Tell us if this situation sounds familiar as a first-time business owner: finding yourself saying “there’s got to be an easier way to do this.” You will tell yourself that there must be an easier way to do things. You’ll have spent hours labouring over a very simple task and there’ll be a little voice in the back of your head saying that it really shouldn’t take so long. However, when you’re under the gun and close to burnout, it can feel easier to go with the way that you know instead of looking for an alternative.
The technology that’s used in a business is moving forward at such an incredible rate these days. And that means that the demand to get things done quicker and better is going up too. There are plenty of tools and tech solutions that will allow you to respond faster without worrying about sacrificing quality.
Let’s start with one of the absolute essentials. Cybercrime may not be the headline grabber that was a year or two ago, but that doesn’t mean that it’s gone anywhere. You’re more likely to see news stories about it being an international threat right now, but it is a major risk to companies and institutions regardless of their size or the industry they’re in. Even if you’re not the kind of person who’d click on a suspicious link or respond to a request for money with “of course, how much were you thinking?”, there are still a lot of risks that you should be aware of. Investing in good cybersecurity software will definitely give you an extra layer of protection. The free versions might be fine for home use (although perhaps not), but it makes sense to spend that bit of extra cash when you’re dealing with client and customer information and money.
It can be a bit of a stomach-turning moment when a big client asks you to send something across to them and you realise that you don’t have it in the right format. And it can be incredibly frustrating to have to wait for a huge file to make its way across the wi-fi when you need to send docs back and forth to your team members. A lot of people avoid PDF compressors because they think that they will compromise the quality of the file. But there is software out there which can compress the PDF file size hugely without sacrificing anything. With Small PDF, you can compress your file size online on any browser on any device, and you can start immediately with no fuss.
You might not be aware of just how much AI software can do for you if you’re just starting out as a small business owner. It was something that seemed to be reserved for major corporations that would talk about being on the bleeding edge of tech development just a few years back. And now you use it most times you check your bank balance or order a pizza. You can find AI software to help with nearly any business task you can think of. One of the most popular is an AI chatbot to greet visitors to your website. You can also use AI software to help with your marketing campaigns by tracking visitor behaviour and sifting through those mountains of data. Think about where your business is spending the most amount of time and look for software that could give you a boost.
Project Management Software
It’s not always easy for everyone to keep track of the latest updates to a project when you’re all working in different locations. You might have to wait for someone to get out of a meeting to find out what the status is, pinging messages back and forth. Project management software gets rid of a lot of these headaches in a very simple way. You can update as you go, flagging up the areas that require immediate attention. You can save time by directing your team members to a specific issue. There’s no more having to guide them through all the steps it takes to get there. It’s also a great way of making sure that your team is staying on target with their objectives. You’ll be able to see pretty quickly if you’re always waiting on one person to finish their tasks before the project can move forward.
A lot of people are taking on more admin responsibilities to try and cut costs. But when it comes to your finances, things are obviously higher stakes. The last thing you want is to end up facing a fine because you missed a tax payment date. You should think about accounting software if you don’t have the budget to keep a dedicated financial advisor on the team at the moment, or if you can only afford to pay your accountant for the essential services at the end of the month. It’s a good idea even if you have a good head for numbers because it can save you a lot of time by simply organizing your books. Things have been so chaotic over the last few years that you can’t afford to lose sight of where your business is at financially.
Customer Relationship Management Software
Customer service is absolutely crucial at the moment. People are making tough choices about cutting costs with the rising cost of living, and that means that you can’t afford to give them a reason to stop spending their money with you. Customer relationship management software allows you to stay on top of your communication with them, but it also shows you how well your outreach strategy is working. For example, the software can give you a heat map that will tell you how many of your subscribers are opening your customer emails. It can tell you how much they are reading, and how many of your customers are taking the next steps.
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