What does a small business need more than anything? Money, human resources and time.
Growing a business is not quite like planting a seed in a pot. There’s a lot of blood, sweat and tears that go into it and as an owner, you’re fighting an uphill battle. You have to contend with a range of restrictions. You have to work faster. You have to work with a skeleton crew. You don’t have a forgiving budget.
I can’t tell you how to get more of everything, but I can show you how to do the most with the little that you have. With the correct recipe of tools working in tandem, you’re in the perfect place to move forward confidently and remain in the black at the same time.
It’s time to embrace the digital world today.
Why is using innovative tools important for your business?
The short answer is you can’t afford not to. For competitive reasons. The nature of work keeps on changing from year to year. Digitalization overhauls the office as we know it and businesses need every bit of help along the way (at a small price tag) to grow.
Costs overall keep on rising and smaller operations bear the brunt of those costs. You have to do a lot with a handful of people and a fraction of the resources established companies and big brands have at their disposal. Turn to smart tools for a smarter way to work.
Cut down costs, remove the most tedious, time-consuming tasks and organise your teams better. All can be achieved with the right selection of tools at your disposal.
5 tools that will help you grow your business
Social media scheduling tools
It is a truth universally acknowledged that any business today is in search of a solid social media presence. The harsh truth is that you’re unable to compete without existing online under one form or another and raking those precious social interactions. It’s a lengthy process establishing and maintaining social media accounts.
Not everyone can afford to have a person in charge and having employees perform double duties in real time is also not a wise idea. After all, who hasn’t said they’d check their Facebook for five minutes and then sober up three hours later?
Enter HootSuite, Buffer and Falcon. Handle all the posts and content you want to share in bulk and schedule them throughout the week. It’s a smarter and more efficient way to handle posting and always hit the best times of day without disrupting your employees’ work flow at the same time. Then you only have to monitor engagement and reply to people. It’s a task that can be then delegated to different people with little hassle.
RSS feed reader
The world has moved on from RSS feed readers, when they’re just the perfect tool to organize your reading. Feed readers are associated with overall improvement in productivity and are quite versatile in the tasks it can help you accomplish. Marketers have an easy job of performing social media listening at a relatively low cost as long as you choose the right RSS reader for the job.
If you’re tasked with content creation, then research happens organically with the new generation of readers. Inoreader shines in this category with its discovery mode. You have over 50 categories and subcategories at your fingertips ranging from technology to finances to entertainment. Only the most popular feeds are ranked in descending order.
At the same time, the browser extension augments your browsing experience by allowing you to check updates and subscribe to feeds easily. It smoothly integrates Inoreader with Chrome.
AI has infiltrated every aspect of the digital working environment so why not customer support. It’s not entirely feasible for small and mid-tier businesses to employ staff for the exclusive task of servicing customers, when the work volume is not demanding to begin with. Yet, customer support is of the highest priority to customers.
Chatbots solve the issue and reduce overall expenses on customer support. Most of the time, a customer might ask pretty generic and often repetitive questions. Chatbots’ scripts can handle easy inquiries with no fuss. You keep your response times high and costs low. The tool is quite flexible and you can create simple or elaborate text trees for your customers.
Task management tools
Hello, Trello, Basecamp and Proofhub! You’re probably already aware of this category of tools – a step above digital to-do-list apps. If you’ve ever been in a managerial position in your life, then you know how insidious a time sink it is to manage people, assign tasks and monitor follow-through manually.
Task management tools streamline this process to a degree, where you need minimal interaction with the application to assign tasks, set deadlines and organize teamwork. Back-and-forth (perhaps the most maddening and disorienting of all) drops to a minimum, because you have an interface and a reliable notification system to give you a team overview and live feedback on their progress on individual assignments. You don’t even need to remind people face to face as there are built-in reminders.
It’s one way to grease the gears and improve collaboration. Speaking of collaboration…
Collaboration tools and documents
The pandemic has restructured and disrupted how most office work is handled. Distant working requires even more connectivity and that extends to the documents, presentations and reports that everyone in the team is working on. Collaboration tools are on the rise. You already have the early precursors, which are available at no to low cost such as Dropbox and Google Drive, but then there are new additions such as Igloo and Quip. Even other apps are trying to get in on the action such as Inoreader, which announced its own collaborative Teams Feature.
Why should you consider such tools? Your mental wellbeing at not having to spend half an hour digging through emails to find a specific version of a file. That’s why.