The Tech Tools Your Small Business Needs To Succeed
:: By Lulu Chang, Squarespace ::
The perfect toolkit for the small business owner is no longer comprised of business cards, office supplies and fax machines. Instead, with the rise of e-commerce and digital entrepreneurial ventures, the key to a small business’ success is often found in their suite of online tools. In fact, 66 percent of small business owners are using mobile devices or solutions as part of their day-to-day operations, and 92 percent of SMBs are using at least one cloud business solution.
Now, more than ever, websites play a critical role in a business’ day-to-day operations. Whether you’re a crafter, a restaurateur or a photographer, maintaining a stunning digital presence is key to attracting new customers.
The following is the perfect toolkit for any small business owner, entrepreneur, or creative to succeed online.
Dropbox is the best way to manage the many docs and files that sustain your business, letting you instantly share budgets or collect contracts from anyone in the world. Use the Dropbox mobile app to access your entire library of files from anywhere (on any device) when you need to send something in a pinch, or set up a shared folder to collaborate and get instant feedback from your remote team. Plus you can bypass your cluttered inbox by using 'file requests' to collect and neatly organize files from groups of people right in your Dropbox, for your eyes only.
Stripe is the best way to accept payments online. Regardless of a merchant's size, Stripe provides a payment platform that gives them the sophistication of a multinational company: they can accept payments in 139 different currencies immediately, from anyone in the world, and their preferred currency just arrives automatically in their bank account.
ShipStation enables small and medium-sized businesses to ship their online orders directly to their customers and also connects easily anwhere merchants sell. Rather than outsourcing fulfillment to a third-party, small businesses can have complete control over the quality of the delivery experience without sacrificing their most valuable commodities: time and money. ShipStation syncs online orders, prints shipping labels and packing slips and offers tons of ways to automate the order fulfillment process. With innovative features like their mobile companion app, wireless printing, return label processing, advanced reports and more, SMBs can have all the tools they need to maintain and grow their online business.
Owler helps business owners get key, in-the-moment updates on their competitors with an arsenal of competitive intelligence reports as well as access the latest data on any company in its database. It's key for small businesses to stay abreast of their competitors, find new ones and prospect new sales leads.
Pinners are planning their futures on Pinterest. Businesses are essential in that planning as 2/3 of the more than 50 billions Pins on Pinterest originate from business websites.
The combination of these online tools, all available at little to no cost, can take any business to the next level. We’re excited to see how you build it beautiful with this essential small business toolkit.
Lulu Chang is a member of the PR and Communications team at Squarespace, where she focuses primarily on developing the company's Corporate Social Responsibility policy.