The pandemic had a positive impact on American businesses – it accelerated digital adoption for businesses of all sizes. Carl Carande, vice chairman, advising KPMG in the US, says: “The transition to digitization has accelerated and the benefits will be permanent. There’s no going back. “
This is underlined by the Trend report for small and medium-sized companies 2021 from Salesforce, which shows SMBs have accelerated their technology investments – 83% moved some of their operations online, most in the past year. The most important reasons included increasing productivity, improving business agility, and increasing data security.
And the report says that 43% of SMBs have long-term plans to become a virtual company and adopt remote working.
But like most small business owners, you are still in the midst of transforming your business. So here are seven web tools to help you make the digital transition seamless.
1. Web hosting
Most of you know by now that your company’s online presence is the first impression your business customers and prospects see. Hence, you need a high quality, professional website that clearly explains and attractively presents the information about your products / services. Once your website is up and running, you need a great web host to make sure your website doesn’t crash and stays safe from hackers. HostGator is an affordable hosting platform with website building tools (if needed), free domain registration for the first year, and free site transfers if you already have a website but are not happy with your current host.
2. Digital Marketing
Your social media profile and your postings offer potential customers and customers a lot of insights into your professional activity. Social media is also a great way to highlight your latest offers, unique products, or new menu items. HubSpot’s social media management software enables users to schedule and post content directly to LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, all from one easy-to-use dashboard. HubSpot analyzes the number of views and recommends the best platforms to focus your social media efforts on and when to post for the most engagement. You can also set up keyword monitoring so that you can be notified when your business is mentioned.
3. Liabilities and Receivables
Receiving payments and paying bills are time-consuming and tedious, albeit necessary, tasks for business owners. Bills can pile up quickly when you have a pile of paper checks to fill out. Not to mention, check these invoices against your accounting program. It is these types of tasks that can lead to devastating failures that can damage your creditworthiness and your business reputation. Likewise, if you don’t keep track of your accounts receivable, the company’s cash flow will be negatively affected and its future is now in jeopardy. Bill.com is a payables and receivables platform created to save business owners valuable time that they can better use to grow their business. Bill.com’s easy-to-use digital billing tool integrates billing and payments. Business owners can quickly create and send invoices electronically, and customers can pay online through Bill.com’s secure system. Liabilities are also straightforward. When invoices / invoices are received by email or post, the information is scanned into the system and the invoice is paid through ACH or, if desired, Bill.com sends a paper check.
Now that your bills and invoices are done, you need an accounting system that keeps track of your company’s overall financial position, separates your business and personal expenses, and gathers all the necessary information for tax time. QuickBooks offers a variety of small business accounting programs that integrate seamlessly with many of the other tools you use, including Bill.com, and give you all the tools you need to stay away from the IRS fall. They also help calculate your small business deductions, estimated taxes, and more.
5. Project management
Business owners juggling numerous clients and concurrent projects can often find it hard to organize and meet deadlines. A project management tool can be your best friend. Although there are many project management tools available, you want to make sure that the system you choose is easy to learn and manage. It’s not worth wasting time (and possibly money) learning a complicated system with many features that you will never use. Toggl Plan’s learning curve is minimal, so you can immediately start setting a schedule for each project, adding notes, prioritizing tasks, and more. You can also give your customers access to Toggl to keep them informed about the project’s progress.
6. Video conferencing
Last year the business world learned the importance of video conferencing to keep things running smoothly and communication when people are scattered and working remotely. Choosing the best video conferencing tool for your business really depends on which platform most of your customers and other key contacts are using. Since most video conferencing tools offer a free version, setting up accounts on more than one system is a smart idea. Zoom, Google Meet, and Skype all have free versions that you can try. If you need more features than the free versions offer, each has a variety of paid plans.
One of the most difficult tasks for many business owners is planning calls. There are so many calendar planning tools with different features at different prices that it is difficult to pinpoint just one or two. Capterra provides details on more than 500 scheduling software options with a solid filtering system so you can narrow down the features you need.
I’ve owned my company for almost 14 years, and I wish many of these tools had existed then. They would have increased my productivity significantly.
In partnership with Bill.com.