So how do you keep on top of it all? Well thankfully, we’re living in 2019 and the opportunities to make life easier are endless – you just have to find them. To make sure you’re running your business efficiently, we’ve put together a list of tech solutions that will help make your life – and your business – run smoother so you can spend more of your time on what really matters.
1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools
No matter the size of your business, you need customers to survive and grow, so it’s important to make sure you know their needs so you can exceed their expectations. The right CRM tool, such as Salesforce, will help you manage and understand your customers better through data insights and analytics to help you track and predict what your customers need and your company’s performance, all from one platform. Salesforce is the global leader in customer relationship management (CRM) and enables companies of every size and industry to take advantage of powerful technologies—cloud, mobile, social, internet of things, and artificial intelligence—to connect to their customers. The Salesforce Customer 360 includes industry-leading services spanning sales, service, marketing, commerce, communities, collaboration and industries, all on a single trusted cloud platform.
2. Artificial Intelligence
While the idea of AI seems daunting and something only for the big leagues, the technology is now readily accessible for small businesses to get on board and it is a game-changer for your customer experience.
3. Productivity apps
When you’re working from home or working for yourself one of the hardest things you can do is actually get started – and then stay organised. Setting up yourself and your team on a unified system or app can help keep on top of projects and provide visual communication across the team, as well as keeping a trail of all your work.
4. Invoicing/payment systems
Online invoicing services help track and chase payments, taking the stress out of staying on top of all your incomings as well as providing an automated service that will chase late payments. Also make sure you have an easy to use, safe and reliable payment processing platform for when customers want to buy from you. It should accept and complete all transactions easily and securely – and ensure funds reach your account quickly so your cash flow remains steady.
A budgeting tool can help you track your cash flow and outgoings against those incomings to help keep your spending on track, allowing you make projections, meet budgets – and cover payroll. These can usually also be shared easily with your accountant when tax time rolls around, streamlining the tax process.
6. Social media
No matter what your feelings are about social media in your personal life, the reality is in this digital age your business needs to have a social media presence to thrive. It is a first point of contact for your business, a way to interact with existing and potential customers, a valuable marketing tool and a way to generate buzz around your product/service. If social media feels overwhelming just pick one platform to focus on. Find out what your customer base uses the most, e.g., Facebook or Instagram and master that. Once you’ve got some momentum on one platform think about branching out to more.
7. Web design
No matter what your business, or how big or small, you want to appear professional to potential customers. Having a sleek website so that you can interact with customers, share your story – and sell your products – is key. These days setting up a website can be done in minutes and is super simple and you can purchase design programs and apps to DIY.
8. Email direct marketing
While some people think that email marketing is old news, the reality is this is still a hugely effective marketing tool when used correctly. Do your homework and invest in a system that will make it work for you.
9. Employee management/HR
The level of employee management you will require will vary greatly depending on the size of your business, however when you do start to take staff on it’s important that proper procedures are adhered to, so arming yourself with a dedicated system will set you well on your way.
Tax time can instill fear in the best of us and can be seriously daunting – not to mention when you take on employees and you’re suddenly responsible for their tax, too. Set yourself up with a tax accounting tool and save yourself loads of hassle.