The right tech and software is crucial to the success of modern businesses, so much so that the UK government launched its own digital scheme to support small businesses with discounted software and free advice. This software is recognised as being able to help them effectively manage their finances and build customer relationships, ultimately levelling up the way businesses are run and helping them to scale up. Businesses are also able to access practical, specialised support and advice on how to choose the right digital technologies to boost their growth and productivity through a new online platform. It just goes to show how important the right tech and software is to the modern business, and here are some of the best tools to check out as an SMB.
Good communication is vital to the success of businesses. As well as your employees and departments being able to communicate effectively between themselves, there needs to be good communication between employees and superiors, as well as between customer services and clients/ customers. Having the right communications softwares in place means that everything runs more smoothly and efficiently. Customers feel reassured knowing they can get in contact if something goes wrong, and staff are able to pass messages and resolve issues faster if communications are good. The types of communications programs you will need to invest in will depend on what you do and sell and how you operate. For example, a live chat feature might work for you, or an automated call attendant. But take the time to consider what communication softwares will most benefit your company in order to boost your reputation and save you time and money.
Company Data Protection
The consequences of your company’s information being stolen are significant; financial loss. reputation damage. operational disruption and much more. And it’s not just big organisations that need to worry about being targeted by cyber criminals, small to mid-sized businesses because a lot of these companies hold very important information about clients. As a business owner it’s crucial that you get to grips with cyber security and take all necessary precautions to protect your data. ISO 27001 certification is the international standard for information security. This certification demonstrates that your business has invested in the people, processes, and technology needed to protect your company’s data. It means an independent, expert assessment of whether your data is sufficiently protected has been provided. The cost of certification will depend on how big your organisation is, the number of locations you operate from at what sector your business is in- for example, brokerage firms, banks and insurance companies may have different rates. Find out more about ISO 27001 for FinTech companies here.
As a small or medium sized business, there are a number of legal issues you will need to be aware of and protect yourself against. When you invest in legal software you can avoid the the cost of having to consult a solicitor each time you need legal advice or to create certain legally binding documents which can save you a considerable amount of time and money. While it’s not a complete replacement in every situation, it allows you to navigate the legal world and protect yourself in many ways. You can create contracts and forms, utilise e-signatures and manage things like your client agreements.
As your business grows, your accounting can become more difficult, but ensuring you’re keeping good accounts is essential. Accounting software helps keep you in control of the finances and the future of your business. While your accountant will tackle the difficult tasks, accounting software can enable you to automate regular tasks, manage invoices and expenses. It can also provide useful management information. Accounting software can help you automate most steps of the accounting cycle, such as helping you prepare forecasts and monitor the performance of your company which can allow you to grow. Older methods of accounting such as manual Excel spreadsheets or even paper records can be slow and prone to human error. More efficient methods are vital, as they are more accurate and will save you time.
Cloud Online Backups
You can protect the information on your network by utilising the cloud, and working from cloud based servers. The cloud encrypts your data and sends it to secure servers, meaning the copies don’t remain on your physical devices. This is useful as it means if anything happens to your computers such as floods, fires, theft, natural disasters etc, your information is safe. This is much safer than backing up to physical disks and hard drives since any problems with your computers could also affect these backups. When you use a cloud-based backup service, some software runs on the server and performs a backup. This information is then encrypted for safety and stored. Using the cloud also makes collaboration easier, if you have remote workers or staff that work different shifts, they’re always able to login to the most recent and up to date versions of documents and input information directly onto them.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software allows businesses to store their customer contact and order data all in one secure, central location. CRM has the capability to simplify business processes and enable businesses to be more profitable and efficient. Having this information allows you to provide excellent customer service, as well as target information based on their preferences. When you understand your customers in this way, it allows you to accurately market products towards them and could lead to further sales.