Must-Have Technologies for Business
In this article:
- Why technology can help your business
- How to choose the right technologies
- Must have technologies for your business
Technology is an essential tool for growing your business. Today’s market offers many tools for communication, billing, and building customer relationships. While each offers something different, finding the right blend can save home professionals time and money. This is especially true for those who own their own business.
The key to choosing the right technology is understanding your company’s needs. With the right tools, you can organize your daily tasks, manage your team and scale your business.
How technology can help your business
Technology offers many benefits to your business. It helps to track finances, interact with customers, and create brand awareness.
Utilizing the right technology impacts your business’s productivity and bottom line. As a result of the pandemic, many organizations adopted software to address the challenges of a remote workforce. As a result, potential clients have come to expect digital solutions in your offerings.
According to Impact, 65% of mid-size businesses are developing a digital transformation plan. For companies with 20–99 employees, this figure is 47%.
How to choose the right technologies
When choosing the right technologies for your business, one size does not fit all. Don’t think of it as a blanket solution that will help you to solve all your problems in a blink of an eye.
When you’re researching tech solutions, start with a list of the tasks you do for new clients, services, and appointments. If you’re the owner of the business, include your administrative duties on this list as well. As you research solutions, note which tasks will (and won’t) be automated so you can easily compare platforms.
It’s also a good idea to start researching tools that are specific to your enterprise. As an example, many people have heard of Salesforce, but it may be a more robust (and expensive) solution than you actually need. Not sure where to look? Ask colleagues or simply ask Google about “software for” and type in your industry at the end.
If you run a remote or mobile team, consider a robust team management program. For home inspectors specifically, keep in mind that you need software with multiple functions for you and your clients.
What to consider when looking for the best technologies for your business
Here’s a list of data and information you’ll want to collect as you search for tech solutions
- Pain points. What are the parts of your business that cause you the most headaches? What is most frustrating to your clients?
- Business size. Jot down how many employees you have, how many clients you do business with each month, and how much revenue you generate each year. Lots of software is priced by usage, and this will help keep you from overpaying.
- Your industry and business model. Sometimes your software search will require intro calls with tech providers. This information can help them understand how to make you successful on their platforms.
- The goals that you want to achieve. Going into your research with an idea of what you want to get out of it will help you get what you actually want. Write down what tasks you want to have off your plate, or how much time you want to save each week.
Must have technologies for your business
Many small businesses need universal tools for daily operations. This can include many functions like managing relationships, tracking finances, and protecting data.
Here are the essential technologies that can help you run your business:
Customer relationship management (CRM) is software for managing all your company’s customer interactions. CRM software aims to improve your communications with customers and grow your business.
CRM software helps you to collect, analyze and store client data. Sales, marketing, and customer service departments can use CRMs to nurture customer relationships. These platforms also help you find sales leads, remarket to them, and run marketing campaigns.
There’s no doubt that CRMs add value to businesses by helping them build strong relationships. According to Grand View Research, Inc., the global customer relationship management market will reach $157.6 billion by 2030.
There are many types of CRM software to streamline interactions with your customers. For example:
- Zoho CRM provides affordable tools for small businesses. Zoho has various plans that offer different features like reporting and contact records
- Salesforce offers many customization options
- Pipedrive is one of the most popular CRM software options thanks to its intuitive layout
Scheduling software allows businesses to schedule appointments, services, and consultations with their clients. It is designed to streamline the scheduling process and improve the client experience.
The benefits include:
- Increased convenience: With scheduling software, clients can book appointments and services at any time and from any location, improving the convenience and accessibility of your business.
- Improved customer experience: By streamlining the scheduling process, businesses can reduce wait times, minimize the risk of scheduling conflicts, and improve the overall customer experience.
- Increased efficiency: Scheduling software can automate many of the manual processes involved in scheduling, reducing the need for manual effort and freeing up time for more important tasks.
- Better visibility and control: With scheduling software, businesses can have real-time visibility into their schedule, making it easier to manage appointments, resolve conflicts, and ensure that their resources are utilized effectively.
- Enhanced organization: Scheduling software can help businesses to organize and manage their appointments, services, and consultations, reducing the risk of errors and improving the overall efficiency of their operations.
- Improved marketing and sales: Scheduling software often includes tools for customer relationship management and marketing, which can help businesses to build stronger relationships with their clients and improve their sales.
Team management software aims to improve communication between team members and their management. Small business owners use it to schedule meetings, track activities, and improve reporting. A perfect example of such is in that of restaurants that use tools like an automatic scheduler to create effective weekly schedules. Staff management software can help to boost productivity and reach your goals faster.
- Scoro is a solution for team management. It includes contact management, collaboration, and reporting
- Slack is a good tool for remote team collaboration as it allows to send instant messages
- Trello offers the most visual way for teams to collaborate on any project. The software visualizes projects on a dashboard for managing everyday assignments. You can customize Trello depending on the size of your team
Accounting software lets you keep tabs on the financial health of your business. Modern brands can handle most aspects of your accounting needs, streamlining your business and reducing how much you need to pay for bookkeeping and accounting.
Business owners can track accounts payable and receivable, manage the books, and do invoicing in one spot. Many options also allow you to run payroll, track timesheets and pay expense reports.
- Quickbooks is a popular choice among small business owners. In addition to the basics, it helps you track cash flow, create invoices, accept payments, and track expenses. This software is easy to integrate with other apps like Salesforce and HubSpot.
- FreshBooks is an alternative to Quickbooks that offers accounting and invoicing features. FreshBooks tend to be more simplified if you don’t need as many features.
Cloud storage is an important tool for businesses that need to store, track, and share data. These platforms keep data on internet-based servers, which can be organized, managed, and backed up.
Data in the cloud is accessible by any device at any time as long as you, the administrator, provide permission. Cloud storage also has other capabilities beyond sharing files, including heightened security.
- Microsoft OneDrive allows connecting files across Office 365. OneDrive offers capabilities like syncing reports and managing migration. It also has data recovery, regardless of whether it was accidental or malicious.
- IDrive is a good pick for small businesses and remote teams. It has end-to-end data encryption and is perfect for managing remote teams.
- Egnyte Business is a comprehensive sharing platform and cloud storage solution.
You must keep track of your business projects when you run a team. Project management software can help to organize your workflow and stay efficient.
These solutions let you keep your tasks in one place, receive updates, and track work projects. The goal of project management software is to improve the performance of your team. These are great for long-term projects and tracking administrative tasks. For example, home inspectors might use ISN for scheduling, but where do you track your marketing campaigns?
- Asana offers management for tasks, projects, conversations, and dashboards. You can integrate it with systems like DropBox, Google Drive, Github, MailChimp
- ClickUp is a popular tool for task management. It allows you to customize workflow and assign tasks to different team members. You can manage the resources, check everyone’s workload, and collaborate with team members
Even if you already have some cyber security tools, consider using extra features. Cybercriminals have become better at stealing sensitive information in recent years. Not only does this expose your data, it can also put your clients at risk. Protecting client payment and personal information is a moral obligation and can put you ahead of the competition.
- Malwarebytes checks your computers for infections and removes them for you. The desktop version of the software also prevents you from accessing malicious websites
- AdwCleaner cleans up adware, spyware, and unwanted programs from your computers. A VPN encrypts your data to prevent a third party from tracking your search history
Home inspection software
If you run a home inspection business, consider ISN home inspection software. ISN is an intuitive platform that can help you to simplify and organize your daily tasks. ISN’s key features include payment collection, information storage, messaging, and calendar management.
To explore the platform, sign up for a free 30-day trial.
Social media can be easy to overlook when you have many other expenses on your plate. That said, social media marketing is a critical part of your business’s reputation and success. For home professionals, reviews and trust are some of the most important ways that potential clients choose to do business with you. Maintaining a solid social media presence can help them view you as a trustworthy and responsible choice.
Many business owners don’t have time to post on social media every week, let alone every day. There are many technologies that allow you to schedule and target your posts in bulk ahead of time:
- HootSuite is a great option for small businesses. You can use the platform for free or upgrade if you want more functionality.
- Buffer is another helpful option that is especially good if you manage many businesses. It’s also great if you manage across multiple social platforms.
You can also use social media to mine data and get new leads. Your social media ad strategy must be tailored to your industry, but it can really make a difference in your bottom line.
The effectiveness of social media comes down to engaging and providing value. Do your research before spending your marketing budget, or hire someone to help you figure it out.
Once you have a strategy, software like HubSpot and MailChimp can help you manage your ad campaigns, so you don’t have to.
Last but not least, there are many technologies that can help you manage and optimize your website. Your website is oftentimes the first introduction potential clients get to your business and your team, so making it easy to find and navigate is critical.
Remember that your website is a critical part of your online presence, which includes third-party review sites and any social media accounts you may have. While you consider what’s best for your website and make improvements, be sure to update these other areas as well.
While you don’t need to spend tons of money on building a website, allocating cash toward it might be a good idea. It’s especially true if you have never created a professional website from scratch. Here are just a few technologies that can help:
- Platforms like Wix and Squarespace can help you easily set up a basic website without extra tech support.
- You can add plugins to Wix, Squarespace, and other websites that automate business processes. This includes customer feedback, product reviews, chatbots, and visitor analytics.
The technology available today can help you do your job faster and easier. Gone are the days when you used complex software and clunky computers to do simple projects. Today you can send emails and communicate with your customers with a few clicks on your phone.
The technologies outlined in this article can help you streamline your daily tasks and grow your business.