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5 Effective Technology Secrets For Growing Your Small Business

When it comes to competing with big corporations and franchises, technology plays a vital role in the growth of your small business. There are dozens of new and affordable tools available that can help you save time, money and stress. Using these tools in the right way can help you increase profits and not get shoved off the playing field by the big guys. Start by implementing these five trade secrets and see what they do for your business. 

1. Get in the cloud

Too many small businesses are still juggling with a mess of paper, spreadsheets and calendars for "organization." This resistance to widely available technology can create a lot of hassles that end up costing you valuable time. Shuffling through papers and searching filing cabinets are not things you should be paying employees to do. 

Moving all of your documents into the cloud makes it so that all the information you need is in one convenient place. Cloud services make it easier to share files, and keep track of appointments, billing and profits. Cloud tools provide excellent security and data back-up features, and are accessible from any internet-enabled device.

2. Eliminate expensive point-of-sale solutions

With a wide variety of apps for tablets and smartphones, pricey POS systems are no longer necessary. Mobile card readers plug right into your device, allowing you to accept debit and credit cards no matter where you are. This is especially great for small business owners who frequently sell their products at local markets and fairs. Some POS apps even allow you to sync online sales with retail sales.

3. Set up a loyalty reward program

People love discounts and offering customers a reward program gives them extra incentive to shop from you again. Small businesses thrive when they create a strong base of repeat customers. Instead of the traditional punch cards which usually end up lost or in the washing machine, consider switching to a mobile reward program. Several programs are available that allow merchants to create mobile loyalty cards and other incentives for affordable rates. 

4. Use inexpensive back end software

Traditionally, accounting and HR software is expensive and requires a lot of infrastructure. However, small business owners can now take advantage of cloud apps designed to address their specific back end needs. These apps offer accounting and invoicing management, employee management and customer care. 

5. Use plug-ins for marketing and sales

Small business plug-in applications can turn your email account into a tool for managing customer relationships. These plug-ins allow you to track customers, leads, deals and sales from your inbox. Other plug-ins create a "click to buy" option anytime you share something about one of your products online. 

The tech point

The point is that small business owners no longer have to worry about spending too much money on acquiring the proper technology to run their company more efficiently. With customized back-up features, you can have peace of mind knowing that your data will never be lost. No matter what you're selling or what type of service you offer, there is are many applications and mobile software programs to help your business grow with minimal effort and expense.