Today, it seems like there's a better way to do almost anything. Whether you are getting a reservation at a restaurant, hailing a cab, or sharing pictures from your latest vacation, technology has changed the way that we do things.
Adjusting to constantly changing innovations is no easy feat, though. Today, there are countless options to do just about anything. Choosing from these options is a never-ending struggle – each claims to be the best, and signing up for a trial is akin to signing up for dozens of sales emails and calls.
Keeping up with innovations is critical for any small business, though, as some have transformative potential. For business owners, innovations exist across each department, from marketing, to inventory management, to internal organization.
In considering options, you want to be conscious of the cost and learning curve associated with each of them. Below you will find a few of useful tools that we think present great options that will help you navigate the process of managing and growing a business.
Effective internal communication is key for any business to grow and succeed. However, given the glut of options available between email, text messaging, instant messaging and social media, it’s important to make sure that you have the right one for your business.
Slack is a great platform to help you host all of your communications in one place. In addition to having a handy instant messaging platform, Slack has channels, which allow you to group discussions by topic or team. Its modern interface also allows you to fully customize your experience with it, as you can mute notifications for separate conversations, integrate it with third party applications and even use fun tools like gifs or emojis.
As your business grows, so does the amount of documentation and paperwork that you have to manage. Finding a solution that is both collaborative and secure is critical for your business, as having all your documents and data in order and in one place can save you time and hassle
Box is a good option that will help you easily store your files in a centralized location that you can access from anywhere, anytime. By allowing you to give different permissions to team members by folder, Box provides you with a great flexible solution that is fully integrated for your desktop, browser, or mobile device.
As you scale in your business, you’ll likely need to change the way that you operate internally. Tracking payroll or inventory can no longer be done in your head, on the back of a napkin or in an excel sheet that you manually update. Growth comes with improved bookkeeping, which is the key to having full command of your business and its growth.
QuickBooks is an industry mainstay, and a great option for many small businesses. It is a software solution designed to manage the payroll, inventory, sales and other needs of a small business. With a desktop version as well as an online version, QuickBooks is an easy-to-use innovation that can help you stay on top of each and every number associated with running your business. Plus, as an added bonus, it’s a great tool come tax time.
You’ve heard the old cliché: ‘time is money.’ In a lot of situations, this holds true, and as you grow, the stakes do too. When your business was smaller, you probably often operated with customers that you’ve known for years, maybe even generations. As you grow, however, so does your footprint, and often does the need for more formalized contractual agreements.
In such cases, physical signatures can make deals take longer or delay the completion of contracts. DocuSign is an electronic signature service for documents, contracts and agreements that need to be signed by clients. By using DocuSign, you are able to request a digital signature from a client without having to leave your desk and manage reams of paperwork and trips to the post office.
Investing in technology is no easy feat, but we hope that this piece has provided a few tips for you to consider as you start. These valuable tools will help you get your ducks in a row, be better organized, have more control and increase your productivity. Do you have a favorite tool that we missed? Comment below!