Small business owners can be excused for thinking that technology is an investment they can’t afford to make. There’s a perception that tech is for the heavy hitters. Actually, in many ways, small companies need the help that technology can provide more than bigger companies. If you’re convinced that tech is only for big companies with really deep pockets, you should know that some of the best business tools on the market are within your budget.
Below are five budget-friendly tools that can help you streamline your processes and generate revenue
Small businesses have to be careful when it comes to forecasting sales and making plans based on those projections; the more accurate you are, the better your chances of realizing your goals. Effective sales forecasting helps estimate your company’s sales performance so you can plan ahead and make informed decisions. There are several reliable forecasting technologies on the market that can put you on the right path. For example, check out InsightSquared’s sales forecasting tool, which can provide individual performance projections and sales forecasts.
Building Customer Relationships
Tracking leads, gathering and analyzing customer habits, and recording the results of promotions can help you find the best ways to entice and motivate customers and prospective clients. Hubspot’s customer relationship manager (CRM) technology gives you an easy-to-navigate tool that integrates easily with other platforms and business management resources, including Typeform, Slack, Google Spreadsheets, and Quickbooks.
Your Most Important Business Resource
Protect Your Data
Nothing’s more important than the data that passes between you and your customers, and failing to protect that information can mean taking a catastrophic financial loss, not to mention it can permanently damage your reputation among clients and customers. Losing or accidentally releasing proprietary information is a serious problem with repercussions that can undo everything you’ve worked for, which is why you need a robust data loss prevention system and a data security protocol that includes encrypting confidential data, encouraging employees to report potential data leaks, and making sure passwords are changed on a regular basis.
You should also take some time to learn how to use the digital loss prevention tools built into the software you use on a regular basis. For example, as Digital Guardian explains, those who use Office 365 have a set of DLP tools at their disposal, allowing them to set policies and receive notifications when a policy is violated. The tools can also block access to data and automatically classify which data should remain under lock and key. Each software has its own functions, so it’s important to check documentation for more information.
Getting your company noticed on the leading search engines can be a very difficult challenge when you’re just getting up and running. You’ve paid for a great website that’s custom-made to entice shoppers, but first, you need to get everyone’s attention. Searchmetrics puts an array of powerful SEO optimization tools in your hands so your keywords do what they should be doing for you. It’s a powerful tool for small businesses that need to reach people who know what they want and are ready to spend money with you.
SEO tools like Searchmetrics can track your keyword and content performance, capture granular customer information about shopping habits, and set up reports that can be sent to employees.
The online business sphere is highly competitive for small businesses trying to carve out a niche and attract customers. Technology is not only an affordable investment for small businesses, these days it’s essential for competing with bigger, more established companies who employ automation tools that integrate well with their technology. Technology is an affordable investment that small business owners can’t afford to pass up.