8 Tech Tips

8 Tech Investments for Small Businesses That Pay Off

Author: Katie Conroy

When you’re starting a business, being frugal can be both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, you need to stay lean, save money, and not get bogged down with unnecessary expenses. On the other, the determination to do everything yourself in order to save money can very quickly lead to burnout. You need to leverage the power of tech to your advantage, as well as learn which investments are actually worthwhile. Below are just a few software packages and tech innovations that will pay themselves off over time.

Mobile Optimization

A huge chunk of online commerce happens on mobile phones these days, and customers expect websites to be fully optimized for this. So, invest in a web designer with JavaScript experience, as JavaScript (JS) allows for dynamic, modern, mobile-friendly sites.

When searching for JS freelancers, make sure they are proficient in the latest version of ECMAScript, know HTML and CSS, and understand back-end tech like Node.js and Horizon.

Smooth Checkout

If you have both a brick-and-mortar location and an online store, take steps to integrate your point-of-sale systems into one streamlined process. Look for a system that will help you manage your inventory, provide detailed sales and labor reports, and make the checkout process secure, easy and stress-free for your customers.

Easy E-Commerce

Depending on your business, you could add a simple e-commerce element that could boost your profits with little upfront cost. The key to this is dropshipping, a business model that ships products directly to the customers without the need to invest and maintain stock. Dropshipping services allow to easily branch out into selling a wide selection of products, from clothes to gadgets, office supplies, and makeup.

Accounting Support

When you’re just starting out in a small business, things like accountancy can be confusing. Instead of trying to do it all yourself, invest in some accounting software that can help keep your finances organized and up to date. According to Hubspot, Intuit Quickbooks is an all-around favorite, while Wave provides many of its services for free.

Social Media Scheduling

By this point, you’d be crazy to ignore the importance of social media to modern business. However, anyone who has ever tried to maintain several active, engaging social media channels will know what a huge, time-consuming undertaking this is. Make your life easier by using a scheduling tool — Hootsuite is a popular choice, and it offers a free basic package that allows you to manage up to three accounts and schedule up to 30 posts.

Customer Relationship Management

A customer relationship management (CRM) system holds all your customer data, which you can use to optimize sales and target certain demographics. It’s an invaluable tool for small businesses, but it can be expensive. Fit Small Business recommends Freshsales for being customizable and affordable for small business owners.

Data Protection

Small businesses are both more likely to be targeted by hackers and less likely to recover from a data breach. Protecting your data is crucial, so invest in a data security package that will handle data backup and recovery. Also, be sure to create a data security policy for your company. Make sure to include key points like the importance of keeping company data private, good password management, and policies for company-owned devices.

Email Marketing

Email marketing can be one of the most powerful sales tools in a small business’ arsenal. Many email management tools are free up to a certain point, but if you can afford it, it’s worth upgrading to paid plans. For instance, market leader Mailchimp has a good free service, but its paid packages come with invaluable extras like 24/7 support, advanced audience insights, or A/B testing (a technique to test which emails do best with which people).

We live in a golden age for small businesses, where anything you could possibly need help with comes in a handy software package for a reasonable monthly fee. When you can, take advantage of these options. You do not have to pay for every service out there, but selecting the ones that are actually worth your money will be a huge help