5 Small Business Technologies You Can’t Afford to Ignore | Hacker Noon

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@zaheer-dodhiaZaheer Dodhia

Zaheer Dodhia is a serial entrepreneur who has a passion for graphic design and biz investments.

In an ever-changing world, staying up to date with modern business technologies can provide business owners with the leverage they need to be successful. This means being prosperous in their ventures and relevant in the competitive market. In most cases, using the correct types of technology will facilitate greater efficiency and even productivity.

Many different components contribute to the success of a small business. These include providing excellent customer service and maximizing revenues. The right types of technology can help small businesses achieve and exceed all of their business objectives.

Let’s have a look at five crucial technologies any small business owner shouldn’t ignore:

Effective Logo Making Applications

Some small business owners may think that creating the initial logo design and website is a once-off job. They may even plan to use that very same logo and site forever. This is in fact not the way to go. Your online presence, and this includes your business logo, needs ongoing tweaking and improving. Not only is your logo the foundation of your brand identity, but it also distinguishes you from everyone else.

Logo Maker by LogoDesign.net

A good logo maker software that upholds different types of brand images is so much easier to work with than hiring an expensive graphic designer if your budget is low. This will make it easier to tweak any changes in the early days of your business’s online presence as you explore different designs and decide on what works for your audience.

An effective logo and logo making program will be the first step in creating brand awareness among customers wishing to identify with your brand.

A few words of advice about logo design. Your logo must be a professional representation of your company. Be professional, yet engaging. Do some research on several different types of logos to get the general idea of what works. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and don’t hesitate to rope in a professional to help.

Using a design company that offers support or has an interactive application to use after the fact is always a plus.

WFH Technologies

With the world finding itself in the grips of a global pandemic, working from home (WFH) is a lot more common than a few months ago. Running your small business from home can be very challenging if you don’t have the right programs or applications to assist you. Luckily, advanced apps can keep you in contact with your employees and customers.

Shipping Software for Online Business

Some of the applications you can consider include the following:

  • ShipStation: This app is ideal for businesses where products are sold online and shipped. It allows the business owner to process online orders, track shipments and provide customers with their shipping information.
  • G-Suite: Allows users to create docs, spreadsheets, and presentations. It combines basic business functions and eliminates the need for multiple apps to run the various aspects of your business.
  • DocuSign: This nifty app facilitates collecting signatures online or via a mobile device. Using this app ensures that processes aren’t delayed because of a signature that’s short on a document. It also means work can still get done despite lockdown regulations regarding social interactions.
  • Skype: Allows business owners to chat, delegate, or assist employees and team members via video conferencing. Having constant communication with your employees will keep morale up and ensure productivity isn’t hampered. A similar program to Skype is Zoom, which is also a popular way of having meetings, doing training and interacting with employees and customers.
  • Time Doctor: This app allows business owners to record employees’ working hours. It prevents payroll confusion and discrepancies.

Mobile Optimization

Google estimates that customers spend more time performing searches on their mobiles than on desktops. As a small business owner you’d be wise to cash in on this. The content of your pages should allow for a strong user experience, even when they’re viewing it via mobile devices.

Let’s look at a few ways you can improve your site’s mobile experience:

 All videos across your pages should be compatible with smart devices.

 Make sure to use responsive templates for all aspects, including emails, query pages, and contact requests.

 Use short paragraphs and sentences. Potential customers using their mobile devices on the go won’t have time to read through long explanations.

 Use high-quality images. They should also be cropped to maximize the detail you’re trying to advertise. For instance, if you’re selling handbags, the image you use should have the handbag as the focal point. It shouldn’t be somewhere in the background.

 Buttons on the screen should be easy to use on any device. You don’t want a potential customer to have to log in via a computer to view your products because they’ll skip past you and navigate to a competitor’s page.

 Content should be accurate, up to date, and most of all scrollable. Mobile users don’t want to scroll and click through multiple pages just to view the basics.

A program called Mobile Website Speed Testing will assist you in testing how effective your mobile optimization is. Enter your URL, wait a few seconds and get a score of how mobile friendly your site is. This will give you an indication of any changes you can make to improve your site.

Chatbot

Many small businesses make use of a chatbot program. Chatbot is an AI program that imitates human interaction. Chatbots interpret questions by potential customers and provide pre-set answers. This technology allows small businesses, without extensive resources, provide answers to general queries that customers may have.

Image Credit Istock/Blue Planet Studio

The chatbot program also helps the small business provide better customer service by answering simple queries immediately where possible. Have you seen a dialog box popping up on the bottom
right of your screen when you visit a new page? That’s the chatbot asking you if you need assistance.

Simply select a platform, follow the prompts and you’ll have your own chatbot in no time. Some of the popular chatbot platforms available to small businesses include the following:

  • Aivo
  • ItsAlive
  • Bold360
  • Meya AI
  • MobileMonkey

Cyber Security

In this day and age where cybercrime is on the increase, every person or business with an online presence is at greater risk of exposure. Every small business needs to ensure the cyber safety of employees and customers using their websites and online products.

Investing in firewall protection, security software, and safe backup systems will keep your customers’ personal information secure. Invest in security protocols like password protection, anti-virus software, and secure servers. It’s important to protect sensitive data, banking data and personal information.

Invest in known anti-virus protection software with firewall options. Examples of software with effective cyber security features are Norton, AVG, and Kaspersky. Also, remember to keep your software up to date.

Conclusion

When it comes to the success of your small business, making a great product is only the first step. Correctly marketing your product and the service you offer is equally important. Competing with bigger more diverse companies can be challenging enough for small businesses. So, don’t add to your challenges. Rather build your success story by investing in the basic technologies to enhance and grow your business.

By including some of our suggested technologies in your company, you’ll be announcing to the world that your business is here to stay!

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