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5 Essential Tech Tools for Scaling a Small Business

ByDave Stopher

Aug 19, 2019 #Chatbots

For small businesses with dreams of expanding, it can seem a bit overwhelming to make that dream a reality. While it may seem as if scaling the business is impossible, technology is here to save the day. Every small business needs to look into the five essential tools that will help scale their small business.

1. Chatbots

Fostering customer relationships is important when scaling a small business. Even if the business grows and becomes wildly successful, it won’t matter if there are no satisfied customers around to enjoy the services. Customer needs must be properly addressed to ensure that customers stay satisfied with the workings of the business. This includes addressing customer questions and complaints in a timely fashion, as these provide ways for the business to improve.

As the business grows, it may become more difficult to address customer support with employee labor. It may become prudent to start implementing chatbots to handle minor complaints, as this would free up real humans for customer support that requires more in-depth assistance. These chatbots can be easily programmed to handle any number of customer complaints, and can use AI technology to improve customer experiences.

Chatbots may be implemented on the company website or an app for the business. This artificial intelligence can be programmed during the development of a website or app. They could also be added in when an update is being launched. Ideas for the chatbot can be given to the web developer for the website or app, where the programming for these functions can be designed.

2. Electronic Record Keeping

In the years when a business is small, it can be fine to keep records on paper and not worry too much about backing up records electronically. As the business grows, however, all aspects will be expanding, including record keeping. It eventually comes to the point where paper records are no longer possible given the size of the daily business operations.

Check out https://www.filecenterdms.com/info-document-scanning-software.html to utilize scanner software and keep records organized with out taking up too much space. Keeping records on paper requires a lot of space for storage, and finding specific documents isn’t easy. This can make it difficult to find the specific information you need, whether it’s for a specific customer, order, or anything else.

Scanning software allows thousands of documents to be uploaded to a drive, saving space and allowing for easy access to whatever needs to be found. A search function allows for any piece of information to be located among thousands of documents.

3. Technological Onboarding

As a business grows, taking on new employees will be a consistent part of the routine. You’ll need to expand manpower to handle orders, customer interactions, and other activities to make sure that nothing falls by the wayside. It’s no surprise, though, that new employees can take weeks to train before they’re up to speed on the workings of the business.

Letting a new employee off too early can lead to problems if they aren’t sure what they’re doing. One way to minimize the learning curve is to use technology to make onboarding simpler and more efficient for new employees.

Technological solutions to onboarding can go in a variety of directions depending on the needs of the business. Tools for electronically signing and transferring documents can make it easier to get tax documents and other papers signed and returned without any chance of losing them. This can minimize the amount of time that it takes to get an employee hired. It’s also possible to send electronic copies of employee handbooks or training schedules. New employees can browse these and be able to come in on their first day ahead of the curve.

It’s also possible to create virtual office tours that would allow new employees to learn the lay of the land before coming into the office for the first time. These tours would prevent new employees from having to struggle to find where everything is located.

4. Improved Project Management

In the early stages of a business, project management is simple. There are only a few employees, so project management isn’t very complicated to handle. As the business grows and splits off into different departments, though, this stops being the case. It becomes much easier for information to get lost and for project management to become difficult.

In the beginning, many businesses can get by with simple spreadsheets and software to keep track of funds. Because sales are limited in amount and number, it isn’t too complicated to keep everything in check this way. The Small Biz Trends has some useful techniques for small business owners about improving their project management.

Simple accounting software and spreadsheets may work in the beginning, but they won’t work forever. Enterprise Resource Planning software is a great choice for scaling businesses in terms of project management. This software can be used to coordinate and automate processes that need to be managed.

5. Tools for Internal Communication

In the same way that project management becomes more difficult as the business grows, so internal communication becomes more difficult. New employees are being added and the chain of command is shifting, making it difficult to know who is in charge of what. Without successful internal communication, important information can easily fall through the cracks and tasks can be forgotten.

To help combat poor communication, businesses can utilize one of the many corporate communication platforms that are available. Some good choices are Slack, Google Hangouts, and Skype. These platforms provide messaging services that allow employees to communicate instantly, sending updates at a moment’s notice. This also allows small bits of information to be transferred among project members without the fear of something being lost. Because the chats stay in text form, employees can go back and reread their message if they can’t remember what was said.

Don’t let the fear of change prevent you from scaling your small business. It may seem intimidating but scaling up is the only way to see what the future of the business may hold. With these five technological tools, any business can expand efficiently and reach its potential with ease.