Technological advancements have touched every part of modern-day life, from education, to shopping, and of course, business practices. And at this point, it’s fair to say that businesses that do not take full advantage of available tech tools are not operating as efficiently as they should. So for those who may be running small businesses, or who may be considering starting one, we wanted to look at some particularly convenient tech tools that will help any company streamline their operations and improve their outcomes.
- Workplace Communication Software
Success in any business lies in effective communication –– but this can be difficult to bring about, particularly with so many employees operating remotely these days. More and more businesses are discovering that the solution is workplace communication software. Though it has plenty of able competitors, Slack is the prevailing example, and serves as a platform that team members can access on a variety of devices to message one another, video chat, share documents, and participate in both group and one-on-one discussions. All of this can help ensure that businesses operate smoothly, and team members stay on the same page at all times.
- Project Management Tools
Every business has projects and deadlines to meet, and trying to keep track of progress can be difficult. One solution to this problem is to use project management tools that streamline the workflow of projects. Many businesses use Trello, because it enables users to create project boards, input lists, and manage projects in an organized way. The program is also great for keeping records of activities, to-do lists, and due dates. Teams can visualize projects and the step-by-step progress being made towards completion.
- Email Marketing Software
Email marketing is an effective but time-consuming practice. This is why small businesses increasingly opt to use email marketing software that helps them carry out email campaigns with ease. Programs like Mailchimp can save small businesses a great deal of time by automatically initiating email marketing campaigns, sending out related social media advertisements, and even providing analytics. Typically, businesses would pay employees to set up, run, and monitor campaigns. But with software solutions like this around, email marketing has been made easier and cheaper (not to mention more effective).
- Digital Business Cards
In the past, small businesses invested in physical business cards to help employees to make contacts and connections –– as well as to seem more “official.” But now, with electronic networking and smartphones fast becoming the new normal, business cards are going digital. Doorway explains that digital business cards can exchange and save all contact information without the need for an accompanying app, or even an internet connection. The underlying technology is cloud-based, and enables users to conduct contactless transfers of all the information that would ordinarily be on a physical business card. It’s a cheap and convenient solution to in-person networking for small businesses to take advantage of.
- Graphic Design Platforms
A large part of business success –– and business marketing success in particular –– boils down to presentation. For this reason, the use of simplified graphic design platforms has become popular in many small businesses. As perhaps the most prominent example, Canva allows companies to custom design marketing ads and other promotional visuals, and easily edit them as needed. It is a cloud-based graphic design tool specifically used to create one-page ads, sales presentations, logos, and even training videos. This and other services like it are far simpler and more affordable for small business owners than securing work from actual graphic design experts, and can go a long way in making the visual side of a company more appealing to consumers.
- Cloud-Based Storage
More small businesses today are also taking advantage of cloud-based storage systems, both for system backups and for handling the day-to-day data employees are using. For example, Google Drive offers an easy and convenient way to save files online and access them from anywhere at any time. Files like documents and spreadsheets can be uploaded from smart devices, and teams can view and edit the files together, allowing for easy collaboration regardless of the employees’ location. And since the data is stored in the cloud, it will never be at risk of loss or corruption due to a hard drive or device failure.
Across the board, technological advances have helped businesses improve their basic functions to allow for streamlined operations. Accordingly, the suggestions and examples above are sure to help small businesses in a variety of important ways.
Featured Image: Busy office photo created by DCStudio – www.freepik.com
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