When you’re launching a new business there’s quite a lot to think about, but one area that deserves a significant amount of focus above all others is the technology you’ll utilize. Regardless of what industry or type of business you’re starting, there are some pretty standard technology tools and platforms you’ll likely benefit from using.
Below are some of 2016’s must-haves in terms of technology if you’re at the start of building a new business.
Customer Relationship Management Software
CRM can become the heart of a business in a lot of ways because it helps you maintain your client information, track your interactions, manage your sales, and more. A strong CRM software product is going to do most of the administrative work for you that comes with building customer relationships and is going to make your life as a business owner much easier. Additionally, these systems tend to handle what can end up being repetitive work if it’s done manually, so you’ll have more time to focus on growing your business, and you’ll have access to valuable, actionable data. Some good CRM options include Salesforce and Zoho.
Virtual Phone Systems
Gone are the outdated ways of managing a business where someone always had to be physically present in the office to take phone calls. Business owners have more flexibility than ever thanks to technology, and a must-have component for most businesses in today’s marketplace is a virtual phone system, such as the one from eVoice. Cloud-based business phone systems allow business owners to make sure they never miss a call, maintain a professional appearance, and yet have the utmost in flexibility.
Virtual Data Room and Cybersecurity
A virtual data room from a company like FIrmex is an excellent tool for any new business that will be managing data and needs it to remain secure. These platforms offer the same data security as what’s found at major banks and financial institutions, and that’s important, especially since small businesses are becoming the preferred target for cyber attacks. In addition to a virtual data room, new business owners should also invest in the best cyber security software they can reasonably afford. A good option is Symantec Endpoint Protection 12.1 Small Business, which is an enterprise-level security solution that’s easy to use and deploys quickly.
If your clients are going to be paying you, you’re going to need some type of payment processing system. If you’re a pretty small business, you can likely get away with something like PayPal, which is ideal for businesses with a low transaction volume. This can be a good place to begin as a startup, and it has benefits that come with it, such as a complete point-of-sale system. Another good option for small businesses is Payline Data, which is more versatile for a range of businesses and it includes a credit card machine, POS, credit card processing, and payments can be taken on mobile devices, as well as online and by mail and phone.
These are just some of the foundational technologies that are essential for new businesses to launch in 2016. Many of these options are scalable and can grow alongside a startup.