You’ve got your own small business. Kudos to you, as even a modest operation is a challenge to get off the ground. That’s certainly no minor achievement, but it’s not time to sit on your laurels now. One of the most important things you can do to help your small biz continue to thrive is to make sure the office and all of your employees have everything they need to be successful.
This is particularly true of technology, as that is what we use for reaching clients and just about everything else these days. Want to make sure you’re setting your employees up for success? Read on for six tech tools your small business needs.
When it comes to productivity and being able to reach fellow employees instantaneously, yep—there’s an app for that. Slack a virtual gathering place for all employees. Not only are these peers able to IM one another regarding pressing matters (as opposed to waiting for an email response), but also the app can be divided into channels/subject matter. For example, if you work in Marketing or Sales and there is a client that doesn’t concern you, simply don’t subscribe to that channel. Only subscribe to the ones that are pertinent to your tasks. It’s efficiency at its best. It’s easily integrated into any PM systems or other apps you use, so the transition is seamless.
2. G Suite
Starting at just $5/month, this suite of Google products is a must. It sets you up with professional email and allows you access to Google Docs, Slides, and Google Drive. The Drive is particularly helpful, as it allows your employees to share documents with each other once they’ve been edited. According to a Deloitte study via this article on small business tools, “85% of small business owners reported that cloud technology like G suite enables them to scale and grow faster, while 66% said that the cloud allows them to outperform their competitors.
3. A Working Printer
If you’ve seen the movie Office Space, you know that the need for this has almost become a bit of comedy. The truth is, though, there is nothing worse than needing to meet a deadline, only to realize that your printer is on the fritz once again.
Do your research before buying. This article from HP explains how to choose a printer for a small business, and it’s clear there are plenty of factors to consider beyond just printing capabilities:
Keep in mind whether you want your printer to take on additional roles, such as photocopying, faxing, and scanning. Printers that perform those tasks are known as multifunction printers (MFP) or all-in-one printers, and you’ll find that most modern printers fall into this category.
Investing in the right printer now will pay off later, so make sure you take the time to find the right fit.
Direct mail is taking the back burner to email programs these days, which is why this email-marketing program is so effective. Once you’ve done your marketing research and you’ve found your demographic, you can send targeted emails using MailChimp. It not only provides the designs and the means for sending out the blast, but also it has tools that will help you analyze its effectiveness.
Unless you’re outsourcing your social media, you need this tool. You can’t shake off social media as a trend, as this is probably the most effective way for you to reach your current and potential clients. Hootsuite allows you to schedule your social media posts and it also offers analytics to prove its impact. If you’re doing your social media posts by yourself, you can take a day at the beginning of the week and schedule all of your Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc., posts. That way, you can free up the rest of your time to work on other business efforts. And if current events that are pertinent to your business arise, you can always add posts as the week progresses.
6. Google Analytics
You’ve probably surmised by now that Google Analytics is crucial to your small business—but what Google tool isn’t these days? This tool lets you analyze your numbers and find out where the majority of your traffic is coming from. As this article put out by Forbes notes:
Users can view the countries their site has been seen in, the percentage differences in traffic drivers, and their key numbers, broken out by the day, week, month, or year. Best of all, Google Analytics uses clearly marked charts and graphs so that even the least tech savvy individual can feel confident with understanding their information.
Of course, once you get these numbers, you’ll want to put them to work on how to target your customers in the most effective manner.