In recent years, technology has proven to be a real godsend to small businesses with the myriad resources and tools that it offers – all designed to make your life easier. Needless to say, hardware, software, and other tech are worthy investments for any small business. And while this is easier said than done – because the latest tech is often beyond the budget of small business owners, after all – the alternative of going without it is often more cost-prohibitive in the long run.
Thankfully, small businesses need not break the bank as they invest in tech that they actually need. Here are a few tools that are worth the expense, not just for the long-term ROI, but for the ease and efficiency they give you as an entrepreneur.
In recent years, automation has become an important buzzword in the business world. This makes sense, since as Keap explains there are numerous tasks that can – and should – be automated to achieve maximum efficiency and growth in your small business. There are even tools that can do this for free, or at the very least very affordably.
As an example, one great tool to have is an online voice recorder that not only keeps your hands free but also increases accuracy when note-taking from meetings and the like. Your recordings can then be easily downloaded for your listening pleasure.
Today, there are countless media and channels that you can tap to communicate your business message, running the gamut from email newsletters to social media updates. Keeping track of all your campaigns can be next to impossible. In order to reach your desired audience and ultimately grow your business, you need to have a solid marketing strategy in place and, more importantly, a solid arsenal of marketing tools to do the job for you.
Investing in proper marketing tools will undoubtedly solve plenty of your marketing challenges, as well as get your business message out more effectively. Best of all, this keeps your marketing and advertising costs at a minimum, as opposed to traditional means like working with a brick-and-mortar agency.
Of course, when running a small business, you inevitably have to juggle many different things at the same time. This can actually be counterproductive as it leaves plenty of room for errors, forgotten tasks, and even unfair division of workloads. With these in mind, there’s little doubt that project management tools are also worth the investment.
Nutcache points out that effective project management keeps workflows moving, ticks items off your to-do list, and makes collaboration more seamless. This is a real need for small businesses, and thankfully, there’s an impressive roster of project management tools easily available today – again at low or even zero cost.
Such tools range from file sharing to team communication to task management – the list could go on and on. It would serve your small business well to determine your needs and invest in the apps that will keep you moving forward with efficiency.
If you took the DIY route and built your website a few years ago, you’re probably due for a serious upgrade. Especially if you’re of a mind to add an eCommerce platform to help your business grow. Rather than trying to build a new site yourself, look to top-notch WordPress developers who have the skills to quickly build and customize your website to your specifications. If you opt for a WordPress site, this gives you the ability to make small changes later on your own without the help of a professional once everything is said and done. A freelance WordPress developer can deliver the goods, but be sure your candidates are fully versed in WordPress in addition to CSS, Java and HTML.
It can be argued that number-crunching is the least fun part of running a small business. However, it’s doubtless a necessary evil as it’s numbers like profit and expenses that could make or break your future. Furthermore, investing in good accounting tools is particularly important, as manually tracking figures make your business vulnerable to costly human errors.
Surprisingly, some of the best accounting tools – not to mention, the most trusted – are wallet-friendly and flexible, making them real must-haves, rather than just good-to-haves.
Indeed, it’s a well-known fact that to succeed in business, it takes money to make money. Tools that help you perform business functions more effectively – and ease some of your burdens to boot – are undoubtedly great uses for your money, so take the plunge and make the investment. You’ll only have yourself to thank for it.
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