Tech tools that can help small businesses work smarter this financial year

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As the global fight to contain the spread of COVID-19 continues, and our economy begins to slowly reopen, small businesses are relying on technology to help them work smarter. With the 2020-21 financial year fast approaching, now is the perfect time to invest in some valuable products and services that you can count on.

Due to the complex nature of what we’re facing, there are still many restrictions that may apply to small businesses for the foreseeable future. That’s why putting the right technology in place now is critical. Here are a few tech tools that can help you do just that this financial year.

Cloud accounting

If you’ve not yet invested in good cloud accounting software, why not make it a new (financial) year’s resolution? Having your back-end processes streamlined is a massive time-saver. Especially now, when a lot of time is being spent in front of house operations and ensuring you are meeting the needs of your customers and staff safely. Your cloud accounting platform can be set up to integrate seamlessly with your point of sale too, so you’ll no longer have to worry about wasting time with accounting errors and manual data entry.

Team management

Keeping track of your staff and their schedules on a paper calendar is needlessly messy and complicated. Get employee management software that lets you manage schedules, track time and set permissions straight from your mobile device, making everyone’s lives easier. Some platforms also enable you to manage multiple employees across different locations, which is super useful right now when you may be managing staff remotely to reduce the number of people at any given location.

Contactless card reader

As cash continues to decline, and more customers shift towards options that follow social distancing guidelines, contactless payments are a must for any business right now. Outside of e-commerce and online payment portals, if you have a brick-and-mortar store, or interact with customers face-to-face, make sure you have a mobile card reader on hand that accepts all types of payments – including mobile payments like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.

Online checkout

E-commerce has become ubiquitous to our daily lives, especially in 2020. Even if you traditionally operated a brick-and-mortar store, you may have begun to shift more of your business online. But there is no one-size-fits-all approach for businesses when it comes to online selling, what works for one business won’t necessarily work for another. So, if you don’t want to invest all your time and resources into an immersive online experience, there are still plenty of options for retailers when it comes to easy and safe online payment solutions. Try an online payment portal or checkout, so you don’t have to worry about redirecting customers to a website. This enables you to essentially generate a unique checkout link that you can then add to emails or social media posts for specific products, and allows customers to pay you instantly online.

Analytics tracker

Small businesses rely heavily on their sales data to make important decisions about everything from marketing strategies to inventory and staffing needs. That’s why it’s important to have good analytics tools that integrate with your payments system so you can easily pull insightful data. Data tools that enable you to see historical sales reports, your busiest times of the day or week or year, and what returning customers are purchasing, will be the most helpful for making smarter business decisions as you get back on track this year.

Colin Birney, Head of Business Development, Square Australia