New technology tools and services can help small businesses communicate with customers and prospects better, faster and cheaper
Technology has changed the way small businesses compete and do business – from outsourcing basic business functions through hosted online services to new technology innovations that just make doing business easier.
In addition to small business marketing tools that can help market your business at a lower cost, the use of free or low-cost technology resources and tools can help businesses improve communications with employees, customers and prospects.
Communication Tools to Save Time and Money
Leveraging the latest low-cost or free communications tools and business resources will help small businesses maintain a competitive edge in a tough business environment where smart technology decisions can make the difference.
Here are some technology trends with resources and tools that improve business communications while actually saving small businesses both time and money.
Social media. The popular use of social media for both businesses and consumers has made it a must-have communication tool for small businesses. Not only is it a cheap communication tool (free in most cases) but its one of the fastest and easiest ways to communicate to multiple contacts at once. Setting up a page on Facebook is the best way to connect and engage with consumers for your business, and a group devoted to a specific industry niche on LinkedIn is a great way for business to business marketing. Small businesses can also leverage a strong network of professional associates on LinkedIn to identify new business opportunities. Communicating through social media is one of the fastest ways to get a message out to customers and prospects.
VoIP phone service. Inexpensive VoIP (voice over internet protocol) services like Magic Jack phone systems save money. For only $19.99 a year, small businesses can easily add an extra phone line for business calls and get free long distance in the U.S. and Canada. Extra local phone lines (without paying an extra monthly bill) can save a small business a lot of unnecessary phone expenses. Other services like Vonage can provide free local or long distance calls globally for a low monthly cost that provides big savings over traditional phone service.
Video web conferencing. Free online services like Skype video conferencing are becoming increasing popular for businesses to conduct free face-to-face meetings over the internet – or even use it as a free phone service (provided you already have a high speed internet connection). Other online video conferencing tools can facilitate multi-person meetings or webinars, providing a cheaper way to build more personal relationships virtually with customers and clients.
iPhone and Android smartphone apps. Whether you are using a smartphone application to make your business activity more productive, or developing your own application to make it easier for customers to do business with you, iPhone and Android smart phone apps can improve both inbound and outbound communications for your business.
Email newsletters. Communicating to customers and prospects with a low-cost weekly or monthly email communications can be a big time and money saver for your small business. Developing a monthly email newsletter is a great way to communicate latest company news, product updates and special offers at a very cheap rate per contact
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