Making IT happen
Any business owner knows just how important technology is to the success of their company. From managing client relations to internal communication with your employees; not to mention keeping track of both accounts payable and receivable. As a small business owner, one of the biggest challenges you face during day-to-day operations is getting the technology to work the way you need it to. When so much of modern business operation relies on technological solutions; if the tech isn’t working, all of your work can grind to an abrupt halt.
Unfortunately, the fix isn’t always simple. Because of the increasing complexity of modern business technology, businesses struggle with either not enough technology or having way too much of it. Too little, and work that could be automated instead eats up hours of labor. Too many different programs, and it becomes almost impossible to use them all together. All in addition to the headache if data sources aren’t centralized among the different systems; leading to the cumbersome work of moving data between the various programs you use.
A good technology stack is like a symphony. One where your core work is the theme that passes from instrument to instrument without a break in the music. The question is: Does your small business manage software more like a middle school band or a professional orchestra?
Tried and True Technology Solutions
Among the many programs your small business might use for daily operations, a few have become gold standards for any business owner. Following are software solutions that have been tested by countless users and businesses, and which integrate well with other programs. These are a few of the most popular technology solutions among professional businesses.
For many businesses, Zapier is the link between all the apps used. It’s an online platform that allows you to automate workflows across programs. For instance, it takes appointments from your scheduling program and inserts them into your calendar app — all by itself.
It saves CEOs and their employees a lot of time because no human being has to take this data from one program and manually input it into another. Saving everyone time that could be put towards more important work. Zapier also removes the chance for human error in work. From accidentally inserting wrong dates or times, to a coworker forgetting to alert another that a project is ready to move forward, even setting up automatic alerts to clients based on multiple factors.
This tool is a must for any business that is looking to increase their work flow without interruption or error that could have been avoided.
While many users are more familiar with QuickBooks’ desktop editions, QuickBooks Online comes with a few advantages for businesses. Since it is online, the program is always available - even if you’re not at your desk in the office; making it an ideal tool for companies that use a remote work or hybrid setup.
QuickBooks Online also sports multiple integrations and features for helping a business manage multiple different things all in one place. With a built-in CRM (customer relationship management) module, you will be able to keep track of all of the important data related to your clients. It also makes things like managing payroll, reporting, paying vendors, and more so much more efficient than before. This is one of those programs that can end up replacing several less-integrated systems, simplifying the software employees need to learn.
Melio is a payment system which allows you to pay vendors and get paid with account transfers or card, seamlessly and with a minimum of fees. An added bonus? Since it integrates with QuickBooks Online and other software, you can easily keep track of when you need to send a payment or invoice. This advanced tool allows you to set payment permissions for different individuals within your firm. Meaning that everyone who needs to can pay invoices without you having to hand out the company credit card to anyone who needs it.
Since businesses handle so much private information, it’s vital that everything is kept secure. A sticky note on the bottom of your keyboard is just not good enough for sensitive data! But how can you access all of your different accounts quickly, reliably, and securely? Secure password managers keep all your passwords and vital information in a place that’s accessible to you — and, more importantly, well away from hackers. These managers give you the ability to autofill your data wherever you need which in turn saves valuable time and, of course, reduces stress.
LastPass and Keeper Security are two well-known password managers which contain all the functionality your business need to thrive.
When in Doubt, Consult the Experts
As a business owner, you don’t have the time to sit around and wait for technology to start working the way you need it to. If your software is more of a headache than a help, or if you’re unsure whether a new program is worth what you’ll need to pay for it, it’s time to seek out expert advice.
One place to start is by talking your peers – other business owners in the same field as you who have successfully incorporated technology into their daily operations. They’ll be able to help you understand how this technology has helped to automate their workflow and make their business that much more efficient.
Additionally, you can consult with an IT service provider with experience and a track record in helping firms like yours implement the right technology solutions. Your IT provider shouldn’t just be keeping the WiFi working. They also will have valuable advice about the best software for your firm, so don’t waste the resource of their experience. If you’re looking for a good IT service provider in Northern Virginia, Queen Consulting has a proven track record helping businesses of all kinds find the right software for their needs.