The Latest IT Tools For Small Businesses & How To Implement Them Successfully
Small businesses in almost every industry depend on reliable, up-to-date IT technology for many of their day-to-day operations, whether it’s processing online invoicing, responding to customer inquiries or managing the content of a website. Fortunately, thanks to the rapid developments of IT technology in the last few years, there are dozens of ways in which business owners can cut their costs, improve their productivity and maximize their efficiency.
IT accounts for almost 80 percent of technological investment today
According to ‘The Digital Imperative: small businesses technology and growth’ survey conducted by the UK Federation of Small Businesses, the average small business spent approximately £3,500 in new technology in 2012. The largest areas of investment included laptops, software and websites, while cloud services and hardware were lower down on the list. The study also showed that IT accounted for almost 80 percent of technological investment, education accounted for just under 75 percent, while both creative services and real estate activities accounted for just under 70 percent of investment.
Here, we look at some of the latest IT tools for small businesses and how to implement them successfully.
This handy business tool lets you do all of your billing automatically, which saves you from having to submit multiple invoices to your clients. Recurly is also very simple to set up; simply choose a tailored subscription plan and let the tool do all your invoicing for you, from automated e-mails to specific payments customized to your clients’ payment plans.
If you manage many different tasks at a time, Trello can help you organize them more effectively, whether it’s planning team meetings, posting real time updates or just keeping track of anything important like scheduled phone calls or appointments. The template features a simple ‘To Do’, ‘Doing and ‘Done’ section so you can monitor your progress and know exactly what need to be done without having to search through your emails or consult with your work colleagues.
This business tool is a convenient solution for companies that simply don’t have the space to store large numbers of files in their office. With EchoSign you can put all of your important files on a server and use the special E-sign feature, which will enable you to make signatures without having to use a printer or a scanner. As you might expect, this eco-friendly tool could save you a significant amount of money on your printing costs over the years.
If you constantly struggle to remember all your passwords because you’ve been using the internet since the era when only letters were required (as opposed to letters, digits, numbers or capitals today), consider LastPass. This is the solution for business owners who are experiencing chronic password fatigue and spend countless hours trying to remember all of their important passwords. Just create a LastPass password and user name before you synchronize all of your accounts and servers to access them via one source. The tool is very secure and enables you to find information much more quickly than through multiple log-ins.
Barry Start is a technology blogger and customer service adviser at Utilize- the UK’s leading IT support company presenting , proactive and personalized IT support services throughout Essex, Kent, London and beyond.