4 Tools that Every Small Business Should Use
The key to running a successful small business is keeping costs down and production/service delivery efficient. This is easier said than done. Some tools have been developed to boost productivity and efficiency while others are built to eliminate downtime and manage risk. Let’s take a look at some of the technology your business should be using.
Short for Voice over Internet Protocol, VoIP presents any business a laundry list of benefits. First, and probably most importantly, a VoIP platform will allow your business to eliminate the cost of your traditional business phone system. Since you will be using bandwidth to host your organization’s telecommunications, you won’t have any need for phone lines. Secondly, the options that VoIP presents can make it the answer for many of your business’ communications needs. Some of the most useful features for a small business include:
- Automated attendant with integrated call management
- Call routing
- Call forwarding
- Instant messaging
- Text messaging
- Video and voice conferencing
- Softphone integration for mobile phones
...and much more.
With a VoIP system, you gain mobility, call security, and best yet, the ability to quickly and easily scale your phone system to your business’ needs.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM), is a way to manage all the different types of relationships that you cultivate in the course of doing business. WIthout a CRM, it is very difficult to track these relationships, and make no mistake, there are a lot of them. Think about how your business functions, you have vendors for numerous things, you have your customer base, you have your campaigns and resulting opportunities, you have all of your other marketing opportunities (including those that are cultivated online), and you have your human resources that you have to track for payroll and benefits sake. That’s a lot of moving parts. The CRM automated large parts of this process, allowing your staff to efficiently manage their role and stop wasting time with clerical work when it could be better served on tasks that bring in revenue.
Today, nearly every business uses some type of cloud computing resource. Whether your organization has turned to a hosted email solution, a productivity suite hosted in the cloud, or if you have gotten a little more aggressive with your cloud initiatives, businesses are really seeing the benefits of using the cloud to host their data and applications. For those companies that haven’t considered cloud resources, it saves you large amounts of upfront capital as you don’t have to pay for new hardware to host the cloud on. Additionally, you get access to your cloud platform from anyplace you have an Internet connection, making it easier for companies to deploy their people offsite. If your business is looking to get powerful computing, storage, and other digital resources, consider hosting them in the cloud for the best results.
Backup and Disaster Recovery
Speaking of the cloud, today’s data backup is an integral part of protecting your business’ data. Some solutions use the cloud, some use hard drives, some even use tape (a shrinking number, thankfully). At ISC, we utilize the BDR, which is a network-attached backup device that takes incremental backups of your data and sends a copy to the cloud. This provides a business with multiple copies of their recently saved data. This ensures that not only does this combat downtime, it also guarantees redundancy is maintained if something terrible happens to your place of business.
With these four tools, even the smallest businesses can ensure that their business is efficient and effective in mitigating risk. If you would like to talk to one of our knowledgeable consultants about getting the technology your business needs to excel, call us today at 502.292.5097.