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digital tools

How Can Digital Tools Help Small Businesses Grow?

Digitization was already in full swing towards the end of the 2010s, and the pandemic gave it a resounding push. That transformed customers’ and employees’ priorities, behaviors, and desires. Remote work and a greater reliance on online shopping were necessities that kept businesses afloat during the worst of it. Now, there’s a push for most of these changes to remain. This where digital tools come in.

Many small businesses are already integrating digital tools into their workflows or gearing up to do so. Why is that, and how will introducing such tools help your business grow? This article looks at three key areas that benefit from digital integration. It also offers examples of tools you can use to automate, innovate, and secure your business dealings. 

Workplace Optimization

Getting things that matter done without distractions is far easier, thanks to an influx of specialized digital tools. Whether you want to automate mundane tasks, boost productivity, or keep everyone on the same page, the right digital tool can help.

Small business owners might hesitate to invest in these tools. Many come with monthly or annual fees. Such costs pale in comparison with the money you’ll be saving on grunt work or the physical resources you had to provide before. 

Digital-Tools

Office management tools 

This broad category encompasses tools that help automate and track almost every aspect of office management. They’re great tools for delegating work and synchronizing teams. Flanco is an example of the many.

Office management tools also let you plan out your business’s development by laying it out in steps and holding your employees accountable to follow through with them. 

Collaboration & communication tools 

A contemporary team may have members working from home or in different parts of the world. That makes accessible communication and collaboration a must.

Virtual meeting and conferencing tools have skyrocketed in popularity since the pandemic. They allow for quick exchanges of ideas and face-to-face communication without physical presence. Other apps focus more on written chats and task delegation.  

Digital Tools & the Modern Market Environment 

Embracing varied digital tools is vital for business growth since the majority of most SMBs’ customer base is now online. The boom in delivery services also means many customers don’t want to physically interact with brick-and-mortar stores anymore. This can be a boon for savvy companies. They can leverage digital tools to profile, keep track of, and market to their customers more effectively than before. 

CRM

Returning customers are among an SMB’s most valuable assets. CRM, or customer relationship management software, helps you track and maintain client interactions. It lets you gain insights into who your customers are and how they’ve interacted with your business in the past.

Additionally, CRM can expose inefficiencies in your sales funnel by highlighting visitors to your website that aren’t converting. 

Social media scheduling 

Marketing on various social media apps is the only way for many potential customers to find out about your company. Juggling different campaigns and post schedules for each can be tedious. Scheduling apps let you set up post releases for multiple platforms far in advance. That way, you can maintain an active social media presence without the need for constant monitoring. 

Website analytics & SEO tools 

A company’s website is its most potent calling card. Potential customers need to be able to discover the website and then find enough value in your business to purchase something once they do. Digital tools that focus on analytics help you assess what types of users are interacting with your site and how.

SEO or search engine optimization tools outline the strategies a business should employ to make their site rank higher when users type certain keywords into a search engine. A higher ranking for specific keywords means users will perceive your site as more relevant and be more likely to visit it. 

Cybersecurity 

Digital-Tools

The digital world is a source of threats as well as opportunities. Many small businesses still don’t pay much attention to cybersecurity, thinking they’re too small to matter.

In reality, SMBs are prime cyberattack targets. Such attacks can leave them unable to access files, expose their customers’ information, and cause serious financial and reputation damage. The right digital tools can minimize the risks, however.  

 

Password managers 

Humans can only remember so many passwords and often reuse one for multiple sensitive accounts. A password management tool eliminates such faults by providing strong, unique passwords that would take billions of years to crack.

Each employee can have as many passwords as they need, yet only needs to remember a single one. Even if someone is careless enough to give a password up, the password manager ensures no other accounts get compromised. 

Cloud storage

Backing up crucial company data off-site is vital for ongoing operations in the event of a breach or ransomware attack. Doing so through the cloud offers several benefits.

On the one hand, the storage provider keeps several encrypted copies on different servers, making data loss extremely unlikely. On the other, it’s easier for employees to have secure access to current versions of files from anywhere. 

Conclusion on Digital Tools

For better or worse, we’re living in exciting times. Some small businesses don’t fare well in such circumstances. Others embrace the turbulence and grow despite the challenge. Digital tools are a core component of the latter’s strategies. Make them become part of your own.

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