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The Importance of Business Technology
  • 01 May 2019
  • Leo Covey

The Importance of Business Technology

In the fast-paced world of small business, the only thing that keeps up — or perhaps moves even faster — is technology. Because May is Small Business Month, the coming weeks are a prime time to evaluate technology’s role in the many facets of your enterprise and how it can help you operate more efficiently and effectively, so that you can punch above your weight. Some of these solutions may already be on your radar. Some may be new to you. Regardless, look for tools, apps and platforms that make your job and your life easier. Remember, you don’t work for technology. Technology works for you.

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Managing important relationships

CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, is the most important pipeline into your sales and marketing efforts. The right CRM software can help you organize your leads, track sales metrics and visualize customer demographics. Choosing a smart, easy-to-use platform not only cuts down on the constant need for manually entering and managing data, but it also presents you with data-driven opportunities that you might not have recognized on your own.

Keeping it real time

While email will always have a time and place for communicating, there are ways to keep in touch with customers, co-workers and employees with less lag and faster response times. Slack — an instant-messaging and file-sharing hub — provides a range of pricing plans for small businesses. The elegant feed format is more similar in user experience to social media than workplace technology, making it fun and sometimes even a bit addictive. When voice-to-voice communication is a must, there is Uber Conference, which has revolutionized the conference call game with an offering that’s quick, easy and, best of all, free.

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Looking to the cloud

With its fanciful name, “the cloud” simply refers to storing data on the Internet so that you can access it anywhere. By freeing up valuable space on your hard drives, cloud storage can help your hardware run faster and more efficiently. Plus, there is the added security of knowing that your data is backed up by an organization built on reliability. For free storage solutions, look no further than Google Drive, which also lets you seamlessly coordinate and create documents with the powerful Google Docs suite. Amazon also provides cloud storage at a subscription price. Both solutions allow you to share and edit files via your mobile device in addition to your desktop computer.

Powering your people

As a small business owner, you do not want to be a victim of your own success when you start to grow your team. With every new hire comes a host of new administrative responsibilities related to payroll and human resources. How will you track employees’ vacation time? When do their 401(k) benefits kick in? Will you pay them biweekly and, if so, on what days? Chances are, what got you into your small business had less to do with managing people and more to do with your passion for your product or service. To that end, there are solutions that can put you in charge of these complicated payroll and human resources matters without eating up too much of your precious time and energy so you can focus on your core abilities and passions.

In addition to the links we have provided above, you can find some of our favorite technology partners in The UPS Store Small Business Solutions portal, which is curated with the purpose of providing you with unparalleled value and thought leadership by discipline. Inside the portal, you will find solutions for marketing, accounting, financial services and more. Many of these partners are providing introductory offers that significantly reduce the cost of trying them out.

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