As small businesses have to do more with less, they’ve been increasingly looking to technology to fill the gaps. The problem is that many small businesses feel like the big tech companies don’t understand their needs. If you feel like the technology options you have at your disposal don’t necessarily fit your business’ needs, consider that these robust solutions have all the functionality that you need to manage your own business processes. Today, we’ll take a look at some of the enterprise technology SMBs are using to move their businesses forward and some of the considerations you may need to make to leverage a software solution that doesn’t seem like it fits.
The first thing that any business owner or small business decision maker has to understand is that people today are more connected than ever. This hyperconnectivity creates greater expectations. This fact has to be confronted by the SMB in one way or another. Typically, the small business wouldn’t choose to invest in big-ticket solutions that are designed to streamline operations and improve the customer’s interactions with the company, but with consumer demand what it is, biting the bullet and making large software investments can bring additional opportunities that wouldn’t be presented otherwise. Some solutions your SMB needs to have include:
Incorporating a CRM is basically a must for every business nowadays. There are literally hundreds of options to choose from, but some are clearly designed for the enterprise user and can be a bit much for a small business. More often than not there are industry-specific solutions that can be leveraged that provide integrated customer relationship management capabilities. These solutions provide all the benefits of a standalone CRM, but with options designed specifically for the vertical market in which they are used.
A CRM is basically mandatory for a small business as it provides significant automation of tasks that, at one time, were the responsibility of multiple employees. The small business has to function with reduced payroll compared to its larger competitors. As a result, any solution designed to automate whole portions of business-critical tasks has more value to a small business than one that relies on manpower to perform. A CRM does this by integrating customer relationships with scheduling, payroll, and more.
For the modern small manufacturer, it is more crucial than ever to meet customer demands. In order to accomplish this, the supply chain, that is the procurement, manufacturing, fulfillment, and distribution of the product has to work in concert. To facilitate this coordination, technology is being used to manage the processes in one, easy-to-use, platform. Some Supply Chain Management options, like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), also provides the features found in a CRM, consolidating the amount of software users need to learn to keep business moving forward.
Today small businesses have to have something of a web presence. Some use social media, some have their own website created. No matter what you currently do, to improve your business’ revenue creation, strengthening your online footprint is an affordable and effective way of using technology to its advantage. Using advanced technology to manage and nurture leads with automated systems can cut organizational costs and help business move faster.
It works like this: you capture leads with a website and instead of having to wade through the information yourself, the marketing automation integrates all the captured information with your CRM. This can help a business improve its ability to close sales; or, at the very least have the conversations that result in more sales.
Every business should be thinking about how to limit their costs and get more done with technology. For more information about how to choose a CRM for your business, call the IT professionals at Managed IT Force today at 724-473-3950.
Dan has 25 years of progressive experience in the IT industry. He has led three successful companies focused on small and medium business IT solutions since 1997.