To help your small business thrive, we asked fifteen business leaders about the technology or tool that has been instrumental in their success. From Snov for its lead generation to Facebook Groups for networking and customer acquisition, discover the diverse range of tools that have empowered these small businesses to succeed.
Snov: Driving Lead Generation
VisitUs utilizes email marketing to generate leads. The initial process of gathering email contacts was time-consuming and yielded mixed results because of the use of a general marketing strategy that did not stand out in the inboxes of CEOs and business owners.
We found a tool that could help identify businesses that could benefit from the product. An email finder tool, Snov, helped to narrow the search to owners of physical locations who could benefit from the visitor management software. The filtering options and large email database were key in generating leads and booking over five demos a week.
This strategy resulted in gaining multiple subscribers and had a direct influence on the rapid growth of the business. Snov solved the marketing problem and played a significant role in the business success.
Zoho CRM: Customer Relationship Management
Zoho CRM has been a game-changer for our small business. It’s a versatile and user-friendly tool that has allowed us to manage our customer relationships effectively. With its intuitive interface, we can easily track interactions, store customer data, and streamline our sales and marketing efforts. The automation features have saved us time and reduced the risk of errors in our sales processes.
Transcription Tools: Efficiency in Meetings
One technology that has been instrumental to our success is Otter.ai.This tool has been a game-changer for us, especially for transcribing interviews and meetings. It’s incredibly accurate and saves us a significant amount of time that we would have otherwise spent on manual transcription.
Plus, its search functionality makes it easy to find specific parts of a conversation. It’s definitely a tool I’d recommend to any small business looking to streamline their operations.
Skype: Effective Communication Tool
Skype has always proven to be the most effective tool for meeting our communication needs, as we frequently collaborate with freelancers on various projects. Every small business should use this tool as their go-to communication solution. Keeping in touch with our freelancers throughout the day to get updates from both sides has been really helpful for us, thanks to the advanced features of Skype.
We now utilize this amazing tool for internal communications. The majority of our employees use it for video conferences and remote meetings because Skype also has features like screen sharing and background blurring, which makes it even more top-notch.
AI: Automation and Content Creation
Lately, we’ve definitely been using artificial intelligence more in our company. It’s proven to be quite helpful and is allowing us to automate certain processes, as well as get text written quickly and effectively.
We can automate certain aspects of our customer service channel and the processes we undertake as an organization. We can also use modern AI tools to write content for our website and marketing channels quickly and affordably.
AI has only recently been introduced to our business world, but the potential is massive. We’re already using it and we plan to use it more in the future!
Bespoke Software: Accounting and Business Analysis
The first few years of our business were spent building a bespoke accounting and business-analysis software package. This has been tightly integrated with our booking software, which does not have an API. The work was done through our booking software’s integration with Google Calendar (a go-between) and experience parsing emails and similar into a database structure.
With well over 25 years of tech experience, we’ve been fortunate.
In the next six months, we plan to more tightly integrate our Google Ads and Analytics with the aforementioned accounting and BA software. These items have APIs of sorts.
The value of going DIY or build-over-buy for critical software pieces cannot be overstated. It puts you ahead of the game. Things can be sliced and diced exactly as needed. Many things can be automated. It’s a game changer.
Trello: Enhancing Project Management
Trello has proven to be my favorite tool for organization. This project management and collaboration tool allows our teams to effectively manage tasks, meet deadlines, and monitor progress using an intuitive visual interface.
By enhancing efficiency, facilitating communication between team members, and ensuring timely completion of projects, Trello has become an indispensable resource to enhance our productivity.
Doug Darroch, Director, Renaissance Digital Marketing
Cloud Computing: Flexibility and Scalability
As a small-business owner, one technology that has greatly contributed to my success is cloud computing. Cloud computing allows me to store and access my business data and applications remotely, eliminating the need for on-site servers and infrastructure.
This technology has provided me with flexibility, scalability, and cost-efficiency. I can easily collaborate with my team, access files from any location, and scale up or down as per my business needs.
Additionally, the cloud provides robust security measures to protect my sensitive business information. Overall, cloud computing has been instrumental in streamlining my operations and enabling my small business to thrive in today’s digital landscape.
Automated Reservation System: Efficiency and Satisfaction
At a time when we all struggle with time management, the role of automation is indispensable. Of these, the most useful for me was the automation of my reservation system. I integrated the appointment-booking system into my digital marketing course website. This tool not only saves time but also enhances customer satisfaction. It offers several key benefits like improved efficiency, enhanced customer experience, data insights, time and cost savings, etc.
In my experience, the implementation of an appointment-booking system not only improved our operational efficiency but also boosted our revenue. It’s a technology that has a measurable and positive impact on small businesses across various industries. I highly recommend considering this system to streamline your scheduling processes, enhance customer satisfaction, and drive growth.
Asana: Project Tracking and Communication
As a project manager, the need to keep track of different projects to mitigate risks, identify areas that need improvement, and fix problems that arise before they become major issues is crucial. This is important in ensuring the on-time delivery of service, which is crucial in improving the customer experience. However, managing different projects is difficult, especially when managing remote teams.
Fortunately, with the help of Asana, a project management tool, it is possible to track each project’s progress and ensure we’re on track to complete tasks that need to be done. The tool has a messaging feature that allows for constant communication with the employees and ensures everyone’s on the same page.
Basecamp and Slack: Fostering Collaboration
In 20 years of marketing, myriad tools have graced our path, each promising efficiency and seamless integration. Yet, amidst this arsenal, one category has genuinely stood out.
For small businesses, the transformative power of collaborative software cannot be overstated. Platforms like Basecamp and Slack have emerged as lifelines. With its intuitive project management features, Basecamp ensures every campaign runs like clockwork, no matter how intricate. It organizes tasks, streamlines communication, and fosters a sense of collective ownership.
Meanwhile, Slack acts as a virtual war room. Whether it’s brainstorming ideas, troubleshooting issues, or simply rallying the team, Slack’s dynamic channels bridge the communication chasm, creating a unified, engaged team. In harnessing these tools, productivity isn’t just enhanced; a culture of collaboration that underpins every success story is built.
Zoom: Interpersonal Communication Tool
I couldn’t run my small business without technology, specifically Zoom. My marketing company serves small businesses nationwide. Zoom meetings provide better interpersonal communication than phone calls, and they’re much more convenient (and inexpensive) than physically traveling to see my clients. One of the few upsides of the pandemic has been the widespread adoption of video-conferencing tools by people in all industries.
A few years back, trying to run a consultancy online had all sorts of problems from the client-experience end. These days, I rarely run into those problems. The normalization of tools like Zoom has been a big part of that positive change.
Fiverr: Client Acquisition and Billing
Fiverr has been an indispensable resource for client acquisition. This marketplace generates leads for my business and keeps a steady flow of new and existing clients in my inbox. I don’t have to chase invoices or pay tons of fees for marketing.
In exchange, Fiverr takes 20% of whatever I earn from each project, and I build this into my pricing so I can still earn what my skills are worth. This platform has connected me with clients around the globe and provided a great launching pad for my writing business.
Data Analytics: Audience Understanding and Strategy
One technology that has been instrumental in my small business’s success is advanced data analytics software. With this powerful tool, you, as a fellow entrepreneur, can gain invaluable insights into your audience’s behavior and preferences.
By analyzing user data and engagement metrics, you can tailor your content and marketing strategies to better meet the needs of your readers. This not only improves the overall quality of your blog posts but also boosts your chances of ranking higher on Google.
Additionally, it enables you to make informed decisions about your content calendar and identify emerging trends. Harnessing the power of data analytics can be a game-changer!
Facebook Groups: Networking and Customer Acquisition
One tech that’s helped my small business succeed is social media—specifically, Facebook groups.
Facebook groups have been a game-changer because they allow me to share my expertise with other people in the same industry without having to be the face of the company. It’s also easier to build relationships and find new customers when you’re not just another vendor trying to sell something to them.
This has been especially helpful as I’ve worked on building my coaching business, because it allows me to get new clients without having them come through an agency or pay a fee upfront. It’s also great for connecting with other coaches on a professional level, so that we can bounce ideas off each other and learn from each other’s experiences.
I would definitely recommend this strategy if you’re looking at starting your own business or getting into coaching!