Technology for small businesses has grown exponentially over the past couple of years, making it easier than ever for small business owners to improve their businesses.
Small business technology trends show an increase in remote work and technological advances to pave the way for this shift in the work environment. From office tools and automation tools, to even standardizing hardware, there is a tech solution for nearly every business need.
The problem with the plethora of new technologies is that it can be a daunting task to determine which technologies are essential for your business and which ones you can live without. To help you save money and time, we’ve put together a list of 21 must-have technologies for small businesses.
What is Considered Technology for Small Business?
Any technology that helps a small business handle its daily affairs will fall under this category. This includes everything from your Wi-Fi router and office printer, to any software installed onto your laptop. There is a variety of technologies for small businesses that can help improve workflows. Office productivity tools, such as word processors and spreadsheets, can help ease the burden of data entry. In addition, email and messaging platforms can help with communication within the team, while cloud storage allows employees to access files from anywhere.
Tech tools have become so much more than just spreadsheets and emails. Small businesses now have access to tech solutions that automate a lot of the nitty-gritty, saving time and allowing small business owners to focus on what really matters: the company.
1. Standardized laptops
A standardized laptop is essential for businesses that want to have a consistent look and feel for their employees. It helps you choose the right laptops for your business, deploy them quickly, and manage them effectively. It is vital to consider the needs of employees and the company when looking at the specs of devices.
Having a set standard for professional laptops cuts down on the time spent searching for devices and also ensures that the device has been tried, tested, and approved. Although, you may have to update the standardized list every few years to keep up with tech trends, having a standardized set of equipment saves time, often money with bulk ordering, and the frustration of a sub-par laptop. There are many great standardized laptops available, such as Dell and Lenovo.
2. Standardized quality docking stations
A standardized docking station is a must for anyone using a laptop. Docking stations allow the hookup of multiple monitors and ethernet hookups, and some even allow charging. It is highly recommended to use docking stations from the same vendor that produced your laptop, especially if it has charging capabilities. Dell offers a variety of docking stations that comes with laptop charging built-in. This helps create a more professional workspace without the need for multiple cords and wires. Overwhelmed with all the options available for docking stations in 2022? Check out our blog, where we break down the best laptop docking stations on the market and their pros and cons.
3. Standardized monitors
Every business should have a set of standardized monitors for the same reason as having standardized laptops. Monitors can not only increase user productivity at their workstations but can also make or break workflows.
Since monitors are a vital tool in any office, it is important to make sure the monitors you’re considering have a good resolution to reduce eyestrain and make it more efficient for your staff to be productive.
The first step in selecting standard monitors is to weigh your options of brands, their features, and their price. Once you’ve determined that, you’ll want to decide if every user will get one monitor or two.
Another thing to consider is how often you’ll update them and where you’ll source them from. There are often great deals on the market, but to find them, you’ll have to spend the time researching. Luckily for you, we’ve put together our top recommendations for the best monitors on the market today.
4. Office productivity applications
These are the basic tools that every business needs to function on a day-to-day basis. This includes things like word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation applications. There is a range of different applications such as Google and Open Office.
Every vendor offers different price ranges and features. Microsoft Office, for example, provides these services for business while offering other tech tools such as a synced calendar app, cloud computing, and more depending on the package that is selected. The first step for any small business owner who is selecting an office application is to evaluate the needs of their company, employees, and customers.
5. Customer relationship management (CRM) software
Customer Relationship Management software is a tool used to attract and maintain the relationships between clients and customers. CRMs can produce a positive customer experience while also helping generate new clientele. A CRM simplifies the process of managing and keeping in contact with customers. When searching for the right CRM, small business owners should determine their needs and goals before selecting one.
6. Accounting software
No matter the size or stage of a business, accounting applications are a must. Accounting software such as Xero or Quickbooks helps manage expenses, invoices, and overall financials. When choosing the right accounting software, it is important to consider the tools that certain vendors supply, the reliability of the software, and how user-friendly the software is. Accounting applications are a pivotal part of any business, so owners should make sure they are getting the most intuitive and secure option.
7. Project management software
Project management is more than simple to-do lists. Project Management systems consist of powerful tools that are used to manage projects and operational workflows. Many small businesses benefit from the use of project management services because it allows small business owners and employees alike to focus their business skills on priority work rather than tracking the small details.
Project management systems often come with a variety of tools and data analytics to help optimize project timelines. You should always consider what tools would benefit your business the best before investing in project management software.
8. Online collaborative platforms
Modern technology has become more geared towards the remote working model and because of that, there is a series of online collaborative platforms that allow small businesses and their teams to work seamlessly together.
Applications such as Google Docs allow multiple users to work together in real-time on documents while other applications, such as Miro, allow multiple users to collaborate in a visual workspace. There is a variety of tech tools and services that fall into this category. It is important to be selective and consider what is needed and what is not.
9. Website builder
A website builder, like WordPress, is a useful tool to help generate business growth, clients, and revenue growth. A website builder allows you the option to create a website or e-commerce platform without having to be an expert in coding. A small business owner can use the website to bring attention to their products and services or let it act as a means to reach their target audience.
Website contact forms can also be used to gather customer information or information for potential leads. From building an online shopping platform to attracting new customers, a website builder is a must for any small or growing company.
10. Social media management software
Social media management is key to generating traffic on social media and even business sites. Social media advertising is a great way to reach existing customers and new customers as well. There are many great social media management options available, such as Hootsuite and Sprout Social.
11. File sharing
File sharing applications and other cloud-based software are powerful tech tools that allow users to collaborate from anywhere at any time, as long as they have internet. File sharing is a cost-effective option for housing all files on a local server while also providing an extra layer of security. It is important to research your vendor options, but most reputable vendors often have an extra layer of security in case of a breach or compromise of important documents.
Cybersecurity services are essential for every business that wants to protect its data from hackers. It helps you encrypt your data, set up two-factor authentication, and generate strong passwords. There are many great cybersecurity options available, such as Norton and Kaspersky. Microsoft offers digital tools as well with its enterprise plans to help protect your valuable assets from hackers and other online threats.
13. VoIP phone system
Tech trends show that many small businesses are opting to use VOIP Phone systems as opposed to traditional phone lines. VoIP options are generally more cost-effective and provide more features that can save your company time and money. Some common examples of VoIPs are Ring Central, 8×8, and 3CX. Business owners should weigh their options when it comes to VoIPs as they can sometimes be costly without fulfilling all of the needs of the company.
14. Cloud storage
Cloud storage and cloud computing is a modern approach to data storage that comes with great benefits for small companies. With remote work on the rise, cloud-based storage, in general, helps teams collaborate and work together no matter where they are located. It helps you store your data in the cloud and access it from anywhere. There are many great cloud storage options available, such as iCloud and Google Drive. Microsoft Office is becoming one of the more popular options as its cloud storage ties in with other office applications.
15. Mobile application management software
Mobile application management is a must for small businesses. Devices are expensive and are major assets to companies. It is important to protect these assets and the sensitive information that could be stored on them. It helps you track which applications are installed on your devices, remotely wipe them if they are lost or stolen, and control how they are used. There are many great mobile application management options available, such as Good Technology and Microsoft Intune.
16. HR software
HR Software is essential for a business to monitor its human resources effectively. It helps you track employee information, onboard new employees, and create employee profiles. There are many great HR options available, such as Zenefits and BambooHR.
17. Inventory management system
Inventory management is a must for managing and tracking company devices and products. It helps you track your inventory levels, reorder products, and generate purchase orders. When selecting an inventory management system, it is important to determine what it will be used to track. Are you tracking internal inventory and devices or are you tracking products to be sold to customers? There are many great inventory management options available, such as Fishbowl and Reftab.
18. Document signing software
Document signing applications are great tools for sending important documents for electronic signature. It helps you create and manage digital signatures, track document status, and send documents for signature.
Businesses can benefit greatly since most Document signing applications provide an extra layer of protection as opposed to physically signing copies or e-mailing sensitive documents. There are many great document signing options available, such as Adobe Acrobat and DocuSign.
19. Payment processing system
A payment processing system help businesses that sell products accept credit card payment. These systems process credit card transactions, tracks your sales, and manage your customer’s information. There are many great payment processing system options available, such as Square and PayPal.
Keep in mind, if you are selecting a payment processing system for your small business, you’ll want to consider how secure these different options are.
20. Customer Interaction Management
Customer Interaction Management is a great tool for managing customer feedback and complaint. It helps you track customer inquiries, complaints, and feedback. Deciding on the best Customer Interaction Management system all depends on the needs of the company.
There are many great Customer Interaction Management system options available, such as Freshdesk and Zen Desk. The first step in choosing the right customer interaction management is to evaluate the different kinds and determine which meets the needs of your business.
21. Mobile scanning app
A mobile scanning app is a simple but great option for any small business to have. Mobile scanning apps allow users to scan documents, convert them to PDFs, and share them with others. There are many great mobile scanning apps available, such as CamScanner and Scanbot.
Recap and Further Reading
All of the technologies on this list have one thing in common: they are essential for businesses that want to be successful. By using these technologies, you can improve your business operations and efficiency. Of course, before selecting any technology for a business, it is important to ensure that the solution is cost-effective, beneficial to the business, and secure.
If you are interested in what tech tools can help your business grow without breaking the bank, reach out to us today to speak to a consultant!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do small businesses need technology?
Technology is used to protect confidential financial data, as a source of competitive advantage. Technology can be useful in helping businesses maintain a competitive edge.
How is technology used to grow small businesses?
Technology helps streamline processes while maintaining organization and security. All companies, big or small, need technology to grow and reach their business goals.
What are 5 key technologies commonly found in businesses?
The 3 key technologies commonly found in businesses are:
1. Laptops and Desktops
2. Cybersecurity Services
3. Cloud Storage