Small businesses are popping up everywhere. Some succeed, and some recede back into the ground from which they sprung. There are a variety of reasons a business might fail, but not embracing the tech available to them certainly doesn’t help. Being the boss can make you feel as though you are capable of anything, but don’t be afraid to embrace some tech tools to propel your business forward, enhance productivity, and set your business apart from the rest.
Go Paperless with Invoicing
Manually typing out invoices in a premade template and mailing them out was easy at first, but business is picking up and issues are arising. Invoices are lost in the mail, the processing time takes too long, and typos are made. Online invoicing makes the process a lot smoother, enabling you to schedule invoices to be sent out, track invoices, speed up payment, and make things simpler overall for you and the customer.
You Aren’t an Accountant
You frequently wear many hats as an entrepreneur, but an accountant shouldn’t be one of them. If you’re looking for the ultimate in cloud accounting, FreshBooks is the popular choice, and it can help you avoid some common (and costly) mistakes. Whether you choose FreshBooks or accounting software that better meets your current needs, such as QuickBooks or Xero, you’ll be able to track receivables, log receipts easily to avoid any IRS run-ins, and log everything in one place to make doing your taxes a whole lot easier.
Embrace the Online Marketplace
Online sales are important — and 81 percent of small businesses agree — but over half rely on their website alone to generate sales. Sure, your website will bring in some cash, but an online marketplace introduces your product to a unique buying audience, thereby expanding your reach by leaps and bounds. When you think of an online marketplace, you probably picture Amazon or eBay, but the high number of sellers can make it difficult to find success, so don’t discount other viable marketplaces. For example, Rakuten Marketplace offers an online platform that reaches over 9.5 million members and provides you with customized support, easy logistics, and optimized integration to make selling and processing orders easy.
Social Media Is a Given
In the same way, businesses rely on their website for sales, they use it for marketing as well. Your website should be a complement to your other marketing strategies, including the use of social media. In fact, social media marketing is one of the easiest ways to reach your target audience, engage with them, and generate new sales/customers. Create profiles on more than one platform such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and post content daily so it doesn’t sit dormant. Think about the reasons you follow particular brands (promotions, intriguing content, incentives, excellent customer engagement) and incorporate that into your social media pages.
Your Inbox Is Full
Any business owner will tell you that the high volume of emails is a constant. It can seem as if you’re constantly hearing the ding of an incoming email, and it’s hard to keep up with everything. Email management software can help you sort email via tabs and labels, assign reference numbers to track responses, improve overall mailbox visibility, and make it easier to view several email chains at once. Some software comes with perks such as instant messaging, virus scanning, spam filters, calendars, and more. There are ways you can make staying on top of emails easier as well. Turn off notifications so you aren’t distracted by incoming emails, and instead choose a certain time(s) each day to respond to, sort, and delete emails. Unsubscribe from emails junking up your inbox using tools such as Unroll.me, Unlistr, or Unsubscriber.
Running your small business is no small feat by any stretch of the imagination, but you don’t have to go it alone. There are plenty of tech tools out there to make being the boss a whole lot sweeter. Take a look at what processes are giving you the most trouble and eating away at your precious time and see which tools can change the game.
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By: Gloria Martinez | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Company: Womenled.org