New technology and software are coming out all the time that make running a small business infinitely easier. The technological costs of running a small business have also gotten substantially cheaper, making it easier than ever to both start and run a business. Because of this, all small businesses need to consider implementing these four awesome technologies to save on both cost and time.
Social media has been an amazing tool for small businesses to grow their business, interact with customers on an individual level and deliver content. Pick and choose which social media accounts you want to devote your time to—do not have accounts everywhere that are rarely updated. Social media accounts need to be regularly updated and monitored in order to keep existing followers interested and attract new customers. While time-consuming, social media is a very cost-effective way to interact with your customers, and allows you to build a stronger brand by interacting with customers on such an individual level. Use different social media platforms for different purposes—for example, having a presence on LinkedIn will help you find and connect with new talent for your company, while being on Facebook will allow you to both interact with your customers and easily create advertising on the colossal site.
Cloud software has taken the small business world by storm, and with good reason. Instead of buying a software license for individual machines, you instead purchase an ongoing subscription to use the software. Because subscription fees per month are generally low, this option is frequently cheaper than buying the boxed product. Major software companies that now offer (or even exclusively offer) their products as a cloud suite include Microsoft, Adobe and QuickBooks, to name a few. Cloud computing also comes with the advantage of being able to access the accounts from anywhere on any device, which is particularly helpful if your employees are frequently out of the office.
Cloud storage is similar to cloud software but also distinctly different. While cloud software allows you to keep that software’s data and processes in the cloud, cloud storage allows you to store your other files in the cloud. Google Drive is one of the most popular cloud storage options for small business, as are Dropbox and Box. Box in particular was developed primarily with businesses in mind, and so it has more experience with the business market, although all of the major options offer much of the same services and security features. It is generally not advisable to use free cloud storage options for a small business, especially if customer information is involved. The security features on these accounts are not as strong as they are on paid accounts.
More and more specialized software for niche fields gets released every year, and while it can be a challenge to keep up, small business owners need to do so. HRIS software, for example, gives small businesses easy access to features that were once far too expensive for many small companies to afford, such as payroll and applicant tracking systems. It also works as a fantastic HR database that keeps all the information regarding used and unused sick days, vacation days and more for each employee.
It is undeniable that the technology available for small businesses is better than it ever was before. All of the technologies mentioned above are worth a try because of their relative low cost and the myriad of benefits they will afford your business. Once you implement the correct technology into your business model, you will be surprised at how much easier small business-ing will become.