Technological tools for small businesses in 2023
There aren’t enough hours in the day in 2022 for these 10 IT tools for small businesses.” Your days are jam-packed with everything from creating proposals and meeting with clients to staying on top of emails and administrative work. It’s easy to feel fatigued and stressed.
Fortunately, technical advancements in software and apps have resulted in a plethora of digital tools that can help you optimize your business and reduce stress at work.
Small Business Benefits of Using Tech Tools
To begin with, technology can save you time, allowing you to focus on the important things in life.
Second, technological tools can help you save money.
Finally, digital tools complement the new post-pandemic paradigm, in which people and businesses desire to reduce in-person connections because of long-term health concerns and regulations.
1. Project Management Tools
Project management tools are software applications that help individuals and teams plan, organize, and manage projects from start to finish. These tools provide a centralized platform where project managers can create project timelines, assign tasks to team members, monitor progress, and communicate with stakeholders. Some examples of project management tools include:
- Asana: A popular project management tool that enables teams to manage tasks and workflows, set project timelines, and communicate with team members. Asana offers a variety of project templates and integrations with other applications.
- Trello: A visual project management tool that uses boards, lists, and cards to organize tasks and workflows. Teams can use Trello to assign tasks, set deadlines, and track progress in real-time.
- Jira: A project management tool designed for software development teams. Jira enables teams to plan sprints, track bugs, and manage agile workflows. Jira integrates with a variety of software development tools.
- Microsoft Project: A comprehensive project management tool that enables project managers to plan project timelines, allocate resources, and track progress. Microsoft Project offers a variety of project templates and integrates with other Microsoft applications.
- Monday.com: A flexible project management tool that enables teams to manage tasks, track progress, and collaborate with team members. Monday.com offers a variety of project templates and integrations with other applications.
Overall, project management tools provide teams with the resources they need to effectively manage projects and improve team productivity. These tools enable teams to streamline workflows, reduce errors, and increase collaboration among team members.
Simple cost structure; they have a version that allows you to invite an infinite number of people and create boards, cards, and lists.
It’s cross-platform compatible and mobile-friendly.
If you’re a basic member, you’ll have a 10MB file upload restriction for each attachment.
Data backup concerns – in the event of a disaster or data loss, you won’t be able to import your data back into Trello.
2. E-Signature Tools
E-signature tools are software applications that enable individuals and organizations to sign digital documents electronically. These tools eliminate the need for physical signatures, making it easier and faster to sign and send documents. E-signature tools typically offer a variety of features such as document preparation, signature capture, and secure storage. Some examples of e-signature tools include:
- DocuSign: A widely-used e-signature tool that enables individuals and organizations to sign and send documents electronically. DocuSign offers a variety of features such as document preparation, signature capture, and secure storage. DocuSign integrates with a variety of other applications.
- Adobe Sign: A comprehensive e-signature tool that enables users to prepare, sign, and send documents electronically. Adobe Sign offers a variety of features such as document preparation, signature capture, and secure storage. Adobe Sign integrates with other Adobe applications.
- HelloSign: A user-friendly e-signature tool that enables individuals and organizations to sign and send documents electronically. HelloSign offers a variety of features such as document preparation, signature capture, and secure storage. HelloSign integrates with other applications such as Google Drive and Dropbox.
- SignNow: A cloud-based e-signature tool that enables users to prepare, sign, and send documents electronically. SignNow offers a variety of features such as document preparation, signature capture, and secure storage. SignNow integrates with a variety of other applications.
- PandaDoc: A comprehensive document management tool that enables users to prepare, sign, and send documents electronically. PandaDoc offers a variety of features such as document preparation, e-signatures, and secure storage. PandaDoc integrates with a variety of other applications.
Overall, e-signature tools provide individuals and organizations with a fast and efficient way to sign and send documents electronically. These tools enable users to streamline document workflows, reduce errors, and increase efficiency.
Option to delegate and manage all document signing operations and users through an administrator.
For certain duties, there are signature groups.
Given that Adobe has offered its own free signature feature, it’s a bit pricey.
Slow response times and the difficulties of using the tool across a large company user.
3. Email Marketing
Email marketing is a digital marketing strategy that involves sending promotional emails or newsletters to a targeted list of subscribers. The goal of email marketing is to build and maintain relationships with customers and prospects, promote brand awareness, and drive sales. Effective email marketing campaigns typically involve the following elements:
- Email List Building: Building a targeted email list is critical to the success of email marketing. This involves gathering email addresses from existing customers, website visitors, and other sources.
- Email Design and Content: Email design and content should be visually appealing and engaging, with a clear call-to-action that encourages recipients to take a desired action.
- Personalization and Segmentation: Personalizing email content based on recipient preferences, behavior, and demographic information can improve engagement rates. Segmenting email lists based on specific criteria can also improve relevance and engagement.
- Automation: Automation tools enable marketers to send personalized, targeted emails to subscribers based on their behavior and preferences, such as abandoned cart emails, welcome emails, and triggered campaigns.
- Analytics and Optimization: Email marketing platforms typically offer analytics tools that allow marketers to track open rates, click-through rates, and other metrics. Analyzing these metrics and making data-driven optimizations can improve email campaign performance over time.
Some popular email marketing platforms include:
- Mailchimp: A popular email marketing platform that offers a variety of features including email design templates, automation, and analytics.
- Constant Contact: A user-friendly email marketing platform that offers email design templates, list building tools, and analytics.
- HubSpot: A comprehensive marketing automation platform that offers email marketing as well as other marketing tools such as social media management and CRM.
- Campaign Monitor: A platform that offers email marketing, automation, and analytics tools for businesses of all sizes.
Overall, email marketing is a powerful digital marketing strategy that can help businesses build and maintain relationships with customers, promote brand awareness, and drive sales. Effective email marketing campaigns involve thoughtful planning, engaging content, personalisation, and data-driven optimization.
A/B testing and highly focused user segmentation are also available.
Campaign metrics and analytics information at a granular level.
Gmail recipients occasionally do not receive emails, or they wind up in their Trash folder.
It becomes more expensive as the audience grows larger.
4. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a business strategy that involves managing interactions and relationships with customers throughout their lifecycle. The goal of CRM is to improve customer satisfaction, increase customer retention, and drive business growth. CRM typically involves the use of software applications to collect, manage, and analyze customer data. Some common features of CRM software include:
- Customer Data Management: CRM software allows businesses to collect and store customer data such as contact information, purchase history, and customer behavior.
- Sales Management: CRM software enables sales teams to manage customer interactions, track sales leads, and monitor sales performance.
- Marketing Automation: CRM software can be used to automate marketing activities such as email campaigns, social media advertising, and targeted promotions.
- Customer Service Management: CRM software can be used to manage customer service interactions, track customer issues and requests, and measure customer satisfaction.
- Analytics and Reporting: CRM software typically includes analytics and reporting tools that allow businesses to track customer behavior, measure marketing campaign effectiveness, and monitor overall business performance.
Some popular CRM software platforms include:
- Salesforce: A comprehensive CRM platform that offers a variety of features including sales, marketing, and customer service management.
- HubSpot: A marketing automation platform that includes a CRM system as well as other marketing tools such as email marketing and social media management.
- Zoho CRM: A cloud-based CRM platform that offers a variety of features including sales, marketing, and customer service management.
- Microsoft Dynamics 365: A comprehensive business management platform that includes CRM, sales, marketing, and customer service management.
Overall, CRM is a valuable business strategy that can help businesses improve customer satisfaction, increase customer retention, and drive business growth. Effective CRM requires thoughtful planning, data management, and the use of CRM software tools to collect, manage, and analyze customer data.
Ability to keep a close eye on customers and analyse their needs.
Customer service is outstanding.
Email’s video capabilities are somewhat restricted.
Color options are limited and the UI is dull.
5. HR Management
Human Resource Management (HRM) is a strategic approach to managing employees in an organization. The goal of HRM is to maximize employee performance in order to achieve organizational objectives. HRM typically involves a range of activities, including:
- Recruitment and Selection: HRM involves finding and hiring the best candidates for open positions. This can involve job postings, screening resumes, conducting interviews, and making job offers.
- Training and Development: HRM involves providing employees with the necessary training and development opportunities to improve their skills and knowledge. This can include on-the-job training, workshops, and online learning resources.
- Performance Management: HRM involves setting clear performance expectations for employees and regularly assessing their performance. This can involve performance appraisals, goal setting, and feedback sessions.
- Compensation and Benefits: HRM involves setting competitive salaries and benefits packages that attract and retain top talent. This can involve researching industry standards, developing compensation plans, and managing employee benefits.
- Employee Relations: HRM involves managing employee relations and ensuring a positive work environment. This can involve conflict resolution, communication strategies, and employee engagement initiatives.
Some popular HRM software platforms include:
- Workday: A cloud-based platform that offers a range of HRM features including recruitment, performance management, and employee engagement tools.
- BambooHR: An HRM platform that offers features including onboarding, performance management, and time and attendance tracking.
- ADP Workforce Now: An HRM platform that offers features including payroll management, benefits administration, and compliance management.
- SAP SuccessFactors: An HRM platform that offers features including talent management, learning and development, and workforce analytics.
Overall, HRM is a critical function of any organization and involves a range of activities designed to maximize employee performance and achieve organizational objectives. Effective HRM requires thoughtful planning, clear communication, and the use of HRM software tools to manage employee data and automate HR processes.
Small firms that require payroll software with rudimentary HR assistance will find it useful.
Customer support that is both friendly and prompt.
The costs are a bit on the high side.
There is no mobile app.
6. Accounting Software
Accounting software is a type of software that is designed to help businesses manage their financial transactions and processes. It typically includes features such as invoicing, expense tracking, financial reporting, and tax management. Some common features of accounting software include:
- Invoicing: Accounting software allows businesses to create and send invoices to customers for goods and services sold.
- Expense Tracking: Accounting software enables businesses to track expenses, including bills, payments, and receipts.
- Financial Reporting: Accounting software provides businesses with financial reports, including balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements.
- Tax Management: Accounting software helps businesses manage tax compliance, including calculating and filing taxes.
- Bank Reconciliation: Accounting software can be used to reconcile bank statements and identify discrepancies between the business’s records and the bank’s records.
Some popular accounting software platforms include:
- QuickBooks: A popular accounting software for small and medium-sized businesses, QuickBooks offers a range of features including invoicing, expense tracking, financial reporting, and tax management.
- Xero: Another popular accounting software for small and medium-sized businesses, Xero offers features including invoicing, expense tracking, financial reporting, and bank reconciliation.
- FreshBooks: An accounting software designed specifically for small businesses and freelancers, FreshBooks offers features including invoicing, expense tracking, and time tracking.
- Sage: A comprehensive accounting software that offers a range of features including invoicing, expense tracking, financial reporting, and tax management.
Overall, accounting software is a valuable tool for businesses of all sizes, allowing them to manage their financial transactions and processes more efficiently and accurately. Effective accounting software requires careful consideration of business needs, data management, and the use of accounting software tools to automate financial processes.
The interface is simple and intuitive.
It’s simple to integrate with other apps.
Inventory management capabilities are limited.
When compared to the desktop version, the report creator in QuickBooks Online is lacking in some features.
7. Communication and Collaboration
Communication and collaboration software tools are essential for businesses to effectively communicate and collaborate with employees, customers, and partners. They help teams work together more efficiently, share information and ideas, and improve productivity. Here are some common communication and collaboration software tools:
- Instant Messaging (IM) and Chat: These tools allow users to send and receive real-time text messages, files, and links. Some popular IM and chat tools include Slack, Microsoft Teams, and WhatsApp.
- Video Conferencing: Video conferencing tools allow teams to hold virtual meetings and collaborate from remote locations. Some popular video conferencing tools include Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet.
- Project Management: Project management tools help teams plan and manage projects, assign tasks, and track progress. Some popular project management tools include Trello, Asana, and Basecamp.
- File Sharing and Collaboration: File sharing and collaboration tools allow teams to share and collaborate on files and documents. Some popular file sharing and collaboration tools include Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive.
- Social Media: Social media platforms can be used for communication, collaboration, and marketing. Some popular social media platforms for businesses include LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
Effective communication and collaboration require a combination of the right tools, processes, and culture. Businesses must carefully consider their communication and collaboration needs, select the appropriate software tools, and establish clear communication protocols and guidelines. With the right software tools and processes in place, businesses can improve communication and collaboration, increase productivity, and drive better business outcomes.
Identity management is straightforward, and programme installation and management is simple.
People can easily view and schedule meetings with their coworkers, and the email feature is clear and well-organized.
Because Microsoft does not back up Office 365 user data, it suggests that users use third-party solutions to protect their data from risks such as file corruption and human mistake.
You could face unpleasant downtime, productivity declines, and even compliance difficulties if you don’t invest in a third-party backup system.
Rewind Backups for Microsoft 365 gives your team’s productivity data constant access, unlimited control, and security.
8. Password Management Tools
Password management tools are software applications that help users securely store, organize, and manage their passwords. They typically store login credentials and other sensitive information in an encrypted database, protected by a master password or other authentication mechanisms. Here are some common features of password management tools:
- Password Storage: Password management tools allow users to securely store their passwords and login credentials for various accounts and websites.
- Password Generation: Password management tools can generate strong, unique passwords that are difficult to guess or crack.
- Password Sharing: Password management tools can be used to securely share passwords with other users or team members.
- Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Many password management tools offer 2FA to enhance security, requiring users to provide an additional form of authentication, such as a fingerprint or a one-time code, to access their passwords.
- Auto-fill: Some password management tools can automatically fill in login credentials on websites and apps, making it easy for users to log in without typing their passwords.
Some popular password management tools include:
- LastPass: A popular password manager that offers password storage, password generation, auto-fill, and two-factor authentication.
- 1Password: Another popular password manager that offers password storage, password generation, auto-fill, and two-factor authentication.
- Dashlane: A password manager that offers password storage, password generation, auto-fill, and dark web monitoring.
- KeePass: A free, open-source password manager that allows users to store passwords locally on their devices.
Overall, password management tools are an essential tool for anyone who needs to manage multiple passwords securely. They can help users create and manage strong, unique passwords, reduce the risk of password-related security breaches, and streamline the login process. With the right password management tool in place, users can enjoy enhanced security and peace of mind.
There are plenty excellent free features.
Syncs all of your devices automatically.
When compared to its competitors, it is expensive.
Customer service is frequently criticised as being inadequate or unresponsive.
9. Website Monitoring
Website monitoring is the process of monitoring a website or web application for availability, performance, and security issues. This is done to ensure that the website or application is accessible to users and operating as intended. Here are some common features of website monitoring tools:
- Uptime Monitoring: Website monitoring tools can check the website at regular intervals to ensure it is accessible to users.
- Performance Monitoring: Website monitoring tools can monitor website performance, including page load times, response times, and resource utilization.
- Error Monitoring: Website monitoring tools can detect and report errors, such as broken links or server errors.
- Security Monitoring: Website monitoring tools can monitor the website for security vulnerabilities, such as malware infections or hacking attempts.
- Alerting: Website monitoring tools can send notifications when issues are detected, allowing website owners to take immediate action.
Some popular website monitoring tools include:
- Pingdom: A website monitoring tool that offers uptime monitoring, performance monitoring, and alerting.
- UptimeRobot: A website monitoring tool that offers uptime monitoring, performance monitoring, and alerting.
- Site24x7: A website monitoring tool that offers uptime monitoring, performance monitoring, error monitoring, and security monitoring.
- Google Analytics: A website analytics tool that can also be used for performance monitoring and error reporting.
Overall, website monitoring is an essential tool for website owners to ensure their website or web application is available, secure, and performing optimally. Effective website monitoring requires careful selection of tools and ongoing monitoring to identify and address issues before they impact users. With the right website monitoring tool in place, website owners can maintain a positive user experience and protect their online reputation.
Shows where your traffic is coming from (for example, organic search, referrals, or direct traffic).
Ecommerce conversion tracking goes beyond simple revenue reporting to demonstrate how different products or product categories are selling and how your checkout and cart procedures can be improved.
Spambots generate a considerable amount of traffic.
Inability to track returns or fraudulent orders accurately.
10. Data Backup
Data backup is the process of creating and storing copies of important digital data in a secure location, typically in case the original data is lost, damaged, or destroyed. Here are some common features of data backup tools:
- Automatic Backups: Data backup tools can be configured to automatically back up data on a regular schedule, reducing the risk of data loss due to human error.
- Incremental Backups: Data backup tools can perform incremental backups, only backing up data that has changed since the last backup.
- Cloud Backup: Data backup tools can back up data to cloud storage, allowing for off-site storage and remote access.
- Encryption: Data backup tools can encrypt data to protect it from unauthorized access, ensuring data security.
- Restore: Data backup tools provide easy access to backed-up data for restoration in the event of data loss.
Some popular data backup tools include:
- Acronis True Image: A data backup tool that offers automatic backups, cloud backup, and encryption.
- Backblaze: A data backup tool that offers cloud backup, encryption, and unlimited backup storage.
- Carbonite: A data backup tool that offers cloud backup, automatic backups, and encryption.
- Google Drive: A cloud storage service that can be used for data backup, offering encryption and easy access to backed-up data.
Overall, data backup is an essential tool for protecting important digital data from loss, damage, or destruction. Effective data backup requires careful selection of tools and ongoing monitoring to ensure data is backed up regularly and securely. With the right data backup tool in place, users can protect their valuable data and have peace of mind knowing their data is safe.
Companies looking to back up, recover, and duplicate their vital data can save money by using this solution.
Backup and recovery services for Shopify, BigCommerce, QuickBooks Online, GitHub, Trello, and other platforms are available.
Frequently considered only after a company has suffered a catastrophic data loss.