Technology is constantly advancing. And it has never had such an impact on business. In fact, technology is likely to have an even greater impact on all businesses over the coming years. From making sure data is easy to access to automating basic (and some more advanced) tasks, you need to be sure you have the right tech for the job.
Whether you’re just starting out, or you’ve been in business for a while, knowing what technology you should invest in isn’t always easy. Here are our 7 technologies we think all small businesses need.
Business is all about relationships. A customer relationship manager (CRM) is a database of every person and company you do business with. From prospects to customers, and suppliers to partners, their details and notes should all be stored in one central, secure location. the right CRM should integrate with your email and calendars, so nothing important is missed. Make sure all staff are putting relevant information into the CRM, to better track engagement with customers and prospects.
2. HR Software
Being able to track holiday booking, sick days and more can be done easily with HR software. Employees can sign in, on their computer or mobile depending on the software, and get an idea of home much holiday they have available, how many sick days they’ve taken and more. The right HR software will cut down on administrative time, helping staff to stay more productive.
3. Up to date website
By no means new technology, but a website is very important for a business of any size. The lack of a website, or a very old looking site, can give the impression that your business isn’t digitally advanced. Regularly updating your website can help its performance in the search engines, and it can be a great way of generating enquiries and new business – whether you’ve got a simple website for lead generation or an advanced ecommerce site.
4. Social media
Social media may have started as a platform for friends and family to keep in touch and have a bit of fun, but it has slowly become one of the most effective ways for businesses to communicate. The platforms you use will depend on your type of business – for many B2B businesses LinkedIn and Twitter will be the most effective, but B2C might get more out of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
Automating regular, repetitive tasks can save your organisation a considerable amount of time and money. By automating such tasks, your staff can free up their time for more important work, that will help your business grow. Without the large budgets of enterprises, SMBs need to make sure they’re getting the most of their staff’s time, so nothing gets wasted.
6. VoIP systems
The UK workforce heading home in 2020 has shown just how important it is that staff can access all of their systems. The right VoIP system can be accessed from anywhere, without any restrictions. When choosing a VoIP system, you’ll want to consider the devices staff use to access their phones. Will it be just on their computer, or do you need something with a mobile app? With VoIP, staff can conduct their calls from anywhere.
7. Microsoft 365
Saving the best for last! We couldn’t think of a better technology for a small business than Microsoft 365. Combine you favourite Office applications with powerful collaboration tools like SharePoint and Teams to access files from anywhere, and work on the same documents as other staff members with ease. It’s fully scalable, so you only need to pay for what your staff use – they don’t all have to have the same licenses.
Whatever tech you opt for, be sure to do your research so you choose the right options for your business. Thinking about Microsoft 365? Talk to us to make sure you’re getting the right subscriptions.