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It’s safe to say that digital tools are more crucial than ever for small business owners. According to one survey, 93% of small business owners report using at least one technology platform to help run their organization, with the average owner using three different tools.
Of course, as you manage your growing brand, it can be hard to decide which small business IT solutions are worth your time. Which tools are worth the trouble? Which can you skip?
To help you make the decision, we’ve put together a list of the most helpful apps, tools, and platforms for small business owners in 2023. Read on for more.
1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
No matter what kind of business you run, customer management can be crucial. Organizing and analyzing interactions with your clients can help you streamline your processes. It can also help you understand which tactics are working and which ones aren’t.
CRM software can help with this. These IT solutions help small businesses keep track of, manage, and assess their relationships with customers at every stage of the buyer’s journey. It can even save you time by automating key tasks.
Even better, CRM can keep all of your sales data in one place. This makes it easy for teams throughout your organization to access this information as needed. The robust nature of CRMs may make it sound like they’re geared toward large corporations, but most are designed with smaller teams in mind.
Small business CRM tools are often cloud-based. This makes them easy to access and run, and they’re intuitive enough to create a quick learning curve for most employees.
2. Project Management Tools
Having multiple people involved in different projects can be tough, especially with larger teams. If your company has hybrid teams or remote workers, coordinating projects can get even trickier.
If your organization is always trying to juggle deliverables and deadlines, try a project management platform. In the same way that CRM tools help you keep track of your customers’ data, these small business IT solutions help you keep track of your current projects. This makes it easy to see a project’s current status and follow up as needed.
Project management platforms can help you schedule tasks, assign and keep track of who has which tasks, and notify team members about upcoming actions and events. Most major project management tools, such as Trello and Asana, also have messaging functions. This makes it easy to keep track of ongoing conversations about your projects.
3. Inventory Management Tools
Does your team have to manage physical products? If so, inventory tracking can become a major headache, especially as you begin to scale your business. Organizing your products, ordering without overstocking, and making the most of your limited space is often difficult for new business owners.
The right inventory management tools can make these hassles a breeze. They give you more visibility into your current stock, helping you order and store the right amount of items to keep up with your current demand. They can even help you automate certain tasks, like ordering more items when you’re running low.
4. Accounting Software
Hiring an accountant or bookkeeper can be expensive for small brands. Some choose not to do it at all, with leaders trying to tackle essential financial duties on their own. However, unless you have experience with bookkeeping, doing your own accounting can be a huge time drain.
Online accounting software is a simple IT solution all small brands should consider. These tools can help with all of your company’s basic financial needs, from generating invoices to tracking revenue. These tools also make it easier to fill out your tax forms.
Accounting software can save you time by automating your workflows. Repetitive tasks like generating expense reports happen with a click. Even better, these tools can give you more confidence in the accuracy and security of your business’s financial data.
5. Email Marketing Tools
Email marketing is crucial for any small business. Not only is this strategy an easy way to keep in touch with your customers, but it also has a great ROI. On average, you’ll earn back a whopping $36 on every $1 you spend on email marketing.
Of course, this ROI doesn’t make it any easier to stay on top of the emails you send to each customer. That’s where email marketing tools come in.
Platforms like MailChimp help small businesses craft and send beautiful, personalized emails to customers. Their automation tools also help with scheduling, allowing you to send reminders about items in a customer’s cart or personalized discounts without extra thought. They’re also a great way of organizing ongoing email campaigns.
6. Workplace Communication Software
No matter the size of your brand, communication software will always be one of the most important IT services to consider. The right digital tools can help your team stay in touch, share files, video conference, and much more.
Many small businesses start with common instant messaging tools like Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger. These tools are great for simple communication.
Additional tools like Microsoft Teams or Google Workspace can also be a great upgrade for small businesses. Many small businesses appreciate the added structure of these platforms, which allow you to add comments and to-dos, discuss files within the platform, and send far fewer emails.
7. HR Software
If you lead a startup or a very small business, HR software might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you consider the tools you need. However, HR duties can whittle away your valuable time, even if you have just a few team members!
Various HR tools can help you tackle repetitive tasks like payroll and shift scheduling. This small business IT service also offers attendance tracking and can help you manage your team’s days off, which can make it far easier to coordinate your workflow.
As you grow, HR software can help you hire the right talent. Often, you can create and share job postings within the software itself, and many HR tools also streamline onboarding and training. Even better, some of these tools are free or free in part for businesses with fewer than five to ten employees, making it a great tool for small but growing brands.
8. Password Management Tools
If you and your team often share passwords, you won’t want to skip these tools. Password management software makes password sharing simple and secure, syncing your credentials between multiple devices.
These tools make it less likely that your employees will create weak passwords, which create security vulnerabilities. They also make it less likely that your team will write all of their passwords down on paper!
Most major password management tools, like LastPass and Dashlane, offer a number of free features. However, sharing passwords between multiple team members will often require a subscription.
9. Data Backup Tools
It’s easier to lose, damage, or corrupt your data than you might think. Human error, computer crashes, disasters, and bad actors are all threats to your brand’s data.
When that data is invaluable to your business’s operations, it’s crucial to have protections in place. In the worst-case scenario, lost or inaccessible files can even damage your reputation.
Data backup and recovery tools are crucial IT services for brands of any size, but small brands tend to overlook them. Having backup software allows you to manage and restore your files if they’re lost. Cloud backups even make it easy to access your data from anywhere in the world.
Popular solutions like iDrive and Dropbox are helpful tools, and they’re also budget-friendly enough for small brands.
10. Cybersecurity Solutions
Last, but not least, cybersecurity tools are crucial for small business owners in 2023. Today’s digital technology offers plenty of benefits for small brands, but it can also create vulnerabilities and invite threats.
Keeping your finances, sensitive data, and devices safe from threats is essential. Fortunately, a variety of tools can help with this.
Antivirus software, email security tools, and firewalls are great options. As you grow your brand, partnering with a cybersecurity expert is also a safe bet, as the best practices for cybersecurity are always evolving.
Harness These Small Business IT Solutions
Choosing the right small business IT solutions can help you make the most of your time, effort, and money. From the moment you send an email to a new subscriber to the automated data backups carried out every day, these digital tools make it easy to lead your brand to success.
If you’re ready to upgrade your brand to bigger and better services, working with the right IT company can help. Here at Terminal B, we’re proud to work with technology decision makers in a variety of industries, from healthcare to commercial construction to pharmaceutical firms. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do.