Guest Post by Gloria Martinez of WomenLed.org
Your small business probably has a small budget to match, but don’t let a cash crunch trouble your technology. There are plenty of ways to save money while still providing your customers and employees with the streamlined experience they have come to expect. Things like security cameras, human resources software, and chatbots are not the way of the future — they are common tools today. Keep reading for information on how to spend low on high tech.
Say Hello to Amazon
Amazon is unquestionably the biggest powerhouse in e-commerce. Because of this, they have buying power and can almost always undercut the competition on price. You can find everything from surveillance cameras to computers right on the site that you probably shop on most often anyway. And if you are keen to save even more, make sure to check out Amazon’s Lightning Deals and look around for Amazon coupon codes and cashback opportunities. It is important to note, however, that you should absolutely keep your personal shopping and your business shopping separate, so make sure to have your company card on file so you can track expenses.
You might know who you are, but do you know what everyone else thinks about you? While opinions might not be that important in your personal life, when it comes to business, your reputation — online and offline — is everything. Stay on top of your image for free by using Google Alerts, which will give you a heads up when something new pops up. You could also sign up for review monitoring services from an online reputation management company, which will let you know when a customer posts a review.
One of the first things you learned in school was that sharing is a good thing. The same holds true from the playground to the office. If you are on a tight budget but need access to high-speed internet, printing, scanning, faxing, and other services, consider leasing a shared office space. RocketSpace explains that many even offer educational opportunities, such as software programming workshops, to help you up your entrepreneurial game and gains.
If you have ever logged onto a website and had a small chat box open on the screen, then you have interacted with a chatbot. Chatbots can be expensive, but if you find the right developers, you may be able to have one created specifically for your business for around $3,000.
Human Resources Software
All businesses utilize the concept of human resources. However, when you are a small business, you may not have the human capital available to handle things such as time scheduling, recruiting, payroll, and other employee-related tasks. That’s where human resources software can come in handy. One significant reason to invest in HR software, according to Ultimate Software, is to help you get the most out of your workforce.
You Need Mobility
If you could create for yourself a way to be connected to your customers at all times, build brand recognition, improve customer engagement, and cultivate customer loyalty, you would more than likely do it in a heartbeat. Well, it’s possible to do all of this by building your own mobile application. Make sure, however, that yours is not rife with intrusive pop-up ads. It should provide value to your clients. For instance, the ability to pay online, instantly find new products, or contact your customer service department on demand.
You don’t have to have Jeff Bezos’ enormous and seemingly unlimited budget to make your business stand out. Stay ahead of the game by spending time and money on services and equipment that ensure your business remains at the forefront of technology. Failure to do so may leave you sitting in the shadow of the competition.
Image via Pixabay