What Kind of Tech Should Every Small Business Invest In?
Small business owners often have to be choosy when it comes to investing in the right technology. You need something that fits into your budget right now but can scale out as your company grows. Sometimes, that tech seems far too pricey, but you could actually both save money and make money in the long run. That makes it hard to know when to say “yes.”
Some of the most successful start-ups agree that tech is important for a growing business. Here are some of the common types of technology you should consider investing in.
Building a Dynamic Website
Whether you are selling a product or a service, your business’ website is your business card and, in many cases, the front door to your office rolled into one. Invest in an engaging, user-friendly website that tells your company’s story and makes interacting with you as simple and seamless as possible. To get it right the first time, many small businesses suggest hiring a developer to get the foundation set up.
Your developer should know how to build sites for both the web and mobile, understand how to use and embed audio/visual elements, and integrate any of your existing systems and programs into your website.
Switching to a Business Data Plan
You can save quite a bit of money by using plans designed especially for business. This allows you to write off certain expenses and take advantage of special deals and discounts. For example, you can get special percentage rates for a business credit card and more options for speed and reliability with a business internet plan. You can also get a smartphone business plan to accommodate data usage and employee communication. Be sure to do the research to find the plan and provider that best fits your needs. Look for packages that include unlimited data and multiple phone lines, as well as unlimited text and talk.
Buying a Scalable CRM
Customer relationship management, or CRM, is a game-changer for how small businesses understand and engage with current and potential customers. You can learn trends and even predict behavior so you are better able to target your sales pitches. A CRM lets you keep detailed data and tracking on customers and people who just visit your website. That’s why many small businesses say that investing in a CRM is crucial to building a loyal, repeat customer base. Do your research to find a CRM that:
- Offers customizable packages for your size and budget.
- Provides training.
- Has a good reputation with customer service and tech support.
- Understands and even prioritizes small business needs.
- Will be useful now and five years from now.
- Integrates with other software like invoicing or e-commerce, email marketing, social media engagement.
Making Payment Processing and Billing Easier
Chances are you didn’t start your business to become an accountant (unless you did). Learning the ins and outs of invoicing, billing, and payment processing can sometimes take you away from other important responsibilities. You can outsource those job duties or you can use software that simplifies the process for you. When researching accounting software think about:
- Setting up automatic invoicing and payment reminders.
- Utilizing third-party payment processing so your customers can pay with PayPal, Amazon, Apple Wallet, and Google Pay, along with other payment options.
- Logging and tracking billable hours.
- Having the ability to edit and send invoices via your smartphone or tablet.
- Processing multiple types of currency.
Investing in good tech may seem like a luxury you can’t afford, but what you really can’t afford is to be left in the dark. Research your options and find opportunities that fit within your budget.
By: Gloria Martinez
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