Now more than ever, small businesses are finding stiff competition not just in their local communities but from all over the world. In the age of instantaneous information and global commerce, even the smallest of businesses are having to fight to remain relevant. This has made sustainable business operations tough for many small brands.
Fortunately, the same trends that have led to this have also produced a variety of online services and tools that can help level the playing field. Whether a small business is well-established or just getting started, these utilities can provide immense benefit if and once implemented.
To guide small businesses toward a more productive future, let’s look at four different types of services that can help.
To keep accounting and financial matters simplified, any small business needs access to up-to-the-minute financial information. To ensure this is possible, an online banking solution is an absolute must for small businesses.
Small businesses have literally thousands of online banking options available to them (check out Money Plate for full reviews on hundreds of local and national online banking solutions). Not only will you be able to more effectively track expenditures and receipts, but you can utilize banking services that tie multiple accounts together and literally track everything from any mobile or desktop device.
Small businesses – whether they operate exclusively in the physical world or have an online store-front – can benefit greatly from cloud storage services. Whether you’re balancing budgets via spreadsheets, sharing company policy or you want to keep track of employee information, cloud services such as Dropbox can help small businesses easily store and access documents from anywhere (and usually for free).
This means that your small business will never lose its documents or important files due to a hard drive failure or another catastrophe.
Any small business should aim to build a mailing list to more adequately connect with loyal customers on a regular basis. Through services such as ConstantContact and MailChimp, brands can easily add email addresses and design professional email campaigns to send.
With this service, businesses can alert people to new promotions, products, and sales, helping to further boost business. Many of these services for free for small businesses just getting started; as your email list continues to grow, however, you may be required to pay monthly for the service.
There isn’t a single small business in existence that cannot benefit from the power of social media. When wanting to reach new customers or reconnect with existing ones, social media provides a power unlike any other platform in existence.
Through a combination of organic strategies and paid advertising, small businesses can reach large numbers of relevant people with cost-effective ad campaigns. For a fraction of the price of most other forms of advertising, social media gives businesses a foothold into audiences where their products and services will be appreciated.
New and established small businesses alike can benefit from plenty of online tools and services. These four mentioned today are some of the most effective in generating new customers, connecting with loyal followers and keeping your business basics organized. However, any business owner should be taking advantage of every potential free or low-cost online solution available that can boost brand awareness and sales alike.