Competing within an increasingly inundated market means that small business owners are constantly on the hunt for tools that give them a leg up. When utilised with savvy, technology can be that crutch.
Taking advantage of all that technology can offer will require some concentrated attention, especially for those self-proclaimed tech-challenged individuals.
But with a little insider information and a basic working knowledge of the internet, mountains can be moved!
"Let's tackle one of the basic tech giants first - Google."
If you are not using every tool they are offering, you are already behind the game. It's not just Gmail, folks!
One of the best tools to start with is Google Alerts. Firstly, it's free. Winning already.
Simply enter a few criteria and the daily, weekly or real time results will show up anytime those words or phrases are mentioned.
Choose to track mentions in blogs, books, news, videos, discussions or other mediums.
It can also monitor industry trends, track marketing, identify plagiarism and generate sources of information that may be useful in building content.
All in one, effective and completely worth the initial set up time. Consider pairing it with Google Analytics for the best results.
Moving on to gadgets and apps that can change the way your small business operates. If you do not own any of these, consider yourself behind the times and get equipped!
- Tablet computers. If employees are concerned that these do-everything devices will start replacing them, you know it's time to invest!
- Video enabled collaboration applications. The next best thing to face-to-face!
- Sales, marketing and operations management tools
- An eco-friendly solution to paper management (applications like Echosign provide seamless and paper-free invoicing, contracts, etc.)
The list goes on and on, spend some time researching the options and test a few at a time for the best results.
"Small business leaders have become much more tech-savvy, and with the power of technology at their fingertips, they can now reach consumers on a global level. This will ultimately give small businesses greater insight and ownership of the market."