Five Tools Every Small Business Needs to Thrive

  • September 23rd, 2013
  • Guest Post

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 10.58.32 AMLet’s not kid ourselves; it can be extremely daunting running a small business. You’re striving to make a living, retain your customers and steal away others from your competition. We fight tooth and nail to save every last cent we can, but how are we utilizing technology to make our lives easier and our businesses more successful? There are many different technologies available to us that can help us achieve our goals, but here are five no business owner should go without.

Non-Salaried Help

When you’re running a smaller operation, more of daily tasks and assignments fall on your lap, and sometimes there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything completed. But what do you do when you’re in need of assistance but don’t have the time or staff to finish the task at hand?

If you’re looking for help regularly updating your company blog, or need fresh content for your site’s various pages, TextBroker is a wonderful tool to look into. All you do is upload money to your account, draft up your work request, and choose the quality of writing and price you’re looking for. From there, thousands of pre-screened writers will have the opportunity to accept your order.

However, what if you need help with a business proposal, website coding, or any other more intricate task? Take a look at Odesk, where you can submit a job order for any task without committing a penny of your money. Within minutes of submission, your request will be sent to thousands of skilled freelancers, and often times receive a number of applications within a matter of minutes.

Social Media Management

In today’s world, a well-executed social media campaign is as important to a small business as is positive cash flow. Now ask yourself, “Am I active enough on my company’s Twitter and Facebook accounts?” If you even hesitated to answer “yes,” then you’re probably falling behind the competition.

There are plenty of social media management platforms that can make it easier for your company to remain active on Facebook and Twitter. HootSuite provides business owners with a single platform that allows them to manage all of their social media accounts at one time. The best thing about HootSuite is that it allows users to schedule posts in the future, so when the time comes to make a huge announcement, you don’t have to be at the keyboard.

Email Marketing

In order for your company to generate more sales and gain loyal customers, you need to maximize your outreach programs. Telling your subscribing customers about your company’s latest news and product releases not only generates interest, but it leads to greater revenue.

MailChimp allows users to create new and unique content through its email formatting platform. Designed with small business owners in mind, MailChimp allows users to place contacts in various email lists, allowing the user to determine who receives which email blasts from your company.

Accounting Software

If you’re working with a limited budget, you might not have the funds to hire a CPA or bookkeeper to handle all of your company’s tax and accounting needs. Spare yourself the headache and start using accounting software. While some companies provide accounting software that you install with a disc, there are companies out there that offer an online version, such as Intuit online accounting. With accounting software, your company can receive all of the tax returns it needs to properly file for the upcoming tax season, and manage and track your every business expense; all while maximizing deductions and making your tax season a breeze.

Credit Card Processing

How many transactions a month would you say you make a month where you pay cash instead of using a credit or debit card? Unfortunately, cash simply isn’t used as often as it once was, and as a result, credit and debit card use has skyrocketed. In order to make it as easy and simple as possible for your customers to make purchases, you need to be utilizing credit card processing technology whenever able. If you don’t already, set up a merchant services account so you can accept credit card payments online. If you regularly meet your customers in-person, or have a small retail store, consider having your employees use a mobile credit card reader while they’re on the clock.

Bradley Derringer - 100 x 100Bradley Derringer is a blogger for TechBreach, giving you the latest on all things tech.

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