5 Digital Essentials To Transform Your Business
Digital Essentials : Running a solo business venture has always been a hard enough job as it is. But what makes it even harder is the rapid pace at which the market seems to move nowadays. Everyone needs immediate results – from your suppliers to your distributors and customers who expect quality work at the snap of a finger. You can thank technology for all that. Luckily, technology itself can help you easily adapt to these trends promptly.
Ask yourself this: what is the one space of the market that every company is in the business of?
The business of loss prevention.
Generally speaking, loss prevention was about detecting, investigating, and correcting the mistakes made by human error. So to prevent any loss, you could keep strict checks on your employee. Or you could monitor trends. Maybe you could introduce harsh penalties. The “general” list goes on and on. But like everything, a lot has changed in the world in the past two decades, and many sound business principles in 2005 are of no value today. The fact of the matter is, since the information revolution, companies that have failed to adapt to technology have inevitably crashed and burned. According to the US Chamber of Commerce, those companies that fully embrace technology outperform their competitors by a large margin.
The business world has always been about adapting to challenges, and that much has remained the same. So many businesses have used the rapid-fire efficacy of technology to their advantage. To do this, many companies use third-party software to aid with various aspects of their operations. Some small-scale entrepreneurs even cut out the middle man by getting into coding themselves! There are many ways technology can be an asset to a business. Have trouble coordinating action? Use communication software. Hate dealing with non-serious customers on call? Use customer support platforms. Have a physical ledger collecting dust at the bottom of the shelf? Digitize it and save yourself the ever-present margin for human error.
There are countless tools out there in the form of simple computer software you can use to your advantage in all aspects of your business. Nowadays, the rule of thumb is that if you can digitize a sector of your operations, do it immediately.
In this article, we have curated a list of 5 essential software categories every business needs to survive in today’s climate.
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- Internal Communication Software
Coordinating action is probably one of the most frustrating parts of running a business. It is hard enough as it is to communicate an idea to one person, but what if you’re running a project where multiple departments are involved? Sure, it might seem easy enough to drop a text on Whatsapp or iMessage. Still, no official record of that communication can be independently verified. You always risk losing your message in the group chat.
That is why it is probably wise to invest in a communication platform that is strictly professional and shows up on your notifications as something distinct from just another text.
One of the hottest tools on the market in this regard is Slack. It’s commonly used by many large corporations because of its seamless integration with other software like Trello used to coordinate actions.
- Accounting Software
This one is pretty straightforward. Anything digital is better than anything physical. Especially something as important as your business accounts. Digital accounting is a blessing both for the business owner and the accountant. It solves many problems that simple pen and paper transactions are often plagued by. As mentioned before, a loss is created on account of human error. Accounting software takes the “human element” out of the equation to a great degree and ensures that your books are as accurate as can be. Many such software includes nifty tools such as payroll tracking, budgeting, and easier inventory management at the tip of your fingers. In the new age, you must remember: the faster the information gets to you, the faster you can respond to it!
- Social Media Marketing Software
There’s only so much one person can do. Short of hiring a dedicated social media manager who will probably bump up your business expenses, there’s not much you can do except trust your children regarding social media trends.
At least, that’s what most people think. Nowadays, with trends on social media being run through hashtags, many software available on the market track these in real-time. This helps you get a quick picture of what your target market is currently interested in. And this method of trend identification scores beyond any customer engagement you could do on your own.
TweetDeck, for example, helps you monitor the popularity of certain hashtags. So if you’re running a restaurant, you could use a hashtag in your marketing campaign, look up how often people use it, and get a peek into the customer experience firsthand.
- Project Management Software
This is perhaps the most important one on the list for businesses operating in the B2B space. If your company’s payroll depends on delivering certain milestones to clients, you need to track the activities of all your departments with much greater efficiency than other businesses.
Trello is a great example of this. This software works as a blank board on which you can assign certain cards to your employees and provide them with the relevant data they need to deliver certain milestones. Once they do, they can upload their work onto it, and you can track everyone’s progress.
It is a great tool that helps you organize your business’s work on complex projects. To manage your projects, you must be able to visualize everything going into it, and a digital space will make that process much easier.
5. Service Management Software
Effective service fulfillment is essential for any modern business. A service management software program helps increase your team’s efficiency by automating certain tasks, such as keeping track of order service history, sending notifications to customers, and consolidating data from different channels. Suppose you’re running a tire repair and replacement shop. A customer books a repair or maintenance service. The management software program can automatically create an appointment, assign a mechanic to the job, and take care of customer communications. This will help streamline the process and minimize mishaps. It will also ensure that your employees know what needs to be done every day.
A business is a complex machine that relies heavily on a hoard of tiny processes to operate effectively. And all of these tiny processes need to work efficiently and simultaneously to make it worth the effort. What you’ll be doing by making use of these software is fine-tuning those minute processes. There is a time and place for the human touch, but if you want to scale your organization, you need automation. There is a reason why software automation is projected to become a 70 billion-dollar industry by 2030. You would be wise to embrace this second phase of the technological revolution.