Starting a business is expensive. There are countless costs to consider and compromises to make, and it can sometimes feel like you have to make do with the bare minimum. However, there is a huge wealth of money-saving, efficiency-boosting tech out there that businesses can take advantage of. Whether it’s to grow sales or simply free up time for yourself, here are the best cost-effective ways to use tech in your small business.
All Systems Go
First and foremost, the tech you and your employees use must be reliable and in good working order. While you might not be able to upgrade everyone’s computer, you can make sure everyone’s devices are in working order. If an employee mentions computer issues, have their device looked over immediately by a firm like Ninja Tech Consulting. Ninja Tech Consulting offers both PC and Mac repair, plus they can address slow computers as well as spyware, adware and malware removal. They can also handle network security, which is crucial in today’s world of constant cyber attacks. With the right defenses, you can avoid faulty devices or a hacked system from holding back your business.
Marketing and Sales
If you are not using tech to support your marketing and sales efforts, you are wasting time and money. In particular, look for marketing automation tools that help you visualize data, track customer interactions, and evaluate the effectiveness of campaigns. Many of these have affordable packages for small businesses and can easily be scaled.
If you don’t have an in-house design or creative team, it can be worth it to work with freelance designers, who can provide eye-catching graphic images, brand logo updates and even videos as needed, without having to hire a full-time employee.
If you and your staff are wasting precious hours processing invoices, tracking expenses, and dealing with payment problems, it’s time to upgrade to a better accounting solution. The right software will deal with all of these tasks with one centralized, automated solution, saving your staff countless precious hours. According to Hubspot, Intuit Quickbooks Online is the best all-round solution. Meanwhile, Wave is best for freelancers and very small businesses, and Xero is ideal for people who do business on the go via their phone or tablet.
Investing in your employees’ happiness and well-being is absolutely crucial for any business, including SMEs and startups. These investments pay off in the form of loyal, engaged, and productive staff who will give more to the company because they know they are supported.
One way to keep employees happy is to make sure they are recognized. There are now several rewards and recognition apps designed specifically to make employees feel valued and listened to. Some, like Motivosity and Bonusly, provide financial rewards, while others are just about getting employees to show appreciation for each other.
You can also use tech to save money on breakroom entertainment. If you’re paying for an expensive cable subscription, get a media streaming device instead. With a couple of apps and subscriptions, TV and movie services, you can give your employees hours of entertainment – just make sure they don’t overdo the bingeing.
There are two main types of customer support tech you can invest in: all-in-one solutions, which offer a full suite of customer service solutions across several channels, and more specialized services focusing on one area, like help desk software and live chat. The former is best for larger businesses with growing customer bases, while smaller companies can probably just invest in a live chat platform.
These solutions still involve a level of human interaction, but there are some who believe the future of customer service is fully automated. It is estimated that 85% of customer service interactions will be automated by 2020, with many customers preferring tools like self-service portals and chatbots. This is something to keep in mind as you grow your business.
When you have a limited budget, spending money on technology can seem like a luxury. However, it’s important to understand that these tech investments all tend to pay off in one big way: time savings. A service that costs you $30 a month but cuts down on dozens of hours of employee time is, without a doubt, well worth it. It may take some trial and error to find the combination of tech that works for your business, but once you do, you enjoy a smoother and more efficient workflow for everyone in the company.
Computer too slow? Worried you’ve got a virus on your device? Or do you want help with a DIY website? Turn to Ninja Tech Consulting for swift and skillful service that brings positive results!