As you probably know very well, when you’re a small business owner, you have a lot of responsibilities. Those responsibilities can include everything from marketing to tracking expenses, managing supplies, and what can feel like a million other tasks. Fortunately, there are small business tools and technologies that can take over some of your jobs so that you can focus on the big picture.
The Benefits of Small Business Innovation
Using new technology in business helps small businesses with just a few employees to make the most of every resource available. The benefits to small business technology can include:
- Streamlining your business processes, by setting regular tasks to be done automatically
- Saving money that you’d otherwise have to spend on an extra employee
- Saving time by automating tasks that you’d have to do manually
- Increasing your control over all parts of your business without increasing the demands on your time
What is Innovation in Small Business?
These are different ways that technology can take over some of your regular tasks. Popular small business technology trends include:
- More and more tasks are moving online; you can do your business banking and even buy your general liability insurance for small business online, saving time and stress with fewer in-person appointments that take time away from your business.
- Mobile business apps are especially useful for business owners who are out of the office a lot. They enable you to manage your whole business on the go, from scheduling to accepting payments.
- Cloud-based or downloadable software. IT for small business can be online (cloud-based) or downloaded to your business computer (on-premise) to help you prepare a quote, manage payroll and more.
- Tablets are often enough to manage an entire small business, thanks to the many software options for entrepreneurs.
The Best Innovative Ideas for Small Business Owners
You can probably find better ways to use your time than searching through a mound of papers. Evernote, OmniFocus and Google Drive all let you upload documents, images and PDFs and organize them with tags and folders. Cloud sync means that you can access them from any device.
Time tracking and productivity
Whether you need to stay on top of your own tasks or delegate projects to employees, apps like Trello, Basecamp and Asana can help you do it. You can assign tasks, share notes and resources, track completion and even chat within the app.
Accounting and financial services
Accept appointments and handle cancellations on the go with reliable scheduling apps such as Appointy or Schedulicity.
Entrepreneurs can benefit from customer service apps and shared customer services like ZenDesk, LivePerson or Kayako. These apps let you respond to customer queries and set up automated chatbots to handle common inquiries.
Great marketing apps include MailChimp, which helps you automate email campaigns; web developer platforms such as Wix for a professional-looking website; HubSpot for inbound marketing and apps like Hootsuite or Buffer to manage, schedule and automate social media posts.
File storage and collaboration
Tools to improve your sales management include apps like 360Leads for maximizing your sales leads and inventory management apps that automatically track your stock levels and notify you when it’s time to order more.
These are just some of our favorite small business and technology tools. More tools keep appearing as people think of another way to make it easier to run a small business. What are your best small business tools?