Transformational Tech

Forget augmented reality or five-dimension printing – here are five practical technologies for realistic business transformation.

Guide

1. Website builders

You don’t need to enlist the help of an agency to create an online presence. There are numerous web hosting services out there that offer responsive themes and templates, allowing you to simply click and drag elements into place. With a little bit of computer savvy you could have a website and online shop up quicker than you can say ‘hypertext markup language programming’ – and there’s none of that involved at your end. WordPress, Squarespace and Shopify are all good, affordable builders worth trying out.

2. Cloud storage

Cloud storage provides on the go, instant access to files. It also increases interactivity in file sharing, allowing multiple users to access and edit files. As such, it’s perfectly suited to employees who travel or work between offices or from home. In addition, with virtual servers functioning across multiple devices, it’s a sound solution for backup, ensuring you never lose important files. Many providers offer monthly packages for less than the price of a coffee. The likes of Google, Amazon and Apple even offer free storage.

3. Project management platforms

Project management platforms enable you to keep tabs on individual projects, whether that’s a simple pitch or a full marketing campaign. They create spaces in which internal dialogues can be established, meaning that you never miss a beat during the lifespan of any given project. Costs differ between platforms, with some entry level ones costing nothing. Freedcamp is a great starting place, as is Bitrix24 and Asana. Handwritten notes, email chains and spreadsheets will be a thing of the past.

4. Time tracking software

If you’ve got a growing workforce, you’ll find time tracking software especially useful. Knowing how long it takes to carry out certain projects is crucial when estimating for work, while keeping an eye on project timescales in real time will help prevent you from going over budget and your employees becoming overworked. The best products even boast invoicing compatibility, allowing you to manage time and finances all in the one place. Try Harvest or Toggle on for size.

5. Mobile point of sale tools

With a year-on-year increase in card transactions, small businesses can’t afford to turn cashless customers away. Fortunately, the mobile payments market has reacted, allowing small traders access to what was once a luxury only available to big turnover businesses. Shop around – there are some nifty devices out there. Many of them can be used on the go for pop-up events. What’s more, these new tools often boast more competitive transaction fees and upfront costs than traditional terminal rental providers.

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