It's amazing how things change in this era of the internet. As a small business owner, you have to keep up with these technological improvements and adopt some. They help in improving the productivity of your team and automating processes in your business. It also saves your valuable time and helps keep track of activities happening around you.
We asked entrepreneurs and business owners about the technologies they can't run their business without and here are the responses.
Email Automation allows me to serve thousands of email subscribers based on their needs and interests. Gone are the days where one would have to manually keep track of subscribers or treat everyone the same. Now, email automation allows me to quickly segment my subscribers and send them emails based on their interests. The best part about email automation is that allows me to make sales on autopilot. I need to spend some time in setting it once, and it keeps on working in the backend – nurturing my audience and making a sales pitch on autopilot.
Thanks to Sumit Bansal, Trump Excel!
We're heavy users of Slite. It's a collaboration tool that lets our team create documents and guides together, then share them with selected users or the whole company. Whenever anyone at Spendesk needs to know how something works – from team processes, to work in progress, to how to set up the printer – they know how to find the information easily in Slite. Probably the best part is that Slite has built lots of handy templates. So if you want a ready-made document to run an all-of-company meeting, for example, it's already been set up for you. We don't waste time making up new processes – our team members can easily approach their work the same as their peers, without having to be shown.
Thanks to Rodolphe Ardant, Spendesk!
The one piece of technology I couldn’t do without is SEMrush. I rely on it to find the search terms that my competitors are using to drive organic search traffic to their sites. It took me nearly two years to realize there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. My competitors have already spent years and thousands of dollars researching the best keywords in my niche. SEMrush allows me to see exactly which keywords are driving most of their traffic. All I have to do then is create content around those keywords that is better than theirs.
Thanks to Rob Powell
#3-Orchid Spa Software
I've owned and operated Fountain of Youth Skin Renewal Centre since 2005 and simply wouldn't be able to function without Orchid Spa Software, a medical spa management software created by DaySmart Software. As an entrepreneur and spa owner, my biggest challenge is juggling daily operations with managing employees and maintaining positive client relationships – and Orchid helps me do it all. It can do everything from running sales and inventory reports, to giving me more visibility into employee schedules – all in real-time. It also allows me to manage operations remotely from home and makes booking appointments for (and sending reminders to) clients seamless through the power of automation. Thanks to the help of DaySmart's support team, Orchid has been easy to learn and implement with my employees and customers, which is why I recommend it at industry events and whenever people ask which business management software I use. We've gone from being a paper-only company with little-to-no business experience, to a fast-growing, business-savvy and paper-less spa. I opened Fountain of Youth because of my passion for working with clients. DaySmart has helped me focus on that passion by giving me a software that allows me to spend less time managing my business and spend more time creating value for our customers.
Thanks to Susan Alderson, Fountain of Youth Skin Renewal Centre!
I started out using Gmail and quickly started with more of there tools. Google drive is great because I can access the files from any computer. Plus in Google Drive I can share files with my team, and we everyone will always be seeing the most current version. There is now more sending version 13 of a file back and forth. I love everything is integrated and can be accessed from anywhere.
Thanks to Lindsey Nickel, Lovely Day Events!
Operating in the talent assessments space, AI is one technology that we can’t imagine our business to survive without. Each of our product lines are powered by AI to provide sharp and useful insights to improve individual stages of their hiring funnel and aid better people decisions. Remote proctoring, for instance, is one of our core offerings where AI operates at the heart. When it comes to conducting high-stake global assessment and examinations, it’s when our AI-enabled proctoring comes to the rescue that also keeps on building intelligence to deal with more advance forms of cheating. As human intervention can be only limited in global assessments, AI-based remote proctoring makes possible to identify complex expressions and gestures to help proctors whether an examinee is using any unfair means to trick the test.
Thanks to Ketan Kapoor, Mettl!
ICloud syncs my data–including contacts, videos, and music–across all of my devices. So while being able to listen to my music on my phone and Mac make my life a little easier, being able to access documents, contracts and contacts for my business across any device makes doing business faster and stress-free. This freedom could significantly increase productivity.
Thanks to Zondra Wilson, Blu Skin Care, LLC!
#7-Three key technologies
There are a few technologies that we rely on daily to ensure we keep delivering for our customers Google Apps, Salesforce and our own digital advocacy software. Like many businesses, we use Google Apps to manage our calendar and email and Salesforce to nurture our current customer relationships and grown new ones. Additionally, we rely on our own Phone2Action platform for company communications and updates, as well as text alerts that go out to our customers about industry and product news. Together, these three key technologies play a crucial role in the success of our company and our customers digital advocacy campaigns.
Thanks to Jeb Ory, Phone2Action!
Our team implemented a micro-rewards app called Bonusly a few years ago. It has become a staple in our culture and is invaluable in creating a positive, gracious workplace. Employees get an allowance of points each month that they can then gift to their team members for, well, anything they choose. The catch is this: each reward has to be given publicly and tied to one of our core values. Did your team member spend some time teaching you how something works? Give them 25 points for exemplifying our “Elevate” core value. Points received can be accrued and redeemed for just about anything, from Amazon gift cards to PayPal cashouts, but my favorite is when our folks use their points for non-profit donations. Last year, after hurricane Maria, our entire team cashed in their points to donate over $800 to the Red Cross. Bonusly is an integral part of how we say reinforce gratefulness and our core values each and every day.
Thanks to Andi Graham, Big Sea!
Mailchimp Keeps Our Email Marketing In Line. When it comes to our marketing efforts, Mailchimp has been instrumental in helping us keep up with our email marketing. Why? Because it's easy to use; the interface is intuitive and simple for a non-programmer to use. But if we need something more in-depth, then we can create our own HTML template and drop it right in. We've done both for different purposes. Moreover, it's easy to upload and segment lists, get solid analytics, etc. For both special offer blasts and our retargeting efforts, Mailchimp has proven invaluable to get our content out to our customers and sales leads in a quick and easy fashion. Without it, a sizable portion of our re-marketing efforts and lead gen would suffer.
Thanks to Shaan Patel, Prep Expert!
For the past 3 years I play an active role for aspiring/up-and-coming coaches from a variety of niches and countries from the world, go from idea to market in the most effective way known up to date. The daily task of having to communicate with 30+ different people from my book of business in conjunction with the experts from Sai can be overwhelming, as you can imagine. We've simplified communication by using the app called SLACK. This communication app which is available for IOS, Android, Windows and MAC, allows you to create hubs/channels for ongoing topics. So instead of going back and forth on email, which we all know can be tedious, I have a channel for each individual client. Also, we have channels for all our business strategy consultants, product delivery teams, designers and other teams within the organization. What that implies for myself and my team is, through this APP, I can communicate with everybody of importance within business — without sorting through emails, text messages and other messaging platforms. On average it saves our team and company 1-2 hours daily — this begs the question, what would you do with that extra hour a day? 😉
Thanks to Davith Meng, Dot Coach LLC!
As a service based business owner I couldn’t live without an online scheduler Acuity. Acuity allows me to create separate links for the various meetings I have. Whether I need to set something up with a retainer client, a podcaster or a single strategy session, every type of meeting has its own link. I simply send the link to whoever I need to meet with and they are able to select a time that is available on my calendar. No emails back and forth for days about when we can meet! Additionally, I can attach intake forms that automatically go out when a meeting type is scheduled and accept payment. This one tool saves me hours a week!
Thanks to Melissa Morris
#12- Two apps
There are a couple of things I use on my phone all the time – first of all, the notes app. It is a great way to get to do lists, or ideas on to a centralized document that you can track and refer back to easily. I also really like some of the meditation apps available for my phone. I use the app Mindfulness, which has 10,000 different meditations. The combination of using both the notes to write and track my thoughts, and the Mindfulness app to clear my brain, has improved my ability to get a good night’s sleep. When I wake up in the middle of the night with a thought, I put it into my notes app. Then, to fall back asleep I simply start a meditation to clear my brain and I am back asleep in a few quick minutes.
Thanks to Adham Sbeih, Socotra Capital!
#13- Email communication
I know there are a lot of fancy tools and technologies out there and you can call me old-fashioned but for me the thing I still benefit from most is e-mail. I love how efficient it is for asynchronous conversations, you can keep projects moving forward, communicate key info quickly, stay in touch with people easily, share news, photos, etc. It is convenient, easy, fast and fun albeit addictive at times. I use it on both a mass and a targeted basis depending on the content. I can attribute a lot of new business to my e-mail communication. It is not fancy but it works for me.
Thanks to Paige Arnof-Fenn, Mavens & Moguls!
#14- Three technologies
Buffer is my go to. I do not think I would be able to do hat I do without this tool. Second to that is Canva. I use it for the non-profit I am a volunteer at in Toastmasters as well as my entrepreneur business. Third is the Google Suite. I don't think I could do what I do without these main tools.
Thanks to Trisha Trixie
Twilio is the one technology our company relies heavily on. Twilio is a programmable voice API that has allowed us to scale in ways we previously could not imagine. Previously, all our call center representatives had to work in-house at a central location. But, thanks to Twilio we now have a remote staff of 40 call center representatives who work from home. All that is required is an internet connection, which makes growing a call center easy. Our staff loves it, and our developers enjoy the easy to use API.
Thanks to Sean Pour, SellMax!
If it's unmeasurable, it doesn't worth scaling. That's what I believe in business. Time is the new currency and Hubspot, a web-based time tracking and productivity tool is allowing us to be measurable the total hours of work done and apply the famous 80-20 rule. It helps track where the time is spent and how much each task is consuming. It's not just the transparency but enables us to tweak and optimize the limited number of hours where it deserves.
Thanks to Syed Farhan Raza, SFR Digital!
#17- The internet
We cannot run our business without the internet. Our company’s email, our client systems, our cloud, and the activities of our data center can only run with the internet. Everything that we do relies on the internet. Without it, we would no longer be a company.
Thanks to Chris Carter, Approyo!
An innovative business app that we cannot live without is intercom. Intercom is a customer engagement tool that allows you to interact with your customers at any point in time while they are on your site. With this tool, we have inserted ourselves into our on-boarding funnel and can reach and talk to customers and get real-time feedback during critical moments of the sign-up process. With this data and real-time feedback, we can make design or copy changes to improve our click-through rate and overall customer experience. With these practices in place, we have seen over a 40% uplift in conversion after implementation.
Thanks to Gene Caballero, GreenPal!
#19-Basecamp has been absolutely amazing.
It’s been my go-to resource. Especially because I have a remote team that is working at different times and working on different tasks, Basecamp has removed everything from my e-mail to the openness of Basecamp. It has been an absolute game-changer for me and the team. I could go on and on. if I had a second place, it would probably be Acuity my scheduling software. It makes it easier for me to book meetings and times without having to do the back and forth of sending e-mails.
Thanks to Gresham Harkless, Blue 16 Media!