If you’ve just started a business or your business is beginning to grow, then you need to utilize technology to streamline processes so that you can focus on important tasks.
Many small and medium-sized business owners tend to wear too many hats and do many things manually. This is why they often have serious burnouts and are unable to grow the business.
Remember that the reason you built the business was to solve a problem. And the only way to solve that problem on a large scale is by making sure that the business grows. Your business cannot grow if you’re working in the business instead of working on it.
In this article, we’ll share the most important business technologies and essentials that you should seriously start considering if you want to see your business scale very quickly. With these tools in place, you’ll be able to free up your time for more important business activities and coordinate your team more effectively.
Payment Processing Technology
You need to have a way to accept payments and grow your revenues. And this solution has to be so effortless for the customer and you. For instance, if a customer doesn’t have cash, they can use their credit or debit cards to pay you for your services.
Link payment processors to your business bank account, and can accept just about every form of payment, including cryptos –if you’re open to accepting cryptos as payment.
Some examples of solid payment processors include Gravity Payments, Paypal, Stripe, Braintree, Square, and Authorize. Between these payment processors, you should be able to find 1-2 that will meet all your payment needs.
Use technology to stay in touch with customers, respond to customer requests, inquiries and provide great customer support. The best way to do this is via a dedicated customer relationship management (CRM) platform or software that handles and organizes all of these activities.
While there are many CRM providers, some of the more popular and effective CRM technology include Salesforce, Hubspot, Pipedrive, Zendesk, Freshworks, and Zoho Corp.
These companies provide a wide variety of customer relationship platforms and software solutions that can make the process of handling all customer-related issues very easy.
One of the biggest reasons why businesses fail is poor cash flow or funding. But how will you know if you have adequate cash to tide you over the next month if you don’t keep track of your expenses and receivables? This is why you need accounting software or a solution. This tool, service, or platform will keep track of your invoices, incoming payments, and outgoing expenses.
You’ll be able to effectively tell where your business is at financially with just one glance. You can hook these up to your payment processors and expense accounts so that it automatically tracks and records every financial transaction your business makes.
Then, it will provide a breakdown of these activities so you can take one glance at them and see where you’re at financially. Some good accounting software that you can check out includes FreshBooks, AccountEdge, Sage 50cloud Accounting, Wave Accounting, Zoho Books, QuickBooks, and Kashoo.
The right accounting software for your business is one that does the numbers’ heavy-lifting for you, is affordable, and can provide you with all the information you need very quickly.
Communication technology is important in every business. You must have a way to keep in touch with everyone who is important to your business.
You need to be able to send and receive SMS, send and receive emails, intra-office communications, make and receive calls, and so much more. Some of these solutions include managed SIP, VOIP services, uCaaS solutions like Zoom, PaaS, cloud solutions, email solutions, and many more.
Look up the many solutions to explore the best fit for your business. The best communication system for your business is one that is highly efficient, very reliable, affordable, can handle all your communications, has a minimal learning curve, and can be used by everyone in the office.
This is not a tool that you want to scrimp on by the way. Otherwise, you might start having deliverability issues, lost files, and communication lags –all of which can be a nightmare.
Data and File Storage Solutions
If you think poor communication is a major problem, wait until you have a data or file storage outage –hopefully, you never have to do experience this. In business, nothing is more nightmarish than the inability to access critical files or data whenever you need to.
For example, when Amazon Web Services (AWS) suffered a massive outage in November 2020, tons of websites, apps, SaaS providers, and data centers were affected. People could not access their websites, web visitors couldn’t access information, businesses were stuck, and millions of customers were left in the dark. You can imagine the fallout of that incident and how businesses and their customers would have been affected.
This is why you need reliable and effective data and file storage services. This is not a technology to scrimp on because you could lose a ton of money if your data storage solution goes offline at a critical time. Some examples of good cloud storage solutions include Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive/Workspace, Amazon Drive, Dropbox, IDrive, and Box.
However, if you can afford it, consider having an on-site data center that’ll serve as a backup server in case your cloud storage provider goes down. This data center can be configured to automatically sync with your cloud storage services and backup all your data every day.
Project Management Solutions
You need to have a way to manage your team and everyone you work with. A project management platform or software helps you with this. A good project management platform improves the ease of collaboration among team members, work clients, customers, and others from anywhere in the world.
It also makes it easy for you to increase productivity –most platforms allow remote log-ins so people can work from anywhere, help you track tasks and assignments, makes it easy to manage team members, improves communication, ensures a better schedule, and helps with task delegation.
Top project management software includes Trello, Basecamp, Asana, Slack, Wrike, Teamwork, Airtable, Smartsheet, and Zoho Projects among others. You’ll have to find the best one for your business and team, as they all have their pros and cons. But Basecamp, Asana, and Trello are pretty easy to use.
How do you keep track of employee salaries, when to pay, how much to pay, and salary increases? This is where payroll solutions play a role in your business. Sure, you can try to do it manually or by yourself, but that’s a surefire way to make huge mistakes in salary calculations, and more.
For example, you can end up overpaying an employee just by mistakenly typing an extra zero. And the worst part is you may not realize this until they’re long gone –if they were a temporary hire.
Payroll solutions help you automate the entire payroll process so you never have to worry about making mistakes. Once they’re set up correctly, they’ll basically run themselves, and you can check the platform occasionally for any updates. Some good examples of payroll solutions include QuickBooks Payroll, OnPay, Gusto, Rippling, Paychex Flex, and Sage Group Payroll software.
These are the most important technology that you need to run your business and automate many of the otherwise time-consuming activities that take up your time. All of these systems and solutions work. You’ll just have to figure out which one is best for your needs at each point in time. Remember: some of these solutions are best for small businesses, some for medium-sized businesses, and others for large businesses.