Between the newest smartphones, tablets, computers, cameras, and virtual reality, Americans are practically swimming in a pool of new technological advancements that seemingly only grows bigger every day. So, what does this mean for business owners? Among these advancements, a slew of applications and products have arisen to help small businesses thrive. From automating key work processes to hosting data, here are our five top technologies to utilize in a small business setting:

1.) CRM Software
If you work with a lot of clients and have built up a long list of business contacts, a Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, software client will be a game changer for your business. Your CRM acts as your personal database, tracking critical information for your contacts and giving you the ability to assess and organize your relationship with each of your leads. A CRM client streamlines your contacts’ information and offers organizational perks that help your sales, marketing and administration departments operate smoothly. Companies like SalesforceZoho or Hubspot offer their CRM software online, so that you and your employees can access your leads – anytime, anywhere.

2.) Team Communications Apps

Gone are the days of yelling office-to-office, crowding the water cooler to catch one another up on projects, and sending unnecessary emails. Team communications apps are taking the business world by storm, and for good reason. With apps like SlackMicrosoft TeamsStride and more, not only can you streamline discussions with your employees and coworkers, but you can organize each conversation by team, project, or subject. Need to send a quick update out to your whole staff, ask a question of your marketing department, or speak with a teammate regarding a specific task? You can assign corresponding channels for each. Additionally, these apps allow you to easily find information shared between you and your teammates, and they remove the clutter of inter-office conversation from your email inbox. The best of these communications apps allow for integration with your favorite productivity apps, and the attachment of files and documents for quick project updates and handoffs. And with many of these apps offering mobile downloads alongside desktop applications, you can handle work conversations as they arise, even while on the go.

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In our increasingly technological world, small businesses are able to compete with the “big dogs” thanks to the implementation of technology in the workplace.

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3.) Mobile Point-Of-Sale Systems

Mobile solutions to traditional Point-of Sale (POS) models such as MobileBytesSquareVend and Shopkeephave become increasingly popular for restaurant and retail businesses over the past few years. Whether they’re used to get customers through your check-out line quickly and efficiently, or if they’re utilized to sell on-the-go at events and pop-up booths, mobile POS systems have made the final step of the sales process much easier for business owners across the nation. The technology also allows for seamless transitions for obtaining signatures or calculating tips. Most mobile POS systems allow options for paperless receipts, with which customers can opt to receive their receipts via text or email – not only does this help the environment, but it integrates with your CRM to update your database with valuable information for strategic marketing.

4.) Project Management Software

When you’re running a small business, you’ve got a lot on your plate. With projects spanning the full breadth of your company’s capabilities, from marketing, to administration, to sales, it can be a bit of a handful trying to keep track of everything you and your employees must do on a day-to-day basis. Enter, project management software. Apps like WrikeAsanaBasecampTrello, Microsoft Projects and more help business owners and employees schedule, track, and collaborate on projects. Project management software gives managers the ability to visually break down each project their team is working on, and delegate specific tasks and subtasks with specific details and deadlines to their team. With many project managers providing mobile software alongside desktop software, you and your employees can seamlessly transition between work in the office and work on the go. Project management software also gives managers the option to visualize their data, with progress and achievements displayed via customizable line graphs and Gantt charts.

5.) Cloud Based Storage

With technology improving exponentially over the past few years and showing no signs of stopping anytime soon, more and more businesses are opting to store their data in the cloud rather than on hardware servers in the office. Cloud based storage offers a number of perks, namely the ability to access your files at any time. Services such as OneDriveGoogle DriveBox and Dropbox offer both desktop and mobile access, meaning you and your coworkers have the ability to collaborate on files and projects even when your team isn’t physically together.Cloud storage services are scalable, meaning you pay only as much as you need to in order to store what you need, without the worry of paying for more space than you need, or even worse, not enough. When storing your data in the cloud, you also cut down on hardware maintenance costs and increase security – because your files are no longer stored on a server housed in your office, you have the added benefits of enterprise-level security and unlimited data backup.

In our increasingly technological world, small businesses are able to compete with the “big dogs” thanks to the implementation of technology in the workplace. From software applications to give you ease of organization or new technological equipment to keep you on the cutting edge of your industry’s advancements, there’s plenty of room for business owners and entrepreneurs to learn and grow. If you are in need of some technological improvements for your business, but maybe don’t have the cash flow to support the new equipment or software, Amerifund can help you with equipment financing or working capital.

 

What technologies are you planning on implementing into your business, or if you already have, what are some technologies that have made a crucial difference in your day-to-day work flow? Let us know in the comments below to keep the discussion going!