Tips and Tools for Small Business Owners

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How can small business owners become more productive with technology?

In the current corporate scenario, it is becoming seemingly important for businesses of all sizes to innovate for efficiency, productivity and fast growth. With a screen-based attention economy that we are dealing with, it becomes imperative for all businesses to provide rapid service and impeccable quality to both internal and external stakeholders, while delivering consistent and improved buying experiences to all customer segments.

The Covid-19 crisis on the other hand, has resulted in many companies getting swiftly innovative and taking the digital route to protect their business, their employees and serve customers, all amid mobility restrictions and government crisis guidelines. When business experts talk about boosting productivity what they often mean is technological innovation. Without the help of technology and fast automation and innovation, it would have been impossible for businesses and economies to survive even a little during this pandemic. What seems to be an interesting factor though, is how the business world will bounce back post the covid-19 era. With businesses becoming cost conscious and consumers becoming tech savvy, it goes without saying that even startups and small businesses will have to adopt business digitization, post the pandemic. Even your best employees will look or opt for better opportunities where they are provided with technology that makes them more productive. Companies will also need to ensure that their digital channels are on par with or better than those of their competition to succeed in this new environment.

So then, to strive to remain ahead of the pack, how can small businesses become more productive today? The answer is simple.

Use good tools. Use progressive technology. We understand that running a business is not easy. But when you choose the right productivity tools, you can simplify the way you run it. Every task requires careful thought and processes, so if you leave the small stuff in the able hands of technological tools, you will reduce the risk of losing sales and customers, which is clearly the bigger picture to focus on.  When small businesses use productivity tools, they are able to do away with most of the time consuming tasks and paper-work, which has given them time to use their resources on building and growing the company, more efficiently. While technology is only one slice of the productivity pie, cheaper IT hardware and software-as-a-service (SaaS) are those crucial ones, which have enhanced efficiency, productivity while being affordable tools to especially small sized organisations.

We have outlined some tools for you, to help streamline your small business functions. Our aim is to provide an overview of all the various slices of the technology pie, when put together can help small enterprises in making longer strides that help them achieve their objectives.

Team Communication

Slack: With all of your communication and tools in one place, remote teams will stay productive no matter where you’re working from.

Chanty: A simple and fast team chat designed to boost smarter collaboration within teams of all business segments, saving you time and money!

Calendly: A powerful yet simple automated scheduling tool, takes the work out of connecting with others so you can accomplish more. It works with Google, Office 365 and Outlook calendars and apps like Salesforce, Stripe, PayPal, Google Analytics, GoToMeeting and Zapier for a seamless user experience

Microsoft Teams: A proprietary business communication platform developed by Microsoft, as part of the Microsoft 365 family of products. Teams primarily competes with the similar service Slack, offering workspace chat and videoconferencing, file storage, and application integration.

Human Resources

GoCo: HR software that makes it easy to focus on the people, not the paperwork. Onboard a new employee, send & collect documents, or easily manage time off. Easy to start. Easy to use. Easy to love.

Zenefits: A platform that brings everything HR into one radically simple, single app. It puts benefits, payroll and HR access in the pockets and at the fingertips of employees.

Grovo: The world’s leading micro learning solution, providing modern learning that employees actually like. Grovo helps L&D teams engage employees and drive their business forward by delivering a constantly evolving library of customizable Micro learning lessons through an easy-to-use platform.

Zoho People: A complete and comprehensive HR solution to automate your HR processes, nurture your talent and give them the best experiences at work. 

arête HRMS: Suitable for organisations with 20 or more employees, it helps in tracking all employee documentation at a single location for ease of access. It connects and manages employee processes, anytime, anywhere, so you can focus your time and resources on growing your business.

Outsourcing

Upwork: The world’s largest work marketplace, connecting millions of businesses with independent freelancers around the globe – from one-person startups to the Fortune 100 and work together in new ways that unlock their potential.

Fiverr: Another online marketplace that connects businesses with on-demand freelance talent offering digital services in more than 400 categories, across 8 verticals including graphic design, digital marketing, programming, video and animation.

Project & Task Management

JIRA: Plan, track, and manage your agile and software development projects. Customize your workflow, collaborate, and release great software.

Trello: Work more collaboratively with your teams while using Trello’s boards, lists, and cards to organize and prioritize projects in a fun, flexible, and rewarding way.

Asana: Orchestrate team work, from small projects to strategic initiatives while managing everything from company objectives to digital transformation to product launches and marketing campaigns.

Basecamp: A saner, calmer, organized way to manage projects and communicate company-wide.

Customer Relationship Management

Intercom: The only suite of customer messaging products that drives growth at every stage of the customer lifecycle—across acquisition, engagement, and support.

Zendesk: A support, sales, and customer engagement software designed to foster better customer relationships. It is quick to implement, easy to use, and scales to fit your needs.

Insightly: The new breed of CRM that helps modern businesses of all sizes build lifelong customer relationships and grow faster than ever before. It is easy to use, highly customizable to your industry, and offers fast time to value at a low total cost of ownership.

Salesforce: A full-scale customer service tool that helps your business build more meaningful relationships, connect with customers across multiple departments, and track insights on how to better manage your business.

Zoho CRM: It helps businesses of all sizes build excellent customer relationships, with features like an inbuilt AI sales assistant, sales pipeline management, marketing automation, analytics, and more.

Business Finance

Freshbooks: A cloud based small business accounting software that can send invoices, track time, manage receipts, expenses, and accept credit cards.

QuickBooks: Another great bookkeeping software service, that lets you invoice customers, track your finances, and pay your employees.

Expensify: Whether you’re working for yourself, managing a team, or closing the books for your clients, it helps you ditch the spreadsheet so you have more time to focus on what really matters.

arête iQMS: Suitable for small enterprises, traders and service providers who manage their business at one location, this tool helps in tracking and managing sales processes, payments and basic accounts. This cloud based integrated system has a simple user interface with easy-to-use instructions. In conclusion, with leaps and bounds of growth in technology sectors, small businesses can benefit immensely by utilizing all relevant tools and solutions to up the game in their industry segments.

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