Are you avoiding technology for your small business? Maybe you think it’s too expensive, too complicated, or will take too much time. The reality is that technology can be the path to efficiency and growth for your business. In fact, technology has become more affordable and can offer huge time savings, improving your ability to focus on running your business.
“Digitally advanced” small businesses have revenue growth that is four times that of their non-digital peers. And mobile apps, which can help you get rid of all that paper, save small business employees 725 million work hours per year. So, what’s holding you back?
Here are four tech tools you can explore to make your business life easier and more efficient.
Everyone knows about Google, right? But it’s not just for internet searches. Google’s GSuite is a set of intelligent apps including Gmail, Docs, Drive, and Calendar that let you connect all the people in your company, no matter where they are. All your information is available in the cloud at all times, so any document, form, or schedule you need is at your fingertips. And GSuite is priced with small businesses in mind. Starting at $5 per user per month, it offers a lot of functionality for its price.
If your business has a website, Google Analytics (GA) can give you a look into who’s using it and how often. GA does take a bit of study to master, but you can get a lot of useful information without needing a certification. You’ll get insight on:
- Demographics (age and gender of visitors)
- Real-time reports (Who’s on your site? Where are they? What keywords and sites referred them? What are they viewing?
- Mobile access (Who’s viewed you on mobile devices?)
- Audience overview (How many sessions/users/page views/pages per session within a date range? What’s the average session duration and bounce rate?)
It’s just what it sounds like: You can set up both audio conferencing calls and online meetings (webinars, screen-sharing, etc.) for free. Premium features like a custom greeting, custom hold music, and toll-free audio are available at minimal charges. FreeConferenceCall.com also has a business service called StartMeeting. For $6.95 per user/month (user, not participant), you get HD audio conferencing, videoconferencing, a personalized greeting, and hold music. International dial-in supported; no download required by participants.
Where do you store all the notes you make during the day and the web pages you want to remember? On little sticky notes pasted all over edges of your computer monitor, maybe? Evernote lets you store notes in one spot where you won’t lose them and can get to them at any time (it’s the cloud at work, yet again).
And once you’ve stored them, Evernote simplifies and centralizes all the random information that you know you’ll want to access again. You can dash off a note or drag files onto a page, then store your work in themed notebooks you create. If you want to save a web page, you just click on the little elephant in the upper right corner of your browser and select the notebook where you want it stored. Annual subscriptions range from free to $120/user.
Get organized, manage your to-do’s, keep track of deliverables, and more. Think of Trello as a virtual bulletin board that helps you manage tasks. Create various boards and add “cards” to them based on what needs to get done. Set due dates, add notes, attach documents or photos, and make assignments directly to your staff and they’ll get notified. Trello offers a variety of plans, and getting set up can be free for individuals and small teams. Again, all that information is magically stored in the cloud so you are never without your to-do list, no matter where you are.
Want to see how technology can help the financial side of your business? BKE uses custom software and the best personal consulting to make bookkeeping both accurate and affordable for small businesses. Want help figuring it all out? Get in touch and we’ll take a look at your books for free.