7 Types of Business Tech Tools to Save Time and Money
There are two things that all small business owners would like more: time and money. The latest generation of business technology tools can help you run your business more efficiently and for less money.
These seven types of business technology tools that can help small business owners save time and money.
1. Task management tools
Task management tools are an easy and cost-effective way for small business owners to save time and money. Any tool that allows you to track a task digitally, rather than manually, is a boon for busy business owners who want to save time communicating and tracking their own and their employees’ work.
Online task management tools like Asana and Trello can help you stay on top of your to-do lists, project progress, and calendars. You can set reminders and automatic updates so you don’t have to waste time checking every little thing by hand. They also serve as collaboration tools so everyone on your team knows what’s been done, what’s pending, and who’s been assigned to the task.
2. Email and social marketing
Today, many of the daily “busy work” tasks can be automated so business owners can focus on more cerebral efforts. Email marketing systems ( EMS ) like Aweber and MailChimp make it easy for you to keep your email subscribers informed of news about your business and important deals and promotions. Better yet, many EMS platforms will also email their newsletter to your social networks, so you don’t have to post it yourself.
3. Social media scheduling tools
Small business owners know the vital importance of using social media to connect with their prospects and customers. Unfortunately, going on social media too often can be a waste of time. Who hasn’t been to a social media site or app “for a minute,” only to leave an hour later, down the social media rabbit hole?
Social media scheduling tools like Buffer and HootSuite allow you to schedule messages to go out at the desired dates and times, without setting foot on the social media sites themselves, avoiding that distraction. You can also write posts a week or month in advance, all at once, and then use these scheduling systems to inflate your promotions just when you want so you can grow your business without spending too much time on social media.
4. Meeting schedule
Setting up meetings can mean a lot of emails back and forth to find a mutually agreed upon time. Scheduling tools like Calendar and Acuity can help automate the process of setting up meetings. You just have to send the other person your link and they choose the available times to meet.
5. Obtaining electronic signatures
When you need electronic signatures on contracts and agreements, HelloSign or DocuSign can help. Upload your document, note where signatures are needed, add the correct email address and the system will send it for you. It will even ping the person with reminders that the document hasn’t been signed within a certain period. No more hassling people to sign or waiting for the post office to stay open so you can rush out a contract.
6. Find and retain business customers
Whether it’s to win and retain customers, or uncover hidden revenue , customer relationship management (CRM) platforms like Hubspot, SalesForce, and Insightly are invaluable resources. A CRM helps you keep track of leads, current and past customers from the first interaction through your marketing and sales channels. It can also provide tools to nurture those relationships.
Using a CRM consistently will also help you make sound business decisions based on real data rather than guesswork. You can see how many new customers you have added in a certain period. You can view contacts by specific data points like region or type of product they purchased. This way, you’ll know who to target with follow-up messages for referrals or repeat business. That will make your marketing dollars go much further.
7. Document Collaboration
When you need to collaborate with others, file sharing systems like Google Drive and Dropbox are a must. These digital tools ensure that everyone is working from the same version of the same document. They also keep everyone’s inbox from getting clogged with multiple versions of the same document.