Updated: Feb 3
6 Small Business Tech Upgrades that Pay for Themselves
Are you avoiding upgrading your business technology due to cost? It’s true that technology and software can stretch a small business’s budget, but the right tech investments pay for themselves — and then some. These six business technology upgrades will improve your business’ efficiency, customer experience, and bottom line.
A Dynamic Smartphone
Gone are the days when business owners could only get their work done on their desktop computers. Now, you can go mobile with your business thanks to a wealth of apps and software that help you streamline your business. Need to send an email, check your business’s social media page, or submit an invoice? You can do all of these and more on your smartphone.
Not all smartphones are created equal, though. If you really want to get through the day’s tasks, boost your client base, and drive sales, you’ll need to invest in a dynamic model that’s equipped with the latest technology. Whenever you’re using any wireless device, be sure you protect yourself against cyber attacks. Keep your antivirus software up-to-date and learn how to spot scams and phishing schemes.
An Engaging Website
If you haven’t carved out your own little slice of the internet, then you need to get on this ASAP. A website allows potential customers and clients to easily find out about you, your services, and your company’s history. What’s more, if you’re selling products, you can set up a storefront and sell merchandise, even if you operate a traditional brick-and-mortar business.
Although you can create a website using one of the many free tools available online, hiring a freelancer for the job will ensure your site looks professional and functions as needed. So, look for a WordPress developer (WordPress is a popular backend that powers many websites and blogs) via online job boards. Just make sure the person you select has plenty of experience developing websites for businesses.
Paper-based records aren’t just inefficient and bulky, they’re also impractical for modern businesses. When you’re running your business from the office, at home, and on the go, you need to be able to access records wherever you are.
Digitizing records is a big undertaking, but it saves money on labor and storage in the long run. Rather than tasking your staff with the job, outsource digitization to a document-scanning vendor that can organize your electronic documents into a document management system and securely dispose of the paper files.
Automated Cloud Backup
Backing up your data is one of those tasks you know is important, but you let it fall to the bottom of the to-do list anyway. However, a disruption to your business’s data, whether due to a data breach or a natural disaster, could have a disastrous impact on your business’s bottom line. Rather than relying on a manual backup process, automate this chore. A cloud backup service only needs to be set up once, after which backup will automatically run on schedule.
Integrated Accounting Software
Are you still manually keying data into your accounting software? Bookkeeping is a huge time sink for small businesses, but hiring an in-house bookkeeper isn’t the only way to streamline business finances. An increasing number of accounting programs integrate with popular business apps like Square, PayPal, and TSheets to sync all your financial data in one place.
Quickbooks is still one of the most prevalent accounting programs for small businesses, but business owners in search of a more affordable option don’t have to sacrifice features to save money. FreshBooks, Zoho Books, and Xero all cost less than Quickbooks, but they remain popular choices for small businesses and solopreneurs.
Customer Service Tools
Customer service mishaps can cost businesses big bucks, and it’s not only saying the wrong thing that can get you in trouble. Long response times and a lack of cross-channel customer support can also lead consumers to shop elsewhere.
You can’t be everywhere at once, so instead of trying to manage customer service manually, invest in customer service tools that make it easy to meet customers’ needs. There is a wide range of customer service tools available, from simple help desk systems to complete customer service packages with knowledge bases, live chat, and mention tracking.
It’s important to be frugal as a small business owner, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid spending money at all costs. Sometimes, putting money into your business is the best way to get more out of it. If inefficiency is holding your business back, these tech investments could be the answer to improving your small business’s operations and, in turn, its profits.