You don’t need to be a big company to explore the benefits of technology and automation. There are plenty of smart solutions available that suit smaller businesses and they’re usually very straightforward. The best thing? They scale with your business, so you don’t have to worry about changing systems as you grow.
Below are some suggestions of basic, easy to use and excellent tech tools for small businesses to help you get it right from the beginning.
Best tech solutions for business accounting automation:
- Dext Prepare for Businesses
Keeping expenses receipts in a shoe box? Not anymore! Whether it’s a simple receipt, an invoice or a bank statement, Dext Prepare easily captures and extracts all the data you need to send to your accounting software without having to sit and enter it manually. It’s a life-changer.
Go paperless and keep your business expenses and transactions organised with this must-have software designed for businesses of all sizes. You business finances are the one thing you can’t cut corners, so make sure to invest in a reliable and long-term solution like Prepare. You can then spend less time on boring admin and more on growing your business – plus, you make your accountant’s life much easier too!
- Dext Commerce
Whether online or in-store, digital payments are rapidly growing as the preferred method for businesses and consumers. Dext Commerce integrates with POS systems, payment platforms, marketplaces and e-commerce websites to fetch your digital sales transactions in real-time. It then instantly converts everything into a standardised and itemised format, so you have all the data in one place, easy to view and manage. Everything is nice and tidy to be exported into Xero or QuickBooks Online, and the reports give you a clear picture of how your business is performing.
You can also use the tool to prevent delays in processing transactions, make sure you pay the right tax in the right country, as well as manage sales, shipping costs, fees and refunds from multiple platforms in one place. If your business uses digital payments and has an online presence, Dext Commerce is for you.
Smart apps for productivity:
If you have a team, it can be hard to track tasks and productivity. Trello is a popular software for small teams to manage projects, create to-do lists, oversee your team’s workload and collaborate together. It allows you to see the status of each task in real-time. It also allows for integrations with other tools to facilitate work, such as Google Drive, Slack and Dropbox, and the mobile app is great for keeping an eye on things on the go.
Monday.com is a similar software for project management with powerful features, although it’s usually more popular with larger companies. You might have also heard of Asana, which has been in the game for a while. If you’re in doubt, it might be worth creating a free account on each and have a try to find out which tool you prefer.
Although technology has made communications easier, it has also made us all constantly busy. Arranging meetings and calls can often turn into a never-ending exchange of emails to find a slot that suits all parts. Calendly cuts this back-and-forth by allowing you to set your availability on a virtual calendar, so you just have to send them a link. The recipient chooses a slot that suits them and the event is automatically added to your calendar and theirs.
The reputation of a small business is constantly under scrutiny, and something as simple as a typo can put it into question. Grammarly is a great tool to review spelling and basic grammar before you press send to that important email or social media post. Although it can’t guarantee your writing will be 100% error-free, it adds an extra layer of confidence.
From documents to contracts and everything in between, today all communication is done online. Going paperless makes your business more agile and environmentally friendly, but sometimes dealing with PDF attachments can get slightly complicated. Sedja is a smart tool to help you manage PDFs easier. You can split, merge, edit, convert, sign – and much more. A practical and easy solution for anything you need to be done with a PDF document.
Tech and automation for marketing
A strong all-around marketing beast, Hubspot has so many functionalities it might feel overwhelming. It’s a CRM system, an email marketing platform, a website builder, a content management tool, a sales report… The list goes on.
Although it might not be as straightforward as other software mentioned here at first, the training and support offered are very effective to help you get started with what’s more important. Once you get the gist of it, it becomes easier to navigate. If used well, Hubspot can be a powerful ally in helping your business attract customers, convert leads, and close sales.
Bonus: the always-free Hubspot Academy is a great source of courses and certifications to help you and your team learn more about digital marketing and sales.
There’s no denying that social media is the new word of mouth. But creating frequent content and managing your business’ social presence can prove a time-consuming and tiring process. Thankfully, there are many tools available to help – Buffer is one of them. You schedule content in advance, manage comments and messages, and get valuable insights into how your brand is doing online.
An image might not always be worth a thousand words, but the visual aspect of a business is definitely important. However, for solo entrepreneurs and small businesses, professional design services can be out of reach in those early stages. In this aspect, Canva reigns supreme.
You can create designs for posters, flyers, banners, social media and more (you can even schedule social media posts directly from their calendar if you rather skip Buffer). The app is constantly evolving and supports pretty much any kind of visual graphic art, including gifs and videos. Although it doesn’t replace a graphic designer in the long run, it does a pretty decent job supporting small businesses when the budget is tight.
It’s hard to know what you need to improve if you don’t know how you’re doing. SurveyMonkey is a nice tool to collect customer feedback and measure your brand awareness. You can gather insights into their experience of your website, mobile app, product or service by creating surveys that don’t require technical knowledge. You can also use it to check employee satisfaction, plan events or do any kind of research that might be helpful for your business.