Tech That Can Help Small Businesses Gain the Efficiencies of a Large Company

These easy-to-adopt technologies can give you access to the same types of resources that larger businesses enjoy

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As a small-business owner, it’s only natural that you might sometimes feel daunted. No matter how hard you try, you may never be able to compete with larger enterprises in terms of resource availability.

Thanks to new technologies, however, even the smallest businesses can be competitive, gaining many of the same efficiencies that were previously the sole province of big corporations. Simply put, tech has leveled the playing field.

Here are a few recommendations for technologies that could make a big difference at your business:

Customer Relationship Management Software

If the studies can be believed, the overwhelming majority of large and mid-sized businesses use customer relationship management (CRM) software, and your business should join them. CRM tools will allow you to maintain a database of past customers, what they ordered, what services they need, and so on.

In other words, you can make informed decisions about when to reach out to past customers for a maintenance call or when and how to upsell new services. You can personalize your customer interactions and make more data-driven, informed decisions about your sales funnel.

And the best part is, most of these benefits can be automated. Some common CRM products to investigate include Salesforce, Zoho, HubSpot, and many others.

HR Software

An HR software suite, such as Workday or Kronos, is similarly invaluable, significantly reducing the amount of time it takes you to fulfill basic administrative functions. Keep up with benefits, attendance, PTO availability, and more, all through the use of an employee HR directory.

Cyber Security

Cyber crime is on the rise, and the most common targets are small businesses. The reason for this, quite frankly, is that most small companies are sitting ducks for data theft, inadequately protected against scammers and hackers. If your business is breached and customer credit card information is stolen, it could be genuinely catastrophic. The right cyber security can minimize this risk. Keeper and Sift Science are two programs to consider.

Cloud Server

Imagine: Instead of keeping huge boxes of documents and files, you could store it all in an off-site cloud facility, and then easily access key documents whenever you need them — even if you’re in the field. Secure cloud computing can make your small business far nimbler. Best of all, you can get cloud storage solutions for little or no money; think Google Drive and Dropbox.

Chatbots

When you enable chatbots on your website, you can ensure that there is always an automated sales rep available to answer questions and set appointments — even for potential customers who stumble across your website at 2 a.m.

Chatbots are invaluable because they allow you to maintain high standards of customer service without taxing your employees too much. SnatchBot is one program that is well reviewed.

Social Media Scheduling

A lot of business owners struggle to keep their social media accounts updated. With automation software like Hootsuite, though, you can schedule a week’s worth or even a month’s worth of content, without having to do all the posting manually. Many entrepreneurs find that this significantly boosts their social media presence.

The important thing for business owners is to think critically about an investment in technology, remembering that such an investment could help them to compete even with larger companies.

About the Author

Amanda E. Clark is the president and editor-in-chief of Grammar Chic, a full-service professional writing company. She is a published ghostwriter and editor, and she's currently under contract with literary agencies in Malibu, California and Dublin. Since founding Grammar Chic in 2008, Clark, along with her team of skilled professional writers, has offered expertise to clients in the creative, business and academic fields. The company accepts a wide range of projects; often engages in content and social media marketing; and drafts resumes, press releases, web content, marketing materials and ghostwritten creative pieces. Contact Clark at www.grammarchic.net.



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