Running a business today is a very different task from running a business ten years ago. With huge advancements in technology, the way you do business has completely changed. Presently, things everywhere have become faster and more efficient: separate workflows are seamlessly integrated, communication channels have become more effective and technology is becoming more and more accessible to everyone.

The good news for small business owners is that it’s becoming easier to compete with larger businesses. For instance, Social Media makes reaching out to prospective customers and investors almost instantaneous and with the ability to automate back-end work; you can get things done just as fast as your larger competitors.

If you’re a small business owner, here’s a list of five essential technologies that will allow your business to fit right in with today’s efficient, competitive markets:

Customer Relationship Management Software

The process of turning leads into customers and then into returning customers involves a lot of work and different elements. What if there was a management tool that could bring all these elements into one platform in order to integrate them into one streamlined workflow? Customer Relationship Management Software does just that. It allows you to do everything from storing contacts to planning a full-scale email marketing campaign in one place, essentially allowing your marketing and sales teams to work seamlessly together.

Cloud Solutions

Nowadays even small businesses have to store and process a lot of data. Cloud Computing is a very attractive alternative to buying your expensive hardware and routinely paying to maintain or upgrade them. If you or anyone else in your staff does not have the technical proficiency to set up a cloud service, we recommend that you contact a certified IT solutions Melbourne– based company to do it for you.

Social Media Management Software

Whatever niche your business caters to, it is more than likely that your customers are on Social Media. It has become everyone’s preferred communication channel. Furthermore, research has shown that customers’ purchasing decisions are increasingly influenced by these platforms and for these reasons, it is vital that your business has a Social Media presence.

Being active on Social Media is a lot of work. You have to make posts, launch advertisements and interact with customers in addition to back-end work like researching trends and analysing the results of your own marketing campaigns. Social Media Management Software allows you to automate time-consuming tasks like posting and reporting across multiple platforms. They are also extremely useful at helping you keep track of your campaigns’ performance and gain insight on how to achieve a specific marketing or sales goal.

Cyber Security

Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean that you’re not susceptible to hacking. It’s the smarter choice to keep your sensitive data safe by investing in good cybersecurity measures. If you don’t have the means to do so, consider using a cloud service to store your data. Cloud service providers typically offer advanced cybersecurity features as default with all of their packages.

Enterprise Resource Planning

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software come loaded with several applications or features that are able to execute a variety of back-end work. These can include accounting, supply chain management and human resources among other tasks that are pivotal to running a business. The obvious advantage of having an ERP software is that it severely reduces the number of resources required to handle back-end work, resulting in major cost-savings for your business.

Any additional technological requirements may depend on the type of business that you do. For instance, if you’re a retailer, you might want to invest in a Point-Of-Sale system as well. For small businesses in general, these five technologies are an essential investment.