What’s the most useful tech tool for a small business owner?
I mean, the simple answer is anything that automates or increases your profits for no notable trade-off. I don’t think it would be responsible to give a singular, specific tool as an answer, because in 6 months I probably won’t even agree with what I said, and in a year, the tool might not even exist or be completely obsolete.
In this answer, I will share the categories of tech tools for business that I consider most important, and there are free and paid options for each you can look up. You will have to do a bit of research on those categories, and then you can pick a tool that fits your needs.
For now, let’s discuss three categories of tech tools you might want to consider getting for your small business. Let’s go.
The three categories of tech tools that I feel most businesses require are:
1) Mail Automation Software (eg: Autoresponders), or at least some form of mass contact that isn’t advertising
2) Online word processing, spreadsheet software, or Online Office Suite (eg: Google Docs)
3) Customer Relationship Management Software (eg: HubSpot, Zoho, etc.) This applies to everything, from local artists to one-man dropshipping schemes.
So before I get into these three a bit more, I need to set a scene.
Imagine a world where the email inbox as we know it never existed. Instead, imagine that for each person you wanted to send emails to, or whose emails you wanted to check up on regularly, you would have a separate inbox and a separate account just for that person. You have to log in to a separate account with its own username and password. Email forwarding would be practicably nonexistent because no one would ever have a right to contact an account they weren’t mutually connected to already. In fact, if we’re getting real here, a world like that would probably not even have Facebook in it.
In essence, it isn’t what email does that makes it powerful for making money online. It’s how. If not just email, but social media, blogging, or basic website creation were all far less convenient, if they were only about service and not also pleasant to use, these things would not be the valuable marketing assets they are today.
And yet lots of entrepreneurs and small business owners whine to me when I tell them to focus on mass-market and audience relationship-building for their sales funnels, usually via email. People who usually tried email once before.
So what’s the point? Whatever it is you do specifically to make your income, you probably could be automating parts of it, or simplifying the process for yourself and your employees to save up time and throw more time and energy into whatever your business currently needs. That’s all a tool is meant to do.
So when I talk about email, I’m not talking about throwing together a lazy welcome series and sending generic samey messages twice a day to a million+ audience of low-value subscribers. It’s about creating a system that allows you to keep in contact with your biggest fans and best customers. Look at it and plan things out from that mindset first.
In the same way, online word processing software or Office Suits can make sharing your work convenient. Multiple people can work on it at the same time and discuss changes without any complication. It’s just something people should be using to make their lives easier, especially if they feel too busy.
Lastly, we have to make sure your business has as little customer turnover as possible, and that each customer is retained and prodded for maximum revenue. CRM is basically the science of this. How to manage existing customers and potential customers for maximized gains. You can usually get something that combines contact management, sales management, workflow processes, and more in one. I wouldn’t build or base an entire SB strategy around a CRM, but it helps with tracking customers and money, and what you track, you can increase.
Hopefully, this gives you some idea of the tools you need to level up your business.
Feel free to reply if you have any questions.