Attempting to build and grow a business without technology is a futile effort. More than a quarter of consumers use the web to find businesses of all kinds. The tech tools employed at your business close the gap found between brick & mortar operations and your online reach.
That said, it’s not all about the web. Technology plays a prevalent role in everyday operations, from managing business expenses through accounting applications to deploying FSM for workplace management.
5 Tools Loved by Businesses Small to Large
Common tech used by today’s businesses include simple (but essential) tools like web browsers and phone systems. These are a given. But what other tools are used to drive business? How do they improve the workflow? Read on and find out.
Web and workplace analytics tools provide the necessary reports for actionable improvements. Web analytics detail how and why web users interact with the site. This data reveals the top-performing pages, so the business can choose to pour extra effort and resources into the areas that need the most improvement.
These analytics tools are also found in CRM, logistics and sales software. They provide similar reports for making improvements.
2. Team Communication
Platforms like Slack and Basecamp have become industry standards for keeping employees and outsourced tasks on track.
These communication tools present instant messaging, video and screen sharing features that businesses may use to house important documents and/or coordinate sales/marketing efforts.
Many of these tools include supporting applications for task management and delegation. This brings all of the daily operations within a manageable interface that a business owner or team manager can use to track productivity and workplace morale.
3. Payment Processing
Processing payments — both online and in-person — have long been under the control of the major credit and debit card issuers.
Today, however, we have options:
Each has greatly reduced card processing fees, and they’re easy to implement, too.
4. Data Management
Customer data and privacy are of the utmost concern, especially in the wake of high-profile data breaches such as what happened with Equifax.
Malicious individuals are in a constant flurry to attack and gain vital business documents. Sometimes this is just for their own entertainment, but usually it’s so they can sell the off that information to equally malicious buyers. Either way, a business needs data management solutions that entail regular, off-site backups to ensure fault tolerance.
Data management may also include user permissions for business software, which reduces problematic downtime caused by user error.
BYOD (bring your own device) has caught on within small and large business environments. This policy allows employees to use their personal computers and mobile devices to conduct their day-to-day tasks. Allowing these devices reduces training pains when forcing employees to learn new systems and platforms.
However, a business may choose to distribute mobile phones and tablets to empower their employees. These devices are locked, but allow for great flexibility with access to essential business systems and information (with permissions).
Implementing Tech into the Business
Tech implementation is often met with resistance — either by the business owner or employees — because it presents a new challenge to traditional systems.
All considerations for tech tools should first pass a simple “yes” when asking if it solves a problem or need.
The introduction continues through a series of vetting and feedback from employees. Onboarding is often done within a small subset of the team, followed by a larger roll out complemented with robust training. Documentation and continuous feedback help improve the user experience and roll out.
Go Forth, Embrace Tech
It’s a fool’s errand to operate a modern business without utilizing today’s tech tools. You risk less-than-optimal performance from your employees and minimal reach within your marketplace. Look to your competitors and various industry reports to find commonly used tech solutions. Then, put them in place.
What tool(s) do you find necessary for operations?