As a small business owner, you have to get creative at finding ways to keep up with the competition. With limited funds, you need to be as productive and efficient as possible without spending a lot of money. Thatâs where technology can help. Thereâs a huge availability of low-cost technology solutions that can help your business do more with less. The Small Business Administration puts it best, Technology can help increase business efficiency and even expand operations.
Here are 5 key technologies small businesses need to adopt in 2014:
- Cloud-based business collaboration tools-By now, youâre probably a little sick of hearing about the cloud, but too bad, weâre going to talk about it some more. Cloud-based technologies make business collaboration simpler and more efficient than ever before. In fact, in one recent Forbes Insights study of over 500 executives, 64 percent of respondents agreed that cloud-based collaboration tools help their businesses complete tasks more quickly than they could otherwise. With cloud-based tools for document management and sharing, video conferencing, internet fax, and more, the reality is that using this technology can help you be more productive and save more money. Visit www.cloudenabler.com to learn more about business collaboration software.
- Mobile apps to stay connected on the go-Being connected to your business 24/7, no matter where you are, has become absolutely essential. There are various mobile apps available to help you run your business and collaborate from your phone or tablet. These apps often go hand-in-hand with the cloud-based collaboration tools discussed above. Take advantage of these mobile apps so you always have the ability to execute quickly - any time, anywhere.
- Web-based invoicing tools-Do you really need to spend a lot of money on an in-house bookkeeper or on robust accounting software? For most small businesses, the answer is probably not. Truth is you can probably manage all of your invoicing and accounting needs with a free or low-cost online invoicing service. There are many great web-based invoicing tools that make it quick, easy, and affordable for you to manage all of your billings, and many of these offer online payment options, making it easier for your clients to pay as well.
- Data security-In light of the recent revelations about the NSAâs digital spying, data security is more important than ever before. Small businesses need to take steps to protect their sensitive information, not just against the NSA, but also against hackers and even competitors. Fortunately, there are plenty of encryption and privacy tools available to help you keep your data guarded against any unauthorized outside parties.
- 3D printing-Many small businesses are already taking advantage of 3D printing technology. Itâs changing the way some companies do business. For example, a recent Fox Business article highlighted how Infinite Technologies is using 3D printing to produce high-quality, custom medical devices for its patients. Other small businesses are using 3D printing in product development to help test prototypes, offering a more efficient means of refining products during the development phase.