Whether you own a small business or run a conglomerate, deploying appropriate business technology tools will help you to better manage your time and resources.
With the right assortment of tools, you can reduce stress at work while also saving time and money. [Tweet that]
We have identified six categories of technology tools that you can start using immediately.
Each set of tools can help to significantly improve productivity, cut costs, and increase profits.
1. Task management tools
Task management tools simplify the process of assigning, managing, and monitoring tasks.
By using these tools, you can prioritize important tasks and keep track of progress, thereby improving the team’s productivity and performance.
Task management tools are even more helpful when working with remote teams.
Some of the most popular options include Trello, Asana, ClickUp, and Hubstaff.
2. Email automation tools
Email automation tools make it easier to follow up on leads and win new clients. Keeping in touch with business contacts and prospects can be time consuming when done manually. It can also be cumbersome and fraught with errors especially as the numbers increase.
With email automation tools, you send the right message to the right person at the right time based on predetermined criteria.
If you have ever received a welcome email immediately after subscribing to a website, that is an email automation tool in action.
You can deploy email automation tools to maintain a good rapport with customers and prospects while also keeping them informed about ongoing deals and offers.
Most of the best rated email automation tools have robust features that go beyond sending emails. They can effectively serve the purposes of marketing and customer relationship management.
You can use these tools to organize business contacts into various categories and set relevant triggers with corresponding workflows.
With relatively minimal effort you can automate your sales and customer relationship management. This will help you to retain old customers, gain new ones, drive sales, and ultimately make more profit as you follow up on leads and convert them into loyal customers.
Mailchimp, HubSpot, Convertkit, GetResponse and Sendinblue are some of the most widely used email automation tools.
3. Social media scheduling tools
With more than four billion people on social media, effective utilization of social media platforms can open up vast possibilities for your business.
However, constant engagement on social media can easily get overwhelming and distracting.
Social media scheduling tools solve this problem by allowing you to create and schedule posts ahead of time.
These tools automatically publish your posts on the scheduled date and time without you having to be active on the platform.
You can compose multiple posts in one sitting and schedule them for peak hours of the day. By doing so, your business can maintain an active online presence, while you turn your attention to other important matters.
When selecting a social media scheduling tool, consider whether the features align with your goals.
Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social and Loomly are some of the most recognized social media scheduling tools in the market.
4. Business intelligence tools
Companies looking to save costs, make more profits and grow need to be able to learn from their past.
Using business intelligence (BI) tools, companies can now analyze raw data in a few minutes, gaining practical insights from the information.
BI tools are used to gather, process, evaluate, and report data gotten from external and internal systems with the goal of turning such data into useful information for business purposes.
The practical insights obtained from business intelligence tools can help you uncover patterns and trends from the past so that you can make better-informed business decisions in the future.
With an effective BI tool, you can identify mistakes, opportunities for innovation, and areas of improvement.
If you’re looking for where to start, you can check out Microsoft Power BI, Sisense, and Qlik Sense.
5. Cloud storage tools
Cloud storage tools allow you to access data and resources not stored on your device.
These tools facilitate collaboration by allowing anyone on the team to access the organization’s resources from anywhere as long as there is an internet connection.
Additionally, you get the benefit of backing up and securing your company’s data in the cloud, where it is safe and secure from natural disasters and other emergencies.
Some readily available cloud storage solutions include Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive.
6. Online forms
One of the most important activities that can significantly improve every aspect of your business is data collection. And online forms make this easy.
You can use online forms to gather useful data and valuable insights that can help to optimize your work.
For example, you can create surveys, project questionnaires and customer feedback forms to help you understand the needs of your market and provide insights on how to serve them even better.
You can also deploy online forms to gather information for periodic assessments and reports which might take a lot of time and also come at a significant cost if done manually.
If you are looking for a free and simple way to get started with online forms, try Google Forms. Other common alternatives include Typeform, Jotform and SurveyMonkey.
You can also use self-hosted forms on your company’s website.
It is easy to get overwhelmed by the plethora of technology tools that promise to make your life easier and help you work better.
So the goal is not to explore every tool out there. If you are going to use technology effectively, you must first have a clear understanding of your desired outcomes. You can then choose the right combination of tools that will be most suitable for achieving those outcomes within your unique context.
Technology has continued to improve our lives in many ways. But we must always remember that technology is not an end in itself; it is only a means to an end.
Question: Which of these tools do you use regularly and which ones would you like to add? Share with us in the comments.