You have a small business and you think whether you can really benefit from technology? And trying to think what real difference would it make? It really does not matter whether you have a small business or a big one, making use of technology is quintessential and especially when it is at your disposal. But at the same time it is very important that you do not spend a lot, especially on technology which is really not necessary for your business and is not worth paying for it. So what are those cost effective tools that can be very beneficial for your business?
Having a website is the most vital and basic aspect of a business. It is not only to showcase your products but it also creates a feel of credibility and trust in people’s mind. So if you dont have a website by now you should get one.
WordPress provides a very easy and free platform to set up a website and you can do this with very less to no technical knowledge. You will have thousands of themes (website designs & functions) to choose from and even most of the themes will have free demo version. But I would always suggest to buy a professional version to give your website an authentic look, which would be rather difficult to achieve in a free version.
Website is to show people what you have got but sending an email is to remind them that you still exist and to also gain their attention towards whats new about your company, about your deals and offers. There are multiple email service providers like Aweber and Mailchimp who provide services for very less based on the number of subscribers. Its simple isn’t it? People check their emails more often than checking your website.
Create a signature link to your personal emails with your company’s name and a link to your company’s website. Not only this, it will also show your latest social network activity for Ex: It will show your latest tweet- So you can make it reflect your latest tweets about the deals and offers provided by your business. You can also remove any of these from the email if you do not want it to appear in your signature line.
*You will have three templates to choose from the free version.
Backing up the data
It is always wise to back up your data, it might be backing up your website, documents or your entire database. You can use an application like drop box to back up your entire database and this not only lets you save the data but you can also share it with people with whom you want to share the data with.
*Dropbox is free of cost up to 2GB data storage.
Managing your business
Managing your business is the toughest aspect and as a business owner it is your responsibility that you are up to date in managing your accounts, marketing, contact list- including vendors, clients and also the leads. Managing all these would require a lot of time and as your business grows it might become an hectic job unless you have hired people for each of these categories. So you can make use of technology and use a service like Sohoos which puts all the information in unified contact system so that you will be able to manage your contacts, be up to date with your inventory, billing and process payments without missing anything.
*Currently Sohoos service is free.
Keep a track on your project
How easy would it be if you had a tool to monitor your current project live? So that you always know where you are standing at each step. Well we do have tools like that. For example: Asana is a tool where you can track your projects and track the progress of your employees at a particular task assigned live. The best thing is that Asana has provided this tool for free of cost for a team consisting less than 30 individuals.
Process Credit/Debit Cards Over Phone
Square invented by Jack Dorsey (Remember? The twitter Guy) & Jim McKelvey, provides you a card reader which is as small as a USB device which you can plug into your mobile phone and swipe the card to accept payments. For now the card reader is free of cost however there will be a transaction fee for the transactions done through the reader. For more information on the transaction fee you can check their website Square.com.
Note: For now, Square provides this service for United States customer only.
These are some of the tools which can be beneficiary for your small business and if you would like to mention any other tools which would be cost effective then please mention it in the comment section.