Digital Tools for Your Small Business | Quadrant Advisory
There was a phrase that once made the rounds on social media. It said entrepreneurs are the only people who work 80 hour weeks to avoid working 40 weeks.
It was meant to be ironic and funny, but there’s some semblance of truth in it. Small business owners tend to work harder than most to keep everything in check and maintain control of their success.
However, when the world went into lockdown due to the pandemic, small businesses were among the first affected by the crisis. Working hard just wouldn’t cut it, and business owners are finding ways to adapt. Utilizing technology is one of them.
Up to 70% of small to medium businesses are taking advantage of digital technologies during the pandemic, according to 2020 business surveys. In the U.S., physical retailers shifting to online selling increased from 10% to 17%.
While the pandemic may be the primary motivator for many businesses to use digital tools, integrating technology into your business is still a wise investment in the long run.
Embracing technology can help make business processes run efficiently, increase productivity, and boost profit. This article will show you five ways you can use digital tools to give your company an upgrade.
Digital Tools for Productivity
Companies these days tend to run into the problem provided by complex and outdated business systems. These systems can complicate processes and hamper operations.
Research firm International Data Corporation found that companies lose 20% to 30% in revenue every year due to inefficient processes. Thankfully, there is a wide range of productivity tools available to help increase your efficiency as a business.
- Time-tracking software — This tool helps determine areas where time is wasted and identify opportunities for more efficient time usage. When used properly, digital time-tracking tools are useful for accountability, productivity, and process improvement. Time-tracking software like Zoho Projects offers automated time-management features that track billable and nonbillable hours. Small businesses can use it for free for three users.
- Task and Project Management Tools — This helps you and your colleagues stay on top of regular business responsibilities. These tools help keep track of projects and assignments in real-time. Project management tools like Basecamp offers features like scheduling, real-time chat, messaging, file storage, and more.
Digital Tools for Marketing
Research firm Ascend2 found that social media marketing is one of the top five most effective digital strategies. Thirty-five percent of marketers surveyed also believe it’s the most effective strategy on the market.
Maintaining an online presence is difficult, but there are social media automation tools that take much of the work out of your hands. These allow you or your team to focus on other aspects of your business.
- Sendible: is a great all-in-one social media management tool that helps manage your social media accounts from one place. It lets you plan and manage your content and saves you time from jumping between social media channels.
- Hootsuite: is a popular automation tool for marketers. Its robust features are compatible with many social media platforms. It lets your marketing team to monitor all your social media accounts at once and provide real-time updates.
Digital Tools for Accounting
Small business owners benefit from digital accounting tools. These tools help them track accounts receivable and payable, understand their profitability, and prepare for tax seasons.
These tools also help you spot wasteful spending and potentially help increase your bottom line. Here are some of the popular accounting software available:
- QuickBooks Online: is one of the best overall accounting software available for small businesses. It is scalable, efficient, and being cloud-based makes it accessible anywhere. It is the most common software used by small businesses and bookkeeping professionals.
- Xero: is for those who are looking for straightforward accounting software. It can integrate with third-party payroll services and enables you to collect payments online from customers. Xero is also cloud-based and can be accessed through a smartphone.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that as a small business grows, its accounting needs become more complex. At this point, your business can hire more professionals or work with companies like Quadrant Advisory to handle your accounting. We can manage larger accounting requirements.
Digital Tools for Customer Relations
Customers are the lifeline of any business. They invest their time, energy, and money into your business. Sixty-two percent of customers are willing to pay more for good customer service. That’s why your business needs to maintain excellent customer relations.
Customer relationship management (CRM) systems for small businesses provide a centralized system called “ticketing,” wherein agents can track, manage, and respond to customer queries.
CRMs are the backbone of an outstanding customer experience. Based on your business needs, you can use CRM software to handle live chats, phone supports, or emails from your customers.
Two of the popular CRM systems are:
- Zendesk: It’s a powerful yet easy-to-use tool, making it perfect for smaller teams looking for an efficient way to work together in addressing customer concerns. It is also capable of AI-powered automation allowing your business to work smarter, faster, and accommodate more customers.
- Sprout Social: It combines sales, support, marketing, and social media monitoring into one software package. Sprout Social enables your support team to deliver a cohesive customer support experience across all social channels.
Using digital tools to augment your business processes can improve the way your team works and pad your bottom line nicely. Any small business that doesn’t take advantage of the benefits of technology runs the risk of falling behind competitors.
If you are thinking of taking your business to the next level but unsure how to do it, get in touch with Quadrant Advisory for a free consultation. Our company specializes in helping businesses like yours create effective business strategies.
Visit our service page on strategic consulting to find out how we can help you succeed.