In the past, starting a business mostly involved creating a product or service, and trading other products or services for it. It was simple, basic, and very specialized. Evolution has brought us a long way, and today’s technological advancements have made it possible for businesses to be less specialized, but still provide quality goods and services.
As these tools have developed, they’ve become absolutely indispensable for businesses. Thirty years ago, having a computer in the office was a luxury – now it’s a necessity. Every tool has made our jobs easier, more productive, and far more efficient than previous business models.
Thanks to a number of technological solutions, businesses will never be the same.
1. Cloud Services - Google Drive
You can forget about paper filing, and there’s no need to fill hard drives full of files and information. Cloud technology allows businesses to collaborate more fully with their coworkers and clients, making secure sharing simple and effective.
Cloud software is an incredible tool for businesses seeking organization, saving, and efficiency. “While adoption of cloud tech is improving business communication, its proper implementation will increase workplace collaboration in unimaginable ways,” says Daniel Newman of Entrepreneur. “For businesses that thrive on their remote workers, cloud-enabled collaboration will become crucial.”
Google Drive is one of the most common cloud sharing tools since it’s free for the first 15 GB. You have access to easily organized and shared documents, spreadsheets, calendars, and more through your desktop or mobile phone.
2. Office Scheduling Tools - Humanity
Organizing the day-to-day functions of your business is always a challenge, especially as your organization grows. Scheduling employee work schedules by hand is a headache, as you’ve probably discovered from trying to do it on your own.
Humanity was named the top rated employee schedule maker of the year. It uses your inputted data regarding employee availability and special requests to automatically create schedules each week.
3. Email Organization and Marketing - MailChimp
Advertising for marketers once involved word of mouth. It then evolved into posters and flyers spread throughout town. Then we had paper mailed advertisements and notices.
Although snail mail marketing is still effective, it’s better when used alongside email. According to Sharon Hurley Hall of OptinMonster, 90 percent of adults use email on a weekly basis, making it one of the best ways to connect with your audience.
“Did you know that we send around 74 trillion emails every year,” asks Hall in her article. “And the numbers keep going up, with 28% more email sent in 2016 than in 2015...In 2017, the numbers will be even higher...People will send and receive 269 billion emails per day in 2017, with an expected 3.7 billion email users worldwide by the end of the year. In five years’ time, there’ll be even more email with an expected 319.6 billion emails sent.”
MailChimp is the largest email marketing service for businesses. It makes it easy to collect subscribers, add to your email list, automate email, collect data, and better understand your target market. It’s great for businesses of all sizes with very affordable rates.
4. Productivity and Collaboration from Anywhere - Trello
A hundred years ago, if you had asked a businessman in New York to work daily with someone in California, they would have laughed. Even 30 years ago, the notion would have seemed somewhat absurd, since long distance phone calls were expensive and internet was a luxury.
Now, businesses all over the world have employees that live hundreds of miles away. It works just fine thanks to productivity and collaboration software. In fact, 47 percent of employees report working at least some of their time from home.
“Gallup consistently has found that flexible scheduling and work-from-home opportunities play a major role in an employee’s decision to take or leave a job,” states a polling agency report. “Employees are pushing companies to break down the long-established structures and policies that traditionally have influenced their workdays.”
Productivity software like Trello makes this simple. Trello is a flexible, cloud-based software that can be accessed on both mobile and desktop. It keeps teams connected with sharing capabilities, commenting and email features, time tracking, data collection, and more.
Thanks to technology, the business realm will never be the same. It’s incredible to think how far we’ve come in the last century and how far we’ll be 100 years from now.
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