If you run a small business you need to invest in solutions that are not going to drain your finances. It is a known fact that technology is something that your business must embrace to stay ahead of its competitors. Without technology solutions, you cannot hope to expand your business, boost your productivity, or find new customers.
Which low-cost technology solutions can benefit a small business owner?
- Online training: As a small business owner you will obviously want to know about how to boost your business productivity without having to burn a hole in your pocket. You must work on a tight budget; so, even if you wish to travel across the globe to gain more experience and expertise, you cannot afford to. This is why you must rely on free online training courses and practice self-paced learning using whatever online resources are available to you. You will be surprised to see that there are hundreds of online resources covering almost anything you need help with.
- Open source software: Instead of opting for all mainstream applications that are costly for day-to-day operations, you can always choose the free or open source software. These require zero investment and are typically flexible so that you can tweak them to suit your business requirements. For instance, when you use the office software suite OpenOffice.org, you can access programs like spreadsheets, word processing, databases, and graphics all in one place.
- Teleconference: Today, conducting business meetings have become so much simpler with video conferencing facilities. You can arrange for these calls with employees or clients at your convenience, no matter where they are located. You will also find free teleconferencing services whereby businesses can have web-meetings with multiple parties without the need for specialized equipment. Web conferencing tools are readily available online that let you communicate with team members all over the globe and the experience is almost akin to a face-to-face meeting. Screencasting, that is similar to creating a movie, can be used for tutorials, lessons, and presentations. This refers to some activity on the computer screen that is backed by voice-over narration and can be easily shared with others. Such tools with different functions and levels of complexities can be beneficial for small business owners.
- Online invoicing systems: Your business will need a comprehensive accounting suite for managing your employee and company accounts. Small businesses will particularly benefit from streamlined invoicing services so that your billing obligations can be taken care of easily. Bookkeeping software can be found for different price levels but having these can make a world of difference because your business productivity will grow by leaps and bounds.
- Help desk apps: Customer service is of prime importance to small business owners and one of the most effective ways to incorporate these into your business operations is by opting for customer service or help desk applications. Such tools are designed to improve your company’s responsiveness to your customer’s needs and queries. It ensures smooth and seamless management of client relationships.