In order to achieve fast-growing success, small businesses need all the help they can get when first starting out. To utilize your time as efficiently as possible, it’s essential to have talented people and efficient business processes. While these platforms can vary slightly depending on the type of business you have, these five tools will come in handy for nearly every small business. Each of these tools can deliver significant benefits through quick integration, ease of use and ability to help scale your company.
In any business, whether B2C or B2B, utilizing a CRM software to automatically manage customers and contacts enables you to easily keep track of all your customer communications. This aspect is incredibly important, seeing as we live in a multi-channel world where interaction occurs across numerous mediums.
Due to the complexity of managing disparate communications, CRM tools such as Prosperworks easily integrate into the platforms you use daily, such as the Google Apps suite. By utilizing a CRM tool, you’ll be able to efficiently organize all of your clients, track your pipeline and ultimately increase sales while reducing stress.
Another great sales platform, Expensify, helps traveling salespeople keep track of their expenses with plenty of automation and integration features so they can spend more time selling and less time digging through receipts. Expensify works well with mobile, making it perfect for people who are on-the-go.
Once your contacts are logged into your CRM database, the ability to integrate with an email marketing program, such as Mailchimp, creates an opportunity to further engage them on a regular basis. While Mailchimp has become the gold standard for email marketing, similar tools like GetResponse also deliver user-friendly and highly capable features, at a very low cost.
With an email marketing program, you can easily segment your customers based on specific customer information therefore having to create specific tailored messages that much simpler. By grouping your customers, you can also optimize messages by conducting A/B tests to increase open rates and conversions. Best of all, you can easily automate campaigns, enabling you to generate and distribute all of your email communications simultaneously on predetermined schedules.
Keeping accurate financial records of your company’s transactions is essential. The best way to track the flow of funds is through an accounting software program, such as Quickbooks. With many versions of software available, you may want to opt for the most basic version that will suffice first and then later upgrade as needed; always make sure that it covers the essential functions your business needs.
It may be important to consider a software that’s cloud based and has instant access on any device, in any location. Once you’ve made your decision, be sure that you set up automation features which will take care of banking, payroll, utilities, rent, invoicing and other recurring costs. For businesses who need more complex financial analytics and reporting, tools like BodeTree seamlessly integrate with Quickbooks to create a robust solution.
Leverage valuable, proprietary customer data by integrating a data analytics tool such as Google Analytics, which offers plans specifically geared towards small businesses. You may find the amount of information overwhelming at first but utilizing dashboards should make it easier to interpret and deliver key data for your team. By having the data readily available, you’ll be able to automatically execute actionable insights; for example, responding to a drop in sales for the month with a roll out of pricing promotions.
Furthermore, the data analytics tool will provide a repository of centrally located data which you can utilize to create overarching insights about the state of your business or drill down deep to a product level in order to uncover the drivers that are influencing sales. If you desire extensive customer data on a small business budget, Tranzlogic provides invaluable data based on consumer credit card transactions.
User consumption changed the way we optimize our websites for desktop and mobile since more consumer engagement takes place online through smartphones. What most small businesses don’t realize is that since a change was made to the Google algorithm in April 2014, your web ranking will be penalized if it’s not mobile optimized.
Additionally, make sure your images and text are the appropriate size and resolution in order to be easily seen and read on smaller displays. If you’re not sure if your website is optimized, you can check how it appears by using tools such as Quirktools. Once your site is optimized, take it a step further and utilize A/B testing. You can try out different versions and landing pages with tools like Optimizely. A slight tweak to the layout, information, or the numbers of form-fields viewers need to complete can dramatically improve conversion rates.
Operating and growing a small business can be challenging. More often than not, you’ll encounter numerous obstacles, but it’s important to remain calm and keep pushing forward. Implement what you learned from setbacks and look for ways to improve your business by integrating tools that’ll automate and improve every aspect of your business; these five kinds of tools are just the beginning. You’ll quickly see the benefits rack up as you set your company on a path of sustainable growth and continued success.
Ready to jump start your small business? Business-Software.com offers a variety of Top Software Comparison Reports to help fulfill all of your software needs.
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