What Tech does your Business need?
Business owners often ask me, what technology do I absolutely have to use in my business? The truth is, none (yes really). A business can operate without technology, but achieve far better results in a shorter amount of time if they do.
Cloud based tech, and technology in general are tools business owners can use to accomplish so much more, in a shorter time frames and for less financial outlay, and this is particularly true for start-ups. Businesses are now able to scale in ways that just weren’t possible before, accessing talent globally while still offering flexibility to its workforce.
Technology is evolving so fast that the tools we use today are going to look vastly different to the tools we use in 2 years, and this can sometimes feel overwhelming. It can be hard to determine what will move the needle for your business right now. I have put together a list below of areas I see technology making a difference in businesses today:
Financial – You need to have a means of storing, monitoring and tracking your finances. It has to be user friendly and this could be cloud based, such as Xero. I use the app Receipt Bank to upload my receipts, and this integrates with my accounting software. Your business may also need a payment gateway, a method for accepting payment online from your customers such as Eway or Ezidebit.
Administrative – As we move more towards virtual teams, storing data, documents and standard operating procedures (SOP’s) in a way that can be accessed online is becoming more and more important – Google Drive, Google Sites, and Sweet Process come instantly to mind here. Scheduling software such as ScheduleOnce and Calendar apps can be particularly useful to the day to day running of your business.
Communication – As we move towards a more flexible and diverse workforce, we need more than just email and text messaging for effective internal communication. Apps such as Slack, WhatsApp and Voxer are great. Technology means we are better able to communicate not only with our virtual teams, but also our customers. Video conferencing is made much more user friendly with software such as Gotowebinar, Skype and Zoom.
Marketing & Sales – Building a customer database is integral to almost every business, and you need to have a means of communicating with, and tracking, your customers. There are some great customer relationship management (CRM) tools out there such as Zoho and Infusionsoft. Mailchimp offers an automated means of emailing your customer database and New Kajabi is an example of an all in one marketing platform. I would also include Social Media channels here, such as Instagram, Blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube and even the good old website as aspects of business marketing.
Project Management – Managing projects can be made so much easier with programs such Trello and Lean Kit. While not specifically marketed as a project management program, Onenote is great for multi-user collaboration.
Events – For businesses that hold events, Eventbrite is a popular event platform for promoting events, and selling tickets but there is also Picatic and Xing Events.
While this list is by no means comprehensive, I hope I have been able to provide a good starting place to help you assess what your technology needs are as a business owner. The most important thing to remember is, whatever software you choose to use, it has to move the needle for your business.