There is no understating the feeling that comes with starting your own business. With your own business, you get the freedom to pursue things you love in life, instead of being stuck in a tedious 9 - 5 job that you have no passion in. What more? You can watch your business grow from the very beginning and know that you've set your company in place to help people one way or another.
When things get difficult
But a business is not a bed of roses. It takes hard work, consistency, and a little patience. What happens when you are finding things harder than they should be in your business? We advise you to look towards technology. Technology has become a way of life; its usefulness moves through every sector in life, your business included. There are several business technologies that can make your company run a lot smoother.
From marketing in your business, managing customers, payroll, or even storing your data, here are five of the top technologies you should implement in your business.
1) CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT (CRM) SOFTWARE
Your customers are your business, and for most businesses, an increase in customers leads to a growth in their company. However, it becomes more difficult to manage individual relationships with your customers when they increase. So, a sound customer relationship management system is ideal in this situation.
Customer relationship management (CRM) is cloud-based software with a variety of uses for businesses. Some of the benefits include:
- Customer growth and retention
- Lead conversion
- Increase in business revenue
- A decrease in marketing cost
- Project management
- Powerful integration with other apps like Google apps, emails, Office 365, etc.
There are several CRM platforms your business can benefit from (Zoho, Salesforce, Insightly, etc.), and each one comes with added features and advantages for your business.
2) LOCATION-BASED TOOLS
A location-based tool is another type of technology your business needs. With the world becoming increasingly technologically advanced, customers are looking for businesses and services nearby on location-based tools, and your business can take advantage of this.
Location-based tools are many, each with its usefulness. Some examples include social media, Yelp, CitySearch, Yellow Pages, unique country domain extensions, etc. You must localize your web presence to ensure you don't miss out on potential customers.
Some ways to use location-based tools include:
- Get listed on Yellow Pages within your area. By simply entering your current business type, name, address, and other contact details, you can get listed on your local Yellow Pages.
- Always use your exact location in any social post. Social media offers a location feature that allows users to enter their exact location on any post they make. In your case, as a business owner, it could be your business address.
- Use your country's domain extension. You will notice that some websites have a '.co.uk or .ng' attached to their URL. These are their unique country domain extensions, and they help in local targeting and SEO. By making use of your country's domain extension, your website becomes more visible in search results for people living in those areas.
3) BUSINESS EMAIL
Another critical technology your business needs is a dedicated business email. With emails being a significant way the majority of businesses communicate internally and externally, picking a great email provider is a key to the success of your communication.
You want to pick a business email provider who can provide you with some of the following features:
- A business domain name. So rather than your email address having @gmail.com or @yahoo.co.uk, your business email address will be @businessname.com.
- Higher security measures. More aggressive actions are set in place to minimize hacks, spam, malware, and even viruses.
- More storage space.
A business email address, aside from some of the benefits listed above, gives a sense of professionalism to everyone dealing with your business.
4) CLOUD STORAGE
Moving on to the fourth business technology on our list that you should adopt, we have cloud storage. Now, cloud storage has gained massive popularity in businesses over the years, and that is because it is a must-have storage system for all companies.
Cloud storage is simply a virtual storage system for all your business files, customer data, business inventories, and other useful documents. The reason why this type of storage is so helpful is that it takes away the risk involved with storing physical files, and it creates a safe and secure hub for business owners to store, access, and retrieve their data at any point in time and from anywhere. The only thing needed to access this data is an internet connection.
Cloud storage can also help increase efficiency in your business, improve internal communications, and share information easily between members of a team.
5) BUSINESS INTERNET
Finally, great business internet is vital for the success of business operations. Imagine running a business with a slow and unreliable internet connection, how would that make you feel? Frustrated, unproductive, annoyed? That's how your employees would feel if you hired them to do a great job but provided them with a subpar internet connection to see it through. What more? A crappy internet connection can even result in a loss in sales.
Upgrade your internet to a business internet; this is the type of technology used by companies that value efficiency and productivity. Many internet services provide specific internet for businesses, and you can choose a plan that pertains to your needs. Work with a budget and select key features and plans that will provide the essential needs your business has.
While there are a lot more technologies out there that your business can benefit from, these five are extremely important for any organization. Especially if you are a small or medium-sized business, implement these five technologies to your company to see an increase in customer retention, customer growth, employee productivity, and more.