There are practical ways to ensure your business continues to thrive. And one of them is future-proofing it. As its name suggests, future-proofing is a process of building an enterprise that can resist negative changes that may occur in days to come. Its primary purpose is to guarantee that your business can overcome potential challenges and operate well for the foreseeable future.
You can implement several strategies to future-proof your company. But the most effective one is using modern tools, such as free small business online tools.
With modern business tools, you can streamline processes, cut costs, and increase efficiency. However, the use of technology can only work if you use the right tools.
Read on to learn how to choose the right business tools.
- Look For Scalable Tools
One of the factors to consider when looking for the right business tools is scalability. The tools should still be suitable when your business expands.
You may be starting out, so it would seem fitting to purchase tools that only accommodate a few users. But when your business develops later on, you’re likely to face some challenges with non-scalable tools that won’t be able to meet your needs.
To prevent extra costs that could have been avoided, go for scalable ones. If the tool will be a valuable asset in growing your brand, then you should invest in it.
Note that tools that come with a locked-in rate are usually made for linear uses and lack a real purpose to achieve long-term growth. Thus, you need to opt for tools that offer not only flexible pricing but also customization options. With reasonable pricing and customization options, you’ll be able to adapt the tools’ functions to your needs as your business grows.
Before deciding on scalable tools, you could take a moment to think about where you see your business in the near future. This way, you’ll have a clear idea of what functionality requirements and features your business tools should provide.
For example, you need email marketing software. The software should include different kinds of templates that are mobile-friendly and allow you to preview messages before sending them to recipients.
- Go For Compatible Tools
Compatibility is another important consideration when searching for modern tools for your company. Working in harmony, compatible tools ensure that all business applications work together without the need to modify any of them.
Because not all software on the market will be suitable, see to it that the business tools you’re interested in can integrate with the software and hardware systems well.
- Find Tools Employees Can Easily Learn And Use With Ease
There are several types of modern business tools. However, they’re all different in terms of navigation. Some are difficult to use while others are simple.
Naturally, you should find tools employees can quickly learn and use with ease. Complex tools will only lead to low productivity and sales since workers will have to spend a lot of time figuring out how to use the tools. In addition, they may attract extra costs, including labor costs. You’d have to hire professionals to educate your workers on how to apply the tools.
Hence, it’s better to buy tools that don’t need a lot of training.
- Select Tools With Adequate Security Features
Leveraging the power of technology can be one of the most effective approaches for future-proofing your company. However, it also comes with some risks. For instance, unauthorized users can access your company’s data using the same technology if you use modern tools that aren’t equipped with advanced security features.
To prevent significant loss of critical information and finances, you need to invest in tools with adequate security features. Some examples of security features include anti-virus protection, encryption enablement, password protection, automatic update, auto clean, and so on.
Making use of tools with features like these is a cybersecurity strategy that can help you build a future-proof business that can withstand breaches and attacks.
- Ask For Referrals From Other Business Owners
If you aren’t sure which tools are right for your company, you can ask for referrals from other business owners. Other business owners who are already using modern tools to complete processes and tasks will be happy to share some suggestions or recommend the best apps, software, or solutions.
However, don’t rely on referrals too much. You should do your own research by checking out reviews or conducting online searches, so you can narrow the list of recommendations down.
- Test Different Tools
Lastly, it’d help to try different tools before setting them up. That way, you can identify which ones work best and meet your business needs.
One way to test various tools is to use the free trial package provided by vendors. Here are some tips you can follow if you decide to join a free trial:
- Don’t subscribe to any free trial if you aren’t keen on using a particular tool.
- Review the tool daily until the end of the trial.
- Determine whether the tool is easy to use.
- Don’t hesitate to cancel the free trial if you want to opt for another tool.
- Evaluate the results of the tool before you fully implement it into your business systems.
Apart from a free trial package, you can borrow tools from other business owners and partners.
Using Tools Regularly
After you’ve found all the necessary tools for your business, install them as soon as you can, so you won’t forget to use them regularly. Using them on a daily basis will keep you from paying monthly subscriptions for applications or solutions that you don’t need.
If you’ve invested in some apps for your business, what you can do is add a folder to your bookmarks bar for your tools and label each with your username. This will make it easy for you to access the login pages and remember how to log into your apps.
Reviewing The Tools
If you happen to find that you haven’t been using a certain tool because it’s no longer useful or it’s challenging to use, then you should pick a new one. You should go ahead and cancel your account, so you’ll save money until you find something suitable.
This is why it’s important to review the tools you have often. By reviewing them frequently, you’ll be able to check which tools you still need and which you don’t.
There are various types of modern business tools, but not all of them can help future-proof your company. So, to identify and buy the right ones, follow the tips explained above.