It’s a new year so it’s time to equip your small business with some new tools to start 2017 off with a bang. With these key technologies, you can increase efficiency, reduce costs, stay organized, and most of all increase your bottom line.

If you want to take your business to the next level, consider investing in these technologies.

1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software

Your customers always come first. Without a proper CRM solution in place, small businesses often lose touch with their customer base. Not only will a CRM solution assist your business in acquiring and managing new customers it’ll also increase your retention rate.

Business News Daily puts Salesforce IQ at the top of their list for the best CRM solution for small businesses. The Salesforce solution is extremely affordable and includes key features like lead generation, contact and opportunity management, workflow automation, sales forecasting, and much more.

2. Business Intelligence (BI) and Analytics Tools 

The numbers don’t lie. The best way to properly scale your business is to focus on strategies that produce results. The best way to track which strategies work and which don’t is through business intelligence and analytics tools.

Docurated put together a list of the top 54 best BI tools for businesses. Be very specific on which strategies you plan on implementing and what data you’re looking to analyze. Tracking data can be very expensive so make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. I suggest finding a few solutions that offer a free trial so you can really weigh your options properly.

3. Employee Collaboration Tools

Regardless the size of your business, proper communication and collaboration are key amongst your staff. My favorite communication tool is Slack. There’s a good reason why 77 percent of Fortune 100 companies use Slack every day. The Slack platform allows you to streamline communication between all team members and channels. The service even lets you search archived messages. Slack offers a free version as well as a premium service.

Dropbox and other file storing services are also great for employee collaboration. In addition to keeping everyone on the same page, these tools will also allow for your staff to work remotely. The standard 9-5 workday is becoming a thing of the past, especially for startups. Give your employees the proper tools so they can enjoy a flexible work schedule.

4. Payments Platform

Whether you’re a brick and mortar business or online store, it’s absolutely imperative that you find the right payments platform for your business. New technologies like EMV Chips and contactless payments are increasing the demand for updated payments systems. In addition to accommodating your customers, these new platforms offer enhanced security and surely increase consumer confidence when shopping at your store.

Make sure you’re taking the right steps when choosing the right payments platform. There are plenty of popular payment options available so it’s always a good idea to shop around and make sure you find the right fit for your business. For example, some platforms are more optimized for POS sales while others are more efficient for e-commerce stores.

It’s time for you to start the new year off strong and equip your business with the proper tools to get ahead. If you haven’t done so already, I strongly suggest implementing these four key technologies into your small business.

 

 

 

 

I'm Chalmers and I'm the Co-Founder and CTO of Due.com.

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