Technology can be incredibly beneficial but it’s rarely cheap. A large portion of small business owners (42 percent) hold back from making meaningful tech upgrades due to the costs involved, reports Small Business Computing. It’s understandable – they have limited budgets and challenging business goals to meet, and they can’t spend money on new-fangled tech unless it’s absolutely essential or justified (usually both).
We’re here to tell you that there are tech upgrades out there that can not only help you run your business but also end up paying for themselves in time (and then some)! Techoreview covers seven of the most relevant ones below.
Cloud computing and remote work
Cloud computing is all about using off-site computer resources to enable remote work. For instance, you can run company software on remote servers without having to download, install, or maintain it. You could also outsource IT-related work to experienced teams. Doing any of this on-site is typically several times more expensive. Moreover, with the right setup, you could have your employees work from home, which could help you save on office and travel expenses, boost employee work-life balance, and drive up employee productivity.
Customer relationship management (CRM)
CRM apps can do the work of full-fledged sales and marketing teams. Good apps like HubSpot and Salesforce come with useful features like customer tracking, auto customer service, sales predictions, automation of key tasks (like email responses), social media integration, analytics, and reporting. The right CRM app will help you automate the customer journey. The end result can be happier customers who pay more and are more loyal to your business.
Modern-day accounting apps do more than help you comply with tax regulations – they have a host of features that help you meet your financial goals, cut back on expenses, and, ultimately, help you stay in control of your money. Some noteworthy features included in such apps are banking, payroll management, invoice generation, payment processing, and expense tracking. Business covers accounting software in detail.
A website or app
According to PR Newswire, 76 percent of consumers look at a business’s online presence before visiting in person. Having a website or web app is putting yourself on the digital map. It allows customers to get to know you and boosts your credibility. For better results, you could provide useful services or products via your website or app (such as enabling online transactions).
Good communication is key to workplace productivity, resolving conflicts, keeping customers happy, and having everyone on the same page. You can use a communication app to facilitate fast and easy communication between team members. The best communication apps like Slack come with features like file sharing, video conferencing, calendar updates, notifications, and contextual feedback.
Project management software solutions can help you stay in control of your workload, allocate resources optimally, and be more productive. Look for a cloud-based tool that allows you to plan projects, automate routine tasks, manage resources, assign work, and collaborate with remote team members.
3D design apps can make high-quality, realistic product designs affordably – usually without you needing to have advanced tech or design know-how. If you frequently conceptualize, test, or refine product designs, you should consider a potential solution with top-tier features; intuitive and streamlined tools for texturing, lighting, and rendering; and a large library of customizable materials and assets that can be easily incorporated into your designs to bring them to life.
Tech like 3D design tools and CRM apps will not only add value to your business but make life easier for you and your employees. For the most reliable results (and to get your money’s worth), audit your existing processes and conduct an ROI analysis before opting for a new technology, app, or service.
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