We’ve all heard the old adage, “Work smarter, not harder.” Well, today’s technology makes that motto all the more relevant. If you aren’t leveraging technology to meet your business’ needs, you are going to fall behind in this fast paced, non-stop market. Technology makes your business more efficient and cost effective. When you have the right tools, your business can go from invisible to irreplaceable! Here are four technology tools your business needs to survive in 2017:
1. Web Presence
This is probably one of the most important tools at your disposal and it does not have to be complicated either! Nowadays, you don’t even have to hire an expensive developer to make a great looking website. With options like Wix Website Builder and websitebuilder.com, you can have a company web page up within a couple hours with no technical experience needed. Don’t stop there though! Social media is the lifeblood of your business online. Facebook is a necessity and should be the first social media niche you conquer. I also recommend ensuring your company has a presence on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yelp or Foursquare, and YouTube.
2. Digital Payment Options
I can’t stress this enough.Nobody wants to mail paper checks, make a trip to a store, or go through telephone prompts just to place an order for your services. We are a society of instant gratification and click-it-and-forget-it conveniences. If you want to attract long term customers, make sure you have an online payment option. Even if you aren’t selling online, having a payment option on your website will increase your cash flow and customer retention. Paypal is the most obvious choice based on it’s reputation for security and ease of use. However, Square is also becoming a serious competitor in the market.
3. Digital Printer/ Copier Center
If you are still scraping by with an ink jet printer and scanner, you need to step out of the stone age and open your business up to all the options and conveniences a great digital print center offers. It’s much easier to take your business from paper to digital if you have the right equipment in house to do so inexpensively and quickly. Whether you use it to print your own in-house marketing materials or to scan records into a cloud storage system, I recommend checking into used digital printing equipment. Much like a certified pre-owned vehicle, you will save money on depreciation and still accomplish that shiny new look you are going for. Sites like JJ Bender are a good source for locating gently used equipment.
4. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
In such a fast paced environment, it’s important to ensure your business doesn’t lose that personal touch. Believe it or not, there is even technology to help you with that! Whether your business is retail or B2B, following up with your customers to thank them for their business and reward loyalty goes a long way in creating a lasting relationship. Salesforce is a staple in the industry, but if you have a very small business or a startup, Insightly is a more affordable option that you can scale up with your business’ growth.
If you haven’t jumped on the digital bandwagon yet, get to it! These four tools will help you cut your chops and get you on the right track to keep up with the competition.