Whether its streamlining time-consuming tasks, eliminating unnecessary procedures, improving reporting to make data more meaningful, or focusing on targeted marketing, every business can benefit from making its core processes more efficient.
Particularly for small companies with limited resources, optimization is a crucial step to increase effectiveness in a competitive market. Here are some tools that can help your small business processes become more efficient.
Email marketing is a powerful and affordable tool to help you reach new and existing customers, but it can be challenging for those who haven’t done it before. There are several tools that can help you get started, and one of them is called Constant Contact.
Its features include:
- Desktop and mobile optimized templates with an easy-to-use editor and customization options.
- Compliant with anti-spam regulations to avoid spamming customers and increase email deliverability.
- Real-time analytics to track who’s reading, opening, sharing, and clicking your emails.
Your website allows consumers to easily view products and services without the need to personally contact you or physically go to your shop. Your website is a salesperson for your business that never stops working. Plus, even if you don’t sell products or provide services online, having a website allows your customers to learn more about who you are and what you offer, in addition to information regarding your location, hours, and contact information.
Having a reliable content management system, such as WordPress, makes it easy for business owners to organize content and build great looking web pages without any knowledge of website programming. There are many different solutions that are straightforward, flexible, and offers a number of publication tools and plugins, so you don’t have to be a developer to have a great looking site.
The use of social media to promote products or services has become an essential part of marketing in modern business. Sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are some of the most popular social media platforms. Although social media sites can be influential tools to increase customer engagement, managing different social media accounts takes a lot of time.
One application that’s useful for automating social media tasks is Hootsuite. Why?
- Supports more than 35 social media networks with dedicated apps and integrations.
- Comes with a built-in content management system and ability to schedule posts.
- Accurate media analytics, flexible team management, and best-in-class security features.
Technology has its advantages and among them is a better way to understand your customers and where they are in the sales process A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform is a fantastic optimization tool for managing both data and customer relationships. From tracking purchases to providing after sales support, you can use CRM to stay in touch with your clients, both before and after the sale, as well as gain a better understanding of the buying process.
There are many CRM tools available, and one of our favorites for small businesses is HubSpot CRM. What makes HubSpot different is that their CRM has no hidden fees or charges. Here are some of the key features:
- Easily manage your pipeline and get the updates you need from your sales funnel.
- Automatically track and log all customer interactions with an option to sync data via emails.
- Store leads in one centralized place including transactions made such as calls, emails, notes, etc.
- Real-time notifications, call recordings, and email management.
3. Customer Service
Customer service is key to the continued success of any business. Imagine if there were a way to interact with your customers that allowed them to provide honest feedback, helping you to understand both your customers’ needs, as well as what can be improved in your business processes.
This is where a CRM like HubSpot shines, providing the ability to handle customer related tasks without breaking the budget. With its full suite of customer service tools, HubSpot modernizes customer interactions with your business and provides you with valuable insights that you can convert to actionable improvements to your business. Important aspects for understanding your clients include:
- Feedback tools to draw insights from your customers.
- Measurement tools for client satisfaction through things like Net Promoter Scores, Customer Effort Scores, or Customer Satisfaction Surveys.
- An easy-to-navigate dashboard to allow you to track data and analyze customer service related data you collected.
- Automated ticket routing, with escalation and task creation.
4. Finance and Accounting
When it comes to managing your books for your business, there are popular tools out there that have been around for quite some time. But the most established tools aren’t always the best solutions. Sometimes a scalable or customizable solution is a better fit for growing small and medium-sized businesses.
Zoho is a web-based office suite armed with productivity tools and SaaS (Software as a Service) applications specifically meant for small businesses. It comes with different plans and pricing options, but there is a forever free plan available capable enough to execute basic financing and accounting tasks, allowing you to avoid expenses unless you see a value in upgrading your service plan. Below are some of Zoho’s most popular features:
- Send professional invoices to your customers and get paid online through a number of payment options.
- Ability to link your books to your bank account and monitor transactions in real time.
- As a service that is based on web apps and mobile apps, Zoho provides cross-platform functionality, allowing you to perform business management tasks on the go.
- Track sales, replenish stock and convert sales to purchase orders automatically.
- Automate repetitive tasks like bills payment and auto charges to save time.
5. Employee Management
From managing benefits, reviewing employee time logs, processing payroll, and organizing employee documents, human resources can be time-consuming and confusing. Turning these tasks over to a service provider can be a tremendous time saver and also helps ensure fewer errors in paperwork.
Affordable and reliable options are now available to help manage human resources tasks for startups and small businesses. Gusto is one of our favorites and can save both time and money t. Here are some of Gusto’s features:
- Flexible yet complete employee benefit packages that fit your budget and can be customized to your needs.
- Integrated payroll and employee data for faster, efficient and secure file management.
- Automated time off requests, scheduled paid holidays, and paperless signing of HR or employment forms.
- A customizable payroll system that runs itself — just set the rules and you’re ready to go.