Business is highly competitive and requires you to create efficiencies so that your time can be focused on strategy and growth. Technology plays a significant role that, in automating repetitive tasks, assisting with scheduling and time management, and creating bridges between you and your clients.
Innovation causes technology to change rapidly, so choosing platforms and systems that are flexible, agile and readily available will help you to focus on what is most important, growing your business.
Here are 4 tools and technologies you must have:
Productivity tools are software platforms that assist you in producing and managing information. This can include document management and storage, electronic calendar, team collaboration tools like chat and video conferencing, video creation and email.
Spend time analyzing which productivity tools you will need for your business. It’s crucial that you choose the right applications that will provide the most value, as there is an incredible number of platforms available. At Driverseat, we have implemented Google Workspace which manages all aspects of our daily work and has thousands of simple and inexpensive third-party add-ons that allow you to expand the platform without making it costly or complicated. The integrated approach means that with minimal effort, you can collaborate on documents in real-time, jump into a video call with a single click, manage your email and schedule your day with ease.
Phone technology is changing and innovating at a significant rate. When you start your own business, look for systems that are flexible and allow you to manage communication with your team or clients wherever you are. Small business owners are often pulled in many directions so agility is crucial. A solid phone system should give you the opportunity to set up automated attendants, allow you to operate remotely and record calls for ongoing training and coaching opportunities. The Driverseat phone system allows you to operate entirely from your cell phone, or an office phone if you choose. It can handle IVR (automated attendant), text messaging, call recording, custom notifications, automated messages to clients, automated event triggers based on words used in conversations, and email integrations.
Your website is your first opportunity to showcase your brand, products and/or services.
It gives your clients a clear vision of what your business is about, how they can purchase what you’re offering, perform reputation management and perhaps most importantly, makes your business searchable on the internet. A well-designed and functional website will be your single greatest investment in marketing when you start your business, and it is the most important component of your brand strategy.
When laying out what your website needs, consider what functionality you will need to streamline the client journey and your process flow. If you are selling products, you may want to consider an e-commerce platform. If your business is service-based, you may want to implement an online order and scheduling module. Always design your site with the customer journey in mind, and provide a lot of ways for potential clients to find what they’re looking for and make purchases without having to go too far. Other features to consider are live chat, inquiry forms, photo gallery, blogging, current news, newsletter opt-in, etc.
The days of writing customer orders on a piece of paper and keeping credit card numbers on a recipe card in a drawer are over. To be competitive and enable future growth, you need a solid operations dashboard when starting a business.
In looking at what tools are available, consider what specific tools and technology you would need to offer the service or sell the products that you have. If you will be managing inventory, consider Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. If you offer a service, perhaps you’ll need a mobile app developed. If your business is a distribution centre, logistics management software may be required. As technology advances, the tools and resources that are available off the shelf are increasing exponentially, which is great for you! It eliminates the need (in some cases) to build custom applications that are extraordinarily expensive and difficult to maintain. Look for platforms that have an open API, which allows you to connect different software tools and allow them to collaborate with each other. Also, look for platforms that were built by reputable and sizable companies, so you can be sure they will be there to support you for the long run. Don’t underestimate the importance of researching and understanding what you need and what tools will give you the best value. Changing down the road can be costly and create significant interruptions in your business.
Want more insight on which tools and technologies are relevant for your business startup? Click the link below to watch Luke Bazely, co-founder of Driverseat, dive into the important elements you need to consider!
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