You’re ready to get serious about scaling your business. There’s just one problem: You don’t have the budget to expand your staff. When you need to lighten your workload but can’t afford higher labor costs, where do you turn? To technology, of course. While software, hardware, and other business tech aren’t cheap, technology costs a fraction of what you’d spend on a new hire.
So where should you spend your precious tech dollars? These are the upgrades that deliver the biggest impact on a small business budget.
Streamline Business Administration
Running a business takes time. The more time you spend running your business, the less time is available for growing it. Some of the biggest bottlenecks in small business management include:
Manual data entry is not a good use of a business owner’s time. Cloud-based bookkeeping tools improve efficiency and accuracy by automatically syncing sales, inventory, and bank data into your business’s ledger. When choosing accounting software, look for a solution that integrates with your existing technology stack.
Businesses with employees should spring for an accounting platform with integrated payroll processing. The ideal online payroll service calculates, files, and pays payroll taxes on your behalf; thereby, reducing errors and saving time and making it easy to manage employee benefits. These tools aren’t limited to big business budgets either: Online payroll services for small employers start at under $50 a month. Another reliable bookkeeping and payroll solution is Remote Quality Bookkeeping.
Communication and customer service
It’s not only behind-the-scenes work that eats up a lot of time. Answering phone calls and emails and responding to customer service inquiries quickly become a full-time job as a company grows. However, there are a few ways to streamline customer service before hiring help: develop a knowledge base, use canned responses for live chat and email, install chatbots on your website, and use email marketing to send automated follow-ups.
Build a Better Website
Knowledge bases and AI-powered chatbots are only helpful if customers can find them. But what if your website struggles to drive traffic? There are a number of reasons for low website traffic. The most common are poor search engine optimization, a lack of user-friendliness, and no clear digital marketing strategy. A free website evaluation from Creative Canvas will reveal what’s holding your business website back.
How can small business owners improve their web presence? Consider these elements when designing a website:
For many small brands, generating sales is the main reason to build a business website. But how can a website’s design influence conversion rates? Beyond looking good and functioning seamlessly cross-platform, business websites should implement compelling copy, clear calls-to-action, and a sense of urgency or scarcity.
A website’s design builds trust, defies boredom, and identifies your brand. Invest in high-quality photography and make information readily available without being visually overwhelming. Keep website navigation intuitive and design your checkout process to have as few steps as possible to minimize shopping cart abandonment.
Migrate to the Cloud
One way small businesses are scaling up without a large staff is by utilizing freelancers and virtual business services. However, it’s hard to integrate remote workers into your team when all your data is stored on-site.
Cloud-based software keeps small businesses agile by making tools accessible anywhere, anytime. It also tends to be cheaper than traditional business software. With software-as-a-service, small businesses can afford high-tech, scalable solutions that used to be out of reach.
The leading cloud-based applications for small businesses include tools for:
- File storage and sharing
- Project management and collaboration
- Data backup and recovery
Small businesses don’t have to choose between scaling their labor force and staying stagnant. With smart investments in technology, you can build a more efficient and effective business for less. Better yet: You don’t have to do it alone. When you need to make your website shine, contact Creative Canvas for tailored design, strategic advertising, and friendly support.