Business technology is the key to saving time and money so that your business can avoid disasters.
Do you have what it takes to become a next-generation business? Ever wondered what separates a successful business from the others (a.k.a. market competitors)? The secret lies in adopting the right combination of business technology tools that help you perform business activities in the most efficient way. We live in a technological age where things are not only meant to be faster and easier but also smarter. For entrepreneurs and managers who are forward thinkers, tapping into certain tools to save time and money will help expand their full business potential.
However, deciding on a single business tool is no easy feat. With ample software and platforms present, looking for a suitable tool is like finding a needle in a haystack! To make life easier and business operations smoother, we have jotted down a list of business must-have tools. Start with these 5 simple tips to save your business from an eventual disaster!
1. Marketing Software
We are living in a digital and visual world. Grabbing the potential user’s attention is paramount for businesses. Marketing involves social media marketing, search engine optimization, paid marketing, and more. These are daily tasks that require intensive planning and management. Such ongoing “busy work” tasks can be automated so business owners can focus on their core endeavors.
Email marketing systems such as HubSpot, Sendinblue and MailChimp allow you to easily keep your email subscribers informed of updates about your business. Social media scheduling tools such as Buffer and HootSuite allow you to schedule posts to go out on the desired times and dates, without having to set foot on various social media channels. What’s more, you can analyze and optimize your digital presence using tools such as Google Analytics. And business owners, you will be shocked to know that this is just the beginning! The list of marketing tools and software available on the market today is endless. What matters is how you leverage and use them to your advantage.
2. Business Intelligence Tools (BI Software)
Ever heard of Tableau or Power BI? These are the in-demand tools that give your business data insights. We all know that data is king. When it comes to business, only those who can manage data, draw conclusions based on it and make changes accordingly can grow their operations. Business intelligence tools are enabling modern businesses to tap into their hidden potential by discovering their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This makes it easier for managers to understand their data without extensive technical know-how. There are a lot of BI platforms available for data visualization, data mining, and developing customized dashboards.
3. ERP Software
Enterprise Resource Planning and task management tools are simple, cost-efficient means for business owners to save time and money. Online ERP tools like SAP Business One and SAP Business ByDesign can help you stay on top of your finance, HR, manufacturing, supply chain, procurement, services and other activities. They also work as collaborative tools so all the employees on your team know what is being done, what is outstanding, and who has been assigned to the task. Add to this: ERP tools also have the capabilities to ascertain resources for the future. Now you can predict demand for the stock and work out your inventories accordingly. Can it get any better?
4. Interactive Tools
With work from home and hybrid working models gaining traction, it is important to be able to effectively communicate internally and externally. Platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Slack, Zoom, etc. allow teams to coordinate work and interact seamlessly. Some companies may be dealing with overseas clients or freelance employees who have time differences, but with online interactive apps, exorbitant calling fees are a thing of the past. The multi-features of calling, video, and chat combine to form a strong social structure, and an even more powerful business tool.
5. Admin Support Software
There are a lot of internal business operations that software can support. Take, for example, setting up meetings. Scheduling tools like Acuity and Calendly can automate the process of setting up meetings. When you need e-signatures on official documents, DocuSign or HelloSign can help out. No more running after colleagues or clients for signatures or hoping the post office is still open so you can get a contract out as soon as possible.
To keep track of potential, present, and past clients from the first interaction through your sales and marketing funnels, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms such as SalesForce, Hubspot, and Insightly prove very helpful. They can also provide valuable insights to nurture those relationships. Plus, every business needs to collaborate with others in an official manner. File-sharing systems such as Google Drive and Dropbox ensure that everyone has access to the same version of the same document. You can work in real-time or use these tools with clients and vendors to keep track of what everyone wants and needs.
Now that you are aware of the business tools needed for ultimate business success, what matters is choosing the right platforms. Your choice must depend upon various factors like the size of your business, target market, area of business operations, a particular business problem you are looking to solve, and most importantly, your budget. Once you know what you want to attain, take the time to explore suitable options for you and your business. By getting started with an ERP tool or Business Intelligence software, you can take a big step towards uncluttered operations management. In the long run, all of these tools free up your time, allowing you to do more in a day. Considering the current remote working scenario, they may also alleviate the need for extra management, keeping your overhead costs down. And this means you have the time and cash you need to grow, wherever and however you work!