simplify processes and are excellent in moving large volumes of data and transferring them in batches to form a high-quality data warehouse. Various free and paid ETL software is equipped with performance-enhancing features and help businesses save costs and generate higher revenues.
Social Media Tools
Engaging with the target market and generating interest around its product and services is something every small business strives to do. These objectives can successfully be completed with the use of social media tools. However, being active on social media is quite time-consuming, which is where scheduling tools come in.
Social media tools allow small businesses to connect with their target customers and improve their web presence. For a business using Facebook to engage with customers, the best time to post is on Wednesday around 11 am and between 1 to 2 pm. Apart from this, several other times can help you engage customers. It may be challenging to post most of the time, which is why a social media scheduling tool can help you plan posts days, weeks, or even months in advance.
While accounting may seem foreign to someone with no prior knowledge, the development of tools has simplified accounting to anyone who has absolutely no idea about it. Accounting tools perform various functions and help your business keep track of profits and expenses, create expense claims, send invoices, and anything else a professional accountant may do.
Since accounting software can be integrated easily, the different departments of your company can have access to relevant financial information. Additionally, this financial information is analyzed quickly due to fast processing and is used to generate reports that lead to better decision making. Lastly, using it also reduces the likelihood of errors, which would be much higher if such tasks were performed manually.
Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) software allows you to make calls over the internet. While VoIP software is occasionally linked to large corporations, it actually provides several benefits to small businesses, too. In fact, many companies are taking advantage of VoIP to reduce their phone bills, with the global market expected to grow even further by 2024.
Apart from a reduction in phone bills, VoIP also incorporates various other communication services, such as presence information, video conferencing, instant messaging, and receiving faxes and voicemail via email. Moreover, VoIP is also portable and can be accessed from any device, as long as you have internet access.
There are many VoIP services available, which makes it challenging to decide which one would be the best for your business. This VoIP phone service buyers guide helps you invest in the right service by highlighting which features you should look for and providing the seven most affordable options for your small business.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
CRM software helps small businesses gain and retain clients by helping you keep track of current and prospective customers, both. Companies today know that in order to stay relevant in this highly competitive world, it’s highly essential to maintain fruitful relationships with their customer base. This realization is precisely why the global CRM industry is growing, with the size of the market valued at $48.2 billion in 2018, which is a substantial boost from $14 billion in 2010.
Sales statistics show that successful implementation of CRM software can provide a return on investment (ROI) of 245% since you can collect relevant information about your customers and make informed sales and marketing decisions based on actual data. Data such as knowing how many visitors convert at which points can help you understand what’s working for your business and what isn’t and thereby make the right strategic decisions accordingly.
Cloud technology is used by 90 percent of businesses today, with the technology providing a wide variety of benefits to small businesses. In fact, by 2023, the global cloud computing market is projected to reach $623.3 billion, with an increasing number of companies expected to incorporate it.
The technology provides multiple benefits to businesses, including the ease of performing remote work and better collaboration, processing large amounts of data from internal and external sources, ease of access to a robust infrastructure, platforms, and software, and making backups and data recovery easy.
There are a lot of tech tools available that can help you grow your small business to new heights. By taking out time to explore your options and determine which tools your business can benefit from the most, you can scale your business and reduce costs substantially.
Which other tech tools can help you run your small business smoothly? Let us know in the comments below!