by Tracy Vides | Featured Contributor
Here’s a pop quiz: What’s the hardest part while running a business?
- To get customers?
- To hire the best talent?
- To keep cash flow healthy?
- To manage operations?
Answer: All of them.
It’s not easy to run a business and manage it. Yet, you’d have to. You have taken the leap.
So, can technology help?
As Paul Graham of Y Combinator puts it, you’d still have to “Do things that don’t scale”. You still need people. You’ll do some things the good old-fashioned way. You’ll need technology too. The final point is to use technology for your business.
This already gives you a jumpstart at least or a competitive edge at best.
The good news, however, is that if you plug technology in, a lot of the hard part is taken care of. From that point on, it’s all about managing technology and few other areas that you have to do anyway.
When it comes to robust, fully powered solutions, you might think that some tools are just plain out of your budget.
How about enterprise-capable, affordable tools? You’d want to check a few of those out. Here are some of them:
Social media is likely to an important part of your digital marketing strategy, and it should be. Managing social media, however, can be a major time suck. If you aren’t careful with your social media strategy, you could be spending a whole lot of time on it. According to Marketing Charts 18-34 year old Americans are spending an average of 3.8 hours a day. Most 35-49 year olds spend 3 hours a day on average.
Marketers could be spending an average of 6-10 hours per week on social media alone, according to Neil Patel. It doesn’t have to be this way.
HootSuite is an enterprise-ready, highly capable, and ultra efficient way to manage your social media — one dashboard, many possibilities. Schedule your posts (across networks), add images to the mix, respond to mentions, and manage your interactions with others.
HootSuite also provides you with analytics per account and plenty of apps to help you manage social media better, curate content, or find content to share.
Running an ecommerce business isn’t as easy as it might seem. Agreed that you don’t have to hustle for space or book expensive rental space in commercial areas. Yet, just managing different aspects of ecommerce business including inventory management, taxes, shipping, can be daunting. We didn’t even begin to talk about marketing, see?
Agiliron makes management a better experience for affordable prices – it’s a multiple-channel ecommerce management solution.
Agiliron makes it easy to track and manage multiple logins, PCI compliance, a 360-degree view of your entire business, custom domain URLs, full feature integrations with any ecommerce platform you could be using such as BigCommerce, Magento, or Shopify.
As your business grows, you’d need a lot more than spreadsheets or half-baked invoicing solutions. You’d need invoicing that you can manage or have accounting/finance teams manage it for you. In short, the invoicing solution should be easy to use, robust enough to do what’s needed, and scale up as your business grows.
Xero is an invoicing solution built for organizations – small or big. It can be as small as exhaustive as you want it to be.
Xero features regular invoicing, recurring invoicing, tax compliance, multiple currencies, smart lists, templates for invoice, and automated reporting for financial data that you’ll need for efficient bookkeeping.
Xero also has plenty of third-party services integrated to make it easier for you run and manage your business.
Business Intelligence has always been an important aspect of running a business. However, the early solutions were expensive and clunk for small or growing businesses. Board All in One is a business intelligence software that lets you build and craft a corporate performance management application without knowing a line of code.
Board isn’t a patchwork derived from other similar systems. It’s a single product that promises to ease the pain of gathering and analyzing data as you run you business. An advanced, intuitive interface makes it a pleasure to use. Customize the solution to your needs, crunch your numbers better and whip out reports in an instant.
Ecommerce runs by the phrase, “Always be shipping”. Shipping, however, isn’t simple. Add multiple channels to your business and it’s easy enough to see why shipping can be a nightmare if you leave it unmanaged. You have a store that processes orders. You then have multiple ecommerce platforms or marketplaces where you sell your products. How are you possibly going to keep track of sales, inventory, orders, and shipping information?
ShipStation is your “nirvana” – as they call it. All your orders show up within ShipStation along with necessary information. Retrieve information when you need to, create labels easily, pick your favorite shipping carrier and build integrated workflows to complete fulfillment.
Process orders across your multiple channels and automate processes. ShipStation is on the cloud making it easy for you to access it anytime, anywhere. Plus, you also get discounted shipping rates when you pick your carrier (FedEx, UPS) etc.
You know the scariest thing an ecommerce business owner lives with? It’s called “shopping cart abandonment rate”. The average documented shopping cart abandonment rate is at a staggering 67.91%, according to the Baymard Institute.
As if it’s a progressive disease, if you could achieve a lower shopping cart abandonment rate, you’d then have to deal with the “single sale syndrome” when customers make a purchase never to return again.
Retention Factory promises better retention rate with “hyper-targeted email”. It’s a “fit and forget” automated solution which allows you to send targeted emails and then learns from data gleaned from campaigned results. Small or big – Retention factory is a great way to protect leaks from your sales funnel.
What are some of the greatest challenges you face with your eCommerce business? What are some of those tools you bank on? Tell us all about it. Share your inputs in the comments below.
Tracy Vides is a content marketer and social media consultant who works with small businesses and startups to increase their visibility. Although new to the digital marketing scene compared to her illustrious She Owns It counterparts, Tracy has started off well by building a good online reputation for herself. She’s now a “serial blogger” with posts featured on Sprout Content, Steamfeed, Soshable, and elsewhere.
Connect with her on Twitter @TracyVides for a chat any time!
Tracy Vides is a content marketer and social media consultant who works with small businesses and startups to increase their visibility. Although new to the digital marketing scene compared to her illustrious She Owns It counterparts, Tracy has started off well by building a good online reputation for herself. She’s now a “serial blogger” with posts featured on Sprout Content, Steamfeed, Soshable and elsewhere.
Connect with her on Twitter @TracyVides for a chat any time!