For small business leaders, nothing is more fraught than trying to decide which tech tools are worth the price of entry. In 2020, small businesses need a strong slate of tech in order to stay competitive, but the cost of having one can be seriously prohibitive. You need powerful resources, but you also need the best deal possible on them.
Figuring out what the best deals are is no small task. Figuring out which tech is worthy of your investment will take some research on your part, but here are a few places to start:
1. Follow-Up Tools
Making sales has been the cornerstone of business for centuries, and that fact isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. What has changed is how much support salespeople have in closing deals. The most critical element of sales has always been the follow-up, and a whole bevy of tools from email tracking to automated content personalization have arrived to help in the process.
Tools such as these ensure that every step of the follow-up is carefully curated, designed to maximize the likelihood of a response from the potential client. Email tracking lets you know exactly when a certain email was read, by whom, and for how long, while content personalization allows you to keep your leads engaged with automatically-generated content that still feels unique to them.
2. Accounting Platforms
Perhaps the type of tech most worth the cost to use it is tech that helps you manage your money. Small businesses are unlikely to have fully staffed in-house accounting teams, so why not make up for it with cutting-edge accounting software? The cost of buying into one is almost always less than the cost of hiring an accountant, even annually, making this investment an absolute no-brainer.
3. Customer Data Analytics
There are scores of data out there, just waiting for someone to collect and use to their advantage. Every time customers visit your site or make a purchase, they give up loads of data that your company needs to be prepared to scoop up. Once you have their data, though, you need to have the right technology on hand to analyze it.
Knowing who your customers are, what other interests they have, what compels them, and how much they’re buying can inform more effective and mature marketing campaigns in the future. Without the tools at your disposal to collect and analyze this information, you’re flying in the dark — something no small business can afford to do these days.
4. Ad Trackers
So you’ve gotten customer data and you’ve used it to develop a top-notch ad campaign — now what? How do you know whether or not it’s really working? Just a few years ago, this would’ve involved costly customer surveys and inefficient opinion collections. Today, all you need is a bit of ad tracking.
The latest ad tracking tech can tell you who looks at your ads, how long they do so, and when they choose to click or not click. This may sound like trivial data, but when properly considered it can completely change your business’s ad strategy for the better. The customer is always right — even if they don’t like your ad — so using their behavior to mold your marketing strategy is one of the best uses of your money out there.
5. Content Management Systems
Today’s marketing machine runs on content and the critical mass of articles, blog posts, opinion pieces, and newsletters that companies deal with which can seem to be impossible to manage. Failing to publish the right piece of content in the right place at the right time can seriously dull its performance impact. Unless you have a team of employees capable of sticking to the tightest of schedules, you’ll need a content management system in place.
Content management systems, or CMSs, can place, schedule, and even edit your content for you. It’s the perfect bridge between your content development team and the world at large, ensuring that chaos in the former does not lead to sloppiness in the latter. Content is a required part of any modern marketing strategy, so investing in a tool to maximize its reach is well worth the cost of investment.
No one knows the needs of your small business better than you. Evaluate what gaps in your business need to be filled and find the tech that fills them. The options on this list are starting points; go out there and find the right tech for you.