Are you running your business the hard way? Are you using out of date systems that could be replaced with ones that would save you time and money?

If you haven’t taken a close look at your business systems recently, you could be missing a way to use technology to do things smarter, faster, and more affordably. Take a look at these 5 tools and they might streamline your operations, reduce your stress levels, and boost your bottom line.

1. Cloud-based storage

It’s amazing how many business owners don’t fully understand the need for backing up their computer systems and important documents. A recent white paper from a technology resource said that while 92% of companies in a survey had implemented some kind of backup processes, 50% of those same companies had lost data. Of the companies that lost data, approximately 30% experienced a loss of sales, 20% of them lost customers, and 25% said that losing data had significantly impacted their company in a negative way.

Cloud-based storage can mitigate this risk by providing off-site storage of the files and folders you choose. It also offers file and folder sharing options, so you’ll never have to worry about sharing files that are “too large” again.

Best of all, you don’t have to wait for data loss to see just how useful this can be. Because it is cloud based, its value is proven regularly. You can log into these services anywhere you can get online, and your files and folders are there, organized just like you left them.

2. A user-friendly content management system

Chances are good that your business has a website, but if it’s a pain to update, it’s probably not doing you as much good as it could. Consider switching to a user friendly content management system that allows for more frequent updates to your website. Being able to update your site more frequently (such as with valuable information for your clients or a regular CEO blog) is important. It keeps your website looking fresh to your visitors and boosts your ranking in major search engines.

3. Website analytics

You can’t afford to waste time or money, but if you’re running a website without analyzing its effectiveness, chances are good you’re wasting both. Today’s analytics programs are easy to begin using even for the novice. More importantly, they can provide a wealth of information about your customers’ use of your site, how they’ve found you, and which pages aren’t performing well. It’s easier to convert existing traffic than it is to seek out new traffic. Ongoing analysis of your website will allow you to do both. Knowledge is power, and power leads to profit.

4. A professional social media presence

It’s a rare business that has customers who aren’t on some form of social media these days. If your business hasn’t established a professional presence on the platforms your customers are on, you’re going to be viewed as obsolete before long.

Using social media effectively takes some knowledge. Whether you outsource this or use a platform to help automate and analyze your effectiveness, the best way to use social media to keep your business current is to see it as one channel for connecting with your customers – a two way channel. It’s not just a medium for shouting your message – it’s another way to make sure you’re providing the value and service that keeps your customers coming back for more.

5. Web-based information organization system

Remember those promises of a paperless society? So much for that dream, right? It seems like there’s more paper (and more information) to keep track of than ever before.

Using a web-based information system helps you keep your information and records secure, organized and accessible, no matter where you are. You can capture information via camera or scanner, web clipping, or just by entering notes. With tags, categories, and search capabilities, finding your information for future use is faster and easier than ever.

With a few new tools at your fingertips, the power of technology can keep your business running more efficiently than ever.

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