If you want to build a successful business in today’s world, you have to architect a sturdy foundation of scalable technology. But for a small business owner who maybe isn’t super acquainted with these evolving solutions, knowing which direction to go can be tough.
While larger businesses with deeper purses have always been more likely to stay on the cutting edge with new and evolving technology, small businesses don’t have to be left on the outside looking in. There are still plenty of accessible tech investments that can – and probably should – be made. Here are a few to consider:
- CRM Software
If you have a growing company, you need customer relationship management (CRM) software to keep tabs on your clients and grow your business at scale. It basically centralizes all of your data, creates robust client profiles, and helps you align your sales and marketing teams to maximize efficiency and efficacy.
While 100 percent of large, established businesses have some sort of CRM in place, many small businesses still haven’t taken the plunge – and it’s holding them back.
“The only way you do not need CRM is if you have a very, very small business with five clients, maybe ten,” SmallBizTrends explains. “Then you may be able to get by with something like Google Contacts. But as you grow, you’re going to need something more sophisticated.”
The good news is that CRM software isn’t very expensive – particularly if you’re small. It’s typically packaged in a SaaS format that costs just a few bucks per month. Give it a try and see what you think.
- Email Marketing Software
If you want to take your marketing to the next level, there’s one investment you absolutely must make. It’s not social media, SEO, content marketing, or PPC advertising. It’s an email.
When most small business owners initially hear this, they raise their eyebrows in skepticism. And as archaic as it might seem, email marketing is the single-most effective marketing medium around. Research shows that for every dollar you spend on email, you can expect to receive $44 in return. That’s an ROI of 4400 percent!
But in order to generate this kind of return, you must automate the process with email marketing software. Then, once you have it all set up, you can sync it with your CRM platform for increased reach and efficiency.
- IT Support
As you strengthen your IT infrastructure and make necessary investments to move your business into the new age, you’re going to encounter problems, friction, bottlenecks, and glitches. Whether it’s with software, servers, or some small part of your tech stack, problems will emerge from time to time. And while this is to be expected, your success ultimately comes down to how well you deal with these problems.
One of the smartest investments you’ll ever make is an investment in reliable IT support. The right support partner can fix issues quickly and efficiently (saving money and, in many cases, your company’s reputation).
The key is to find IT support partners in your area and make a shortlist of ones that seem like they could be a good fit. Then hop on the phone and have a conversation with someone at that company. Be sure to discuss the details of what you need and then listen to what they have to say. Look for reliability, trustworthiness, and experience.
- Robust Cybersecurity
It’s not just large enterprises that are affected by cyber-attacks and data theft. Small businesses are seen as highly vulnerable, which encourages criminals to target them.
In 2021 and beyond, it’s absolutely imperative that you invest in a robust cybersecurity strategy. This may include a combination of basic security measures, such as stronger passwords and two-factor authentication, VPNs, and various data encryption methods.
Support Your Biz With the Right Tech
The right technological infrastructure can take your small business from good to great. It has the potential to improve efficiency, beef up output, enhance security, optimize customer service, and strengthen your sales and marketing initiatives. But, perhaps most of all, it can give you a competitive advantage in a noisy and crowded market.
There’s no secret sauce to building a successful small business. But if you’re willing to take the time to construct a strong technological infrastructure, you’ll dramatically increase your chances for success.
Now’s the time to act. What are you waiting for?