Thanks to modern technology, businesses are easier to run than ever. Find the right tech, software, and employees, and you essentially have a business which runs itself which is the dream for many entrepreneurs. But what exactly do you need to automate your systems, keep things running efficiently and maintain excellent relationships with both your staff and customers? Here are just a few pieces of tech-related things you could consider.
Cloud Online Backup Software
Online backup software protects the information on your network. It works by encrypting the data and sending it to secure servers. This is useful as it means if anything happens to your computers, your information is safe. This is much safer than backing up to physical disks and hard drives since any problems with your computers could also affect these backups. For example, a flood, fire or even a robbery could well lead to the backups being taken as well as the original computers. When you use a cloud-based backup service, some software runs on the server and performs a backup. This information is then encrypted for safety and stored.
A big part of running your own business is keeping good accounts. While you’ll probably have an accountant to do the hard stuff, you’ll still need to keep efficient records. Good accounting software will mean either you’re able to do your books yourself, or at least do most of the work, so you’re not having to spend as much money paying an accountant for more hours. Old methods of accounting such as paper records or Excel can slow or even put your business in jeopardy, more efficient methods are vital. They are more accurate and will save you precious time. Plus they can be saved to that all important cloud-based backup service.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
CRM software allows you to plan your interactions with customers quickly and efficiently. It allows you to keep all of the contact information for your customers in one place, alongside other detailed information. This includes things like the products they have purchased, the feedback they have given you and any marketing materials you have already shown them. By doing this, you can offer excellent customer service as well as target information based on their purchases and preferences. Knowing your customers in this way allows you to specifically market products towards them, leading to further sales.
Business Presentation Software
If you are selling products, your sales staff will need a great pitch and a presentation to engage the audience and secure clients and customers. You don’t just need to go for boilerplate Microsoft PowerPoint, there are a whole host of other programs out there, many which will likely suit the needs of your business more. Spend some time looking into what’s available and choose based on the kind of slideshows and presentations you want to display.
A Live Chat Feature
Live chat is becoming more widespread, and is an excellent feature for business. Customers might have questions when browsing your products or services, but would never pick up the phone. Instead they might simply gravitate off your site and you lose business. But having a live chat means everything can be answered quickly. It also makes your company look professional and legitimate which is very important when you’re first starting out. At the very least, invest in an automated call attendant. This is useful for businesses which are growing but understaffed. Rather than simply ringing and going to voicemail if unanswered, this gives your callers different options to press which helps with call handling. For example, some customers may just be calling for information. This could be provided on one of the options or you could refer them to a certain page on your website. Meaning only callers who need to speak to someone in person come through.
A Blogging Platform
If you’re not blogging for your business then you need to get with the times! It helps drive more traffic to your site, it means more pages get indexed by search engines which boosts your page rank. It establishes authority and helps to spread the word about your website through social media shares. Choose your blogging platform, both Blogger and WordPress are great options and then write regular engaging content in order to draw in potential customers in. You will need to make sure that your blog is optimized for all devices, and be sure to include share links at the end of your posts. This will encourage shares and is a free way to get your business name out there.
A ‘Carrier Hotel’
Carrier hotels, also known as colocation centers protect and store the networking equipment of other companies. They are responsible for cooling, power, and physical security and connect to a variety of telecommunications and network service providers. This is done with minimal cost and complexity so is a good investment for growing businesses. There are many providers out there so running a quote through a website will help you find the right one for you.
Powerful Computers and Smartphones
In your office, your employees should have access to fast, reliable computers. The best software and programs in the world are no use on machines that run at a snail’s pace or crash repeatedly. You will lose precious work hours, and possibly even data which in some cases could be disastrous for your business. If you have employees that are out on the road for work such as to sell products or attend meetings up and down the country then they will need access to good smartphones. This allows them to quickly enter video conference calls, reply to emails and do everything else a regular
Have you put much thought into your businesses tech and software? Do you have anything that has worked particularly well for you, or you feel as though your business simply couldn’t do without?