By Gloria Martinez – WomenLed.org
Many small businesses struggle to compete with large chains and tech-based brands. Being the first to adopt new business innovations is simply too pricey for the small business owner. While it may be impossible to keep up with the technology trends of leading eCommerce giants, tech can still play an important role in streamlining your business processes, cutting costs, and sparking growth. Here are some of the best tech investments that can benefit your small business.
Office Tech Gadgets for Productivity and Moral in Your Small Business
If you run a physical office, there are plenty of useful tech gadgets that can help increase productivity and improve morale among your employees. Electric standing desks, for example, can contribute to better employee productivity by keeping your workers healthy and energized. If your business sends out a lot of packages, consider investing in a postage meter so you can eliminate those time-consuming treks to the post office. Businesses that process sales in person can also benefit from a point of sale system that tracks inventory, profits, expenses, and sales trends automatically.
You can even use technology in your office breakroom! According to Business News Daily, having a television in the breakroom can help your employees relieve stress. You can also use the TV for team-building watch parties! Instead of paying for an expensive cable subscription, invest in a streaming device. These devices allow your employees to access thousands of shows and movies, so you can avoid wasting money on channels you don’t need. Just be sure to select one that works with your company TV and has the bells and whistles you desire.
Collaboration Software to Connect Your Team
Keeping your team on the same page is essential to business efficiency. With that in mind, MinuteHack recommends taking advantage of collaboration software to avoid time-consuming miscommunications and to increase workplace flexibility. By implementing this software, you can offer remote work opportunities to your employees — or hire top talent from all over the world! Find a platform that will allow your team to chat, plan projects, organize tasks, share documents, and otherwise cooperate in real-time.
Automation Tools to Save Time
If you’re constantly being bogged down by repetitive tasks, like replying to customer support emails, posting on social media, or sending out client invoices, automation tools can help. For example, apps like Drip and MailChimp can automate your email marketing tasks. For managing billing and payments, try apps like Quickbooks and Shoeboxed. Tools like these can help you maximize your time as a small business owner, so you can focus on big-picture projects.
Social Media Marketing to Target Niche Audiences
Social media has revolutionized the way that businesses interact with customers. Instead of sending out flyers in the mail or paying big bucks to advertise your business on a bus stop bench, reach out to your customers over social media. This will allow you to target very specific audiences—people who are likely to be interested in your products or services already! Also, social media marketing is more affordable than traditional marketing. While this marketing approach is a good way to get personal with your target audience, it can be very hands-off. Use social media management tools like Hootsuite and Buffer to streamline your social strategy.
Cybersecurity for Protecting Against Common Threats
Cybersecurity technology is vital to the long-term success of your business. According to Security Magazine, close to 70% of small businesses experience a cyber-attack in a given year. Despite how common these threats are, only half of all small businesses understand how to protect their companies. Cybercriminals often target small businesses because they tend to be more vulnerable. Safeguard your data by investing in anti-virus software, mobile device security, internal firewalls, breach detection, automatic backups, and employee education. This move will also help you build trust with your customers!
The right technology can do a lot to streamline your small business projects and increase your bottom line. As you look for innovative solutions, focus on those business tasks that are draining your time or costing your company a lot of money. Today’s small businesses just can’t afford to pass up on beneficial technology!