Dec 10, 2012

The Essential Software Guide to Help Your Small Business Shine

In the information age, small businesses are tightening grips on their consummate advantage: relationships.
As more and more companies turn to digital surrogates to connect with customers, small businesses that are willing to look a person in the eye and shake his or her hand will continue to stand out. Still, technology can make life easier for businesses trying to stay afloat in a tough time. Small businesses that can incorporate helpful technology without sacrificing their personalities will have the best chance to succeed.
Use these options to boost your small business. With a combination of efficient technological advancements and classic business practices, you'll gain on the competition.

Staying Unified

An endless e-mail chain of document revisions and presentation updates can get confusing. With cloud-based storage programs like Dropbox, you and your co-workers can access files from a unified location. There's no longer a need to spend capital on storage space or an in-house infrastructure. Encrypted servers keep your business' documents safe, secure and accessible from any device that can connect to the Internet. Gone are the days of sifting through piles of e-mails to find that attachment. Cloud-based storage will simplify your life and free you up to attend to your customers.

Starting a Company Newsletter

Your small business may have unmatched services, industry knowledge and prices, but without a modern marketing strategy, you could be stuck fending for the scraps of more aggressive startups. Traditional e-mail marketing is a great way to reach customers without spending a lot of money, and developers have come alongside this technique to enhance results. With address software, you can verify the authenticity of addresses in your database. By eliminating address mistakes, small businesses can ensure their marketing materials make it to their intended destination.

Reaching Out

Once consumers show interest in your small business, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software will help you close the deal. Salesforce is another cloud-based program that integrates the sales and customer management processes on one platform. A home page dashboard contains performance statistics, appointments, leads, and tasks. Salesforce also enables co-workers to share pertinent internal information and connects users to Internet chatter surrounding their businesses. Available on computers, tablets and smartphones, Salesforce keeps up with today's on-the-go attitude. If you're a small business hoping to expand quickly, CRM software is a valuable tool for organizing growth.

Payment Made Easy

Small businesses looking to accept credit cards are no longer tied to clunky devices and outdated software. With Square, businesses can accept credit cards through iOS or Android devices. A small piece of hardware only slightly bigger than your thumbnail plugs into a phone or tablet, and a corresponding app enables credit card transactions for a 2.75% fee. Both the card reader and the app are free. Small businesses that sell products at various locations will appreciate the convenience Square provides.

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