Every modern business owner, regardless of their age or background, knows how important technology is for stoking organizational growth and saving time on routine tasks. If you’ve got a little wiggling room in your budget for the year ahead, but you’ve covered all your major priorities, you should be focussing on upgrading or adding new technology, software and devices. While the things you invest in will depend on your unique needs, here are six tech investments every business owner should consider.
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Marketing Automation Software
If you’re still handling your online marketing manually, then you’re missing out on a golden opportunity to save heaps of time and money, not to mention increasing the flexibility and accuracy of your marketing. The major advantages of marketing automation are easily managing email campaigns, website analytics, keeping tabs on your marketing budget, calculating ROI, optimizing landing pages and so much more. Marketing automation is a massive industry now, and you can easily spend thousands of dollars on it a month. However, there are many decent pieces of software which start at a couple of hundred.
A lot of people think that having dual monitors on their desk makes almost no difference to the way they carry out their work, and that using them is something of a gimmick. While I see the logic, until you try using dual monitors, you don’t know what you’re missing!
Two screens will not only give you much more room to work, but will also allow you to keep more than one application open without having to switch between different tabs all the time. For example, with a combined 27-inch display, you could keep an internet browser, email account, spreadsheet and word document open all at once.
A Branded App
Businesses all over the world are ditching flyers, vouchers and other marketing materials for mobile apps, and when you consider the range of benefits they offer, it’s hardly surprising. You’ll be able to provide more value to your customers, using your app to create a loyalty program or keep your customers updated with special offers. You’ll improve the awareness and level of communication your customers have with your brand, and foster more trust with your target market.
Furthermore, as apps become more and more commonplace with different businesses, your customers will begin to expect you to have a mobile app, and providing them with one will do a lot to increase customer satisfaction. The budget you’ll need will vary greatly from project to project, so talk to your financial advisor or use an app development pricing guide to start forming a plan.
Good POS System
If you have a customer-facing retail element to your business, then a good point of sale system is a non-negotiable essential. Compared to traditional cash registers, it makes it so much easier to process your transactions, track your sales, and produce financial reports. Depending on the kind of solution you choose, a lot of modern POS systems can be operated and managed entirely from a tablet or other mobile device.
Any good company will have several meeting spaces, where they can bring relevant staff together in order to talk about the business’s strategy and progress. In the past, displaying videos and images had slow, clunky solutions, which a lot of businesses waved away because they were more trouble than they were worth. Today, all that has changed.
If you fear that your meetings and collaboration aren’t doing all they should, adopt a wireless solution that will allow you to stream videos, images and presentations across multiple rooms, and have any participant easily take control or share screens. This technology will streamline your important meetings, and take them beyond simply showing a presentation to a room of people.
A lot of people think that the internet of things is strictly a consumer niche, with all the buzz about smart thermostats, lights, locks and so forth. However, the many business applications certainly aren’t being ignored. In fact, companies are among the biggest customers of IOT technology. A lot of manufacturers are already implementing connected cameras and sensors in order to monitor the operation’s efficiency and productivity.
Various time-consuming tasks such as data entry can be eliminated altogether with this kind of tech, freeing up more of your available manpower. While IOT tech certainly hasn’t been perfected and there are still kinks that need to be ironed out, it can give you a huge edge over your competition, and isn’t something that you can afford to ignore altogether.