As a small business owner, you have a series of responsibilities. The priorities for small business owners usually include managing finances, attracting customers, retaining employees, devising effective marketing strategies etc. while staying abreast of the recent trends.
With the importance of a web presence taking up the limelight, businesses have been moving to the digital world in the hopes of increased exposure and rapid growth. Increasingly, more and more companies are investing in IT solutions for improved performance.
While an online presence is a basic technology need for businesses, the efficient and organized management of data and information requires the implementation of specific technological tools. In addition to that, various other aspects of businesses also stand to benefit from appropriate implementations.
Let’s take a look at some of the technologies that you can implement in your small business for the best possible results.
Inventory Management Systems
Keeping track of where your stock is located and the exact contents of the warehouse is vital. This is where inventory management becomes relevant. An efficient inventory management software will automate the inventory routines. It can also help in ensuring that you have the right inventory on hand at the right time.
Integrating the inventory management system with your back office and accounting operations can make the implementation even more effective. This enables companies to make well-informed decisions, provide services predictably to the customers, minimize errors in the operations and reduce labor costs considerably.
Online Business Training
Training employees is an important part of business growth. With the rising number of tech-savvy millennials adding to the workforce, the usage of online leaning tools for staff training has become more relevant. Additionally, limited budget and time have also fueled the popularity of e-learning tools.
There are various benefits of e-learning. Online learning tools facilitate a self-paced studying model. This improves learner engagement significantly. Additionally, online learning enables the usage of personalized study materials and a highly interactive format. The study materials are available to the employees at all times. Hence, online learning is an effective alternative to convention training methods.
Customer Relationship Management Software
The interactions with your customers are highly valuable for your company. Effective communication with clients is key to increasing your profits. However, managing the communications and drawing valuable insights and identifying opportunities from them can be quite difficult. This is where an efficient customer relationship management (CRM) system becomes relevant.
Implemented well, CRM systems can keep track of customer interactions, help in providing improved access to customer data, manage sales pipeline, optimize financial opportunities, analyze performance and so on. The good news is, these systems are easily accessible and highly affordable.
Many businesses have a global presence. With teams scattered across the world, it may become financially difficult for small business owners to conduct conferences where employees would need to travel to and from the location. Web-based teleconferencing tools make it easy to conduct long-distance meetings with multiple people any time you want. Various conference tools are already available in the market for free download and these do not require any special equipment.
For example, we are already aware of the benefits of using Skype for business calls. According to Trey Smith, CEO and president of a next-generation telecommunication company, “Because Skype is a Microsoft product it’s automatically integrated with the MS Office Suite as well as its Outlook email product. So when a meeting is set up via Skype for Business, recipients get a hyperlink that’s fully-enabled for voice, video and desktop sharing. It’s powerful, inexpensive and simple to use.”
A good Internet service coupled with a competent WiFi router will ensure that the connection stays uninterrupted throughout the call.
With technology becoming a valuable part of businesses, we have become vulnerable to cyber crimes. In a survey, it was found that 60% of all cyber crimes are aimed at small businesses. It was also found that 80% of the businesses do not use data protection. As small businesses start to shift their data and valuable information to the cloud, a rapid implementation of network security to prevent any data breach becomes extremely crucial.
Network security should be made a priority to protect both, the company and the customers. Businesses should look into data encryption, mobile and Email security and so on. You should also have a backup and disaster recovery system in place.
Implementing these technologies can help immensely in making the business processes smoother and more effective.