For many small businesses, acquiring the latest and greatest technology can feel out of reach. From budget constraints to capacity issues, there are plenty of times when a new CRM or online marketing platforms would be helpful but just don’t seem realistic.
If this sounds familiar, you may be surprised to learn that you can have your tech cake and eat it, too— even on a small business budget. But the truth is, there are some opportunities you simply can’t afford to not think about. Here are a few ways you can invest in state-of-the-art tech now that will help your bottom line in the long run.
From Target to Home Depot, Marriott to Ebay, millions if not billions of people have had their accounts compromised from hackers and database crashes. Small businesses often have a bullseye on their backs because they lack the data recovery resources that big companies have. If you lack in-house IT help, you may not be able to address this complex problem on your own. Hiring a company like Secure Data Recovery can be a more cost-effective option than hiring a full-time IT specialist. Plus, the right firm will be able to quickly address the problem and get to work on restoring order and mitigating additional losses.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Software
While spreadsheets can be the foundation of an organization, investing in a really robust CRM can take your customer service and retention to a whole new level. By storing your client data and logging interactions with CRM, you can increase customer loyalty and build trust (while also building sales!) with cross-channel sales opportunities, customer-focused sales funnels, and optimized marketing campaigns. Try to find one that is scalable, so you can start small and add on as you grow.
Connecting to your clients via email is a great way to increase brand awareness, build customer loyalty and make more sales. You’ll want to start with an editorial calendar, one that helps you plan the content you want to communicate. Be sure the information you send in your email marketing campaigns is useful and relevant. For example, if you provide accounting services, send emails with tips for making a household budget or ways to save receipts in the cloud. If you sell clothing, send emails with videos of wrinkle-free folding techniques or ideas for storing seasonal clothes. At the end of the email, offer a coupon or promotion to funnel customers through your doors.
Payment Processing Options
You want – need – to get paid. That is crucial to keeping your doors open and your business running. The best way to get paid is to make it as easy as possible on your customers. For e-commerce businesses, consider multiple payment options with the fewest clicks possible, like Amazon Pay, Apple Wallet, Paypal, Vemno and Google Pay. For invoicing, you’ll want to find low-cost, headache-free software that empowers you to create one-time and recurring invoices, track time, request online payments and view payment statuses.
Project Management Software
These tools are especially important for small business owners who are wearing lots of hats (which is basically all small business owners). Using online project management tools like Asana, Basecamp or Trello can help you keep your day straight, prioritize your tasks and celebrate your milestones. You can keep track of what is due now, what’s coming up and then make space for ideas or projects you want to explore. This is also helpful for business owners who work with multiple contractors or freelancers and have to project manage them remotely.
As a small business owner, there is undoubtedly a lot on your plate. Choosing what tech to invest in can be intimidating— it’s hard to know if it will pay off. Just remember, whatever makes your business more relevant and relational to your customers will always be a win.
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