In 2019, small businesses made up 44% of economic activity in the United States. Small businesses greatly impact their communities, boosting local economies all around the country.
There are also many opportunities for small businesses to grow in the digital space as well. Small businesses of every size are developing on the internet, selling everything from video editing services to vintage plush toys. No matter whether your business is brick-and-mortar or online, finding the right tools can take your business to the next level.
By using tech solutions to manage invoicing, new employee onboarding, scheduling, and other vital business processes, you can make the most of every day and every opportunity.
1. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is a leader in the next big wave of technological advancement. By 2025, artificial intelligence is projected to reach $36 billion in revenue. Small businesses can use artificial intelligence to convert leads into customers, answer frequently asked questions online, and even optimize processes such as delivery routes.
Artificial intelligence is incorporated into all sorts of online tools, such as naturalForms. AI allows you to auto-populate data and uses calculation tools to automatically calculate costs and billing on the spot. This reduces your workload and provides more immediate results for your clients, improving overall customer satisfaction.
2. Billing and Invoicing Software
Billing and invoicing are a necessary part of running a business, but it doesn’t have to take up all of your time. Using billing and invoicing software, you can stay up-to-date on your invoices, make payments, and view your invoicing history all in one place.
This not only ensures that you are making and receiving payments on time, but it also provides a handy tool to help you accurately track your income and expenses, which can simplify tax season. If you struggle with recordkeeping and organization, then investing in billing and invoicing software can save you quite a bit of stress.
3. Business Automation
Every business owner could benefit from some free time. Business automation is the use of technology to complete repetitive tasks, freeing up your time, and your employees’ time for more high-priority tasks. While some tasks, like customer service phone calls, should be completed by real people, other vital business tasks can be automated using special software.
One especially handy way to automate your business is through certain types of communication. Online reviews from customers are a great way to grow your business. You can automate emails to be sent out to every customer, prompting them to leave a review and thanking them for their business. By automating this process, you don’t have to manually send each email. This can also be done with updates for payments or shipments.
Automation can take many different forms, from communication to scheduling to invoicing. Finding the best ways to automate your business through additional software options can help free up the time you need to take your business to the next level.
4. Contactless Shopping
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, contactless shopping has been on the rise. This involves shoppers paying using applications like Apple Pay, or the tapping feature on their debit or credit cards. It can also include payments through mobile apps, product assistance features on phones, and self-checkout kiosks in stores.
If your business involves selling products, then converting to a more contactless shopping experience can have a variety of benefits for your customers and your employees. You can help promote safe, healthy practices in the workplace, reduce customer questions and concerns, make check-outs more effective and quick, and reduce the day-to-day stress of your employees working the floor.
In 2021, the average number of cyberattacks and data breaches rose 15.1% from 2020. These numbers are expected to rise even more this year and next year. For this reason, it is increasingly important that businesses invest in cybersecurity to keep their data safe from threats.
Tools like ScanTrak can help you with cloud security and ongoing support as you work to protect your data. Getting started with cybersecurity can be intimidating for a small business owner, but using the available tools and working with experts can help you increase your know-how and your overall safety.
6. Digital Marketing Tools
If you are trying to boost your business, then making the most of digital marketing tools is essential. Digital marketing is the way you use the internet to spread the word about your business, communicate with potential customers, and bring in sales. Whether your business is brick-and-mortar or online, several different digital marketing tools are a must.
- Coalmarch can assist you with your website, online content, search engine optimization, link building, social media, reviews, and analytics.
- WorkWave Marketing Customer Surveys help you to connect with your customers, receive honest feedback, and make marketing and business decisions based on the survey results.
- WorkWave Marketing Online Reviews helps you to automate the review process for your customers, giving you more marketing materials to use to attract new customers online.
Each of these tools provides many small businesses with much-needed assistance in reaching their marketing goals.
7. Employee Performance Monitoring Software
If your employees work remotely, then employee performance monitoring software can give you insight into their productivity and how they are performing throughout the workday. This monitoring software can take screenshots of the employee’s screen during the day, track their keystrokes, block certain applications on work computers, and track web-browsing activity.
All of this tracking is then compiled into reports for management and human resources professionals to assess. If you are worried about employee productivity in a remote environment, then investing in monitoring software like ActivTrak or BambooHR can help you to make the necessary adjustments for your business to grow.
8. Lawn Care Software
While some tech solutions can be used by any small business, others are more specific to certain industries. For example, when you think of lawn care or landscaping, which are both brick-and-mortar industries, you wouldn’t think that there’s technology out there to help these businesses grow. However, there is plenty of software to help business owners in these industries. For one, lawn care software assists landscaping business owners through scheduling, dispatch, and job management.
There is also Real Green Service Assistant software, which streamlines day-to-day operations and marketing goals for landscaping businesses. You can stay in touch with your employees during the day, automate repetitive tasks, and provide quick service estimates to your clients.
By using lawn care software, you can free up valuable time and energy that can go towards helping your business grow and thrive. This software also helps to reduce stress and confusion for your employees as they make their way through their daily tasks.
9. Pest Control Software
If you have a pest control company, then investing in pest control software solutions can help you to provide top-notch customer service and boost your business.
Since pest control often needs to be done on a certain schedule to avoid infestations and seasonal issues, using pest control software to track your work with your clients can help your team to stay up-to-date. Pest control software also assists in tracking your supply inventory, the jobs completed by your employees, your client information, and your financial records.
Using a program that keeps all of this information in one place simplifies your pest control business so that you can spend your time coming up with creative solutions for your clients.
10. Route Management Software
If your business relies on mobile employees, then route management software can be a valuable tool in boosting your business. Route Manager allows you to keep track of all of your mobile employees during the day through GPS tracking. This can help you to plan efficient schedules and make promoting and training decisions based on employees’ past performance.
This software also assists in route optimization. If your business depends on deliveries or house calls, then you know that making the most of your driving time each day is essential. By using route management software to track drivers, automate your routes, and effortlessly schedule and dispatch your team, you can provide quality service to more customers each day, leading to more revenue for your company.
11. Scheduling Software
If you have a service-based business, then scheduling software is essential for boosting your revenue and increasing customer satisfaction. By simplifying the scheduling process for your customers and your employees, you can help your employees make the most of their workday and avoid missed appointments, miscommunication, and inefficient work practices.
WorkWave Service Scheduling software allows you to handle account management, scheduling, dispatching, mobile tracking, billing, and analytics all on one platform. This allows you to create efficient work schedules in a simplified environment, reducing the risk of scheduling mistakes.
12. Social Media Marketing and Advertising Tools
In terms of digital marketing, social media is a fantastic resource for businesses of any size. If you are trying to boost your business, then taking advantage of social media marketing is a great place to start.
According to HubSpot, 77% of marketers report that social media has been effective for their company this year. With platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, you can find a platform that suits your business and create content for your target audience.
Utilizing social media to market your business is a cost-effective marketing strategy that can help you to make meaningful connections with potential customers regularly. Social media apps allow businesses to see who is interacting with their accounts and how quickly their following is growing. This helps business owners cater their content to the audience they are targeting.
13. Software Integration
Software integration is the process of bringing together various components into one larger system. Some entrepreneurs and small business owners can be intimidated by the IT side of their business. If this is the case, you may benefit from working with a consultant.
The 10X Consulting Group provides IT solutions specifically for service-based businesses. Working with a consulting firm can prevent you from having to hire a full-time IT staff to handle your software integration and other technical issues.
14. Virtual Communication Software
If you have an online business, then choosing virtual communication software will make your life so much easier. Virtual communication takes a variety of forms. If you need to have regular meetings, then getting set up on Zoom is a good option. If you would rather use a messaging format, then Slack allows all of your team members to communicate with each other through their phones and computers, as if they are texting.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual communication has become more and more common in the workplace. Even brick-and-mortar businesses have begun to use it to allow staff to work hybrid schedules.
15. Virtual Onboarding Programs
If you have an online-based company, then deciding on your virtual onboarding program is important because it is your employee’s first introduction to their new workplace. You can create documents with helpful links and information such as login information, payment details, and more in Google Docs. You can create a new employee channel in Slack for the new hires to get to know each other and ask questions.
Every company’s onboarding process is different, but creating a welcoming program beyond just providing a document that requires signatures is essential for increasing morale, productivity, and happiness in the workplace.