The Internet and Small Business Software and all the ways it makes our lives better…
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The old adage, you never know how much you miss something until it’s gone, was never truer than on the day that my internet when out and I couldn’t access it. Suddenly I realized all the myriad ways that the internet improves the way that I do business. Everything took three times as long to do, my records and documentation were a mess on scraps of paper and post it notes (I’m still recovering). Suddenly I was very very appreciative of my business software, and of those features that I use without even thinking about them (that’s why I love them, so easy to use I don’t have to think about them!). Rather than subject yourself to the lasting psychological (and organizational) effects of internet deprivation I thought today I would remind you of all the ways that the internet makes your life and running your business easier.
1) Access to your financial information from anywhere. As someone who was quick to adopt technology and all of it’s multiple uses (I haven’t gotten a bank statement or paper bill in abut 5 years) I was in for a shock when my lack of internet access prevented me from being able when to access my bank or financial records. How would I decide what I needed to reorder or if I could even afford to reorder the things I needed? How would I know if I received payment for that invoice and then record that payment for my invoice in my records for later. As a hopeless multitasked being able to import my transactions with one click is an absolute lifesaver, now what was I supposed to do without internet access?
2) Managing relationships with your clients aka Customer Relationship Management If you run a small business you spend a large part of your day interacting with people, and tracking those interactions is an important way to make sure important information conveyed doesn’t slip through the cracks. I use WorkingPoint for this because I absolutely love being able to track the invoices I sent, import transaction with one click once payment is received, plus input notes and contact information. And I have it all in one place… which means no searching in multiple applications or (shudder) paper files when I’m in the middle of an important call. There is nothing worse than stalling on the phone while trying to figure out where I recorded the data I need! Having it online is also really great for the way I do business, because it means I can access the information from anywhere (well anywhere there’s internet… all I can say is thank goodness for Smartphones!).
3) Sending invoices/Paying Bills. All that paper, all those poor trees. I can say with no shame that the last time I used an actual stamp the value was 32 cents. Paying bills online and sending invoices online saves me so much time and money, plus makes me feel good about not using unnecessary office supplies.
4) Social Media in all it’s glorious forms. I shudder to think how many amazing articles I missed, plus I feel guilt at the birthdays I forgot to acknowledge on Facebook, the questions I was delayed in answering, the myriad ways I use social media to interact with my community every day. I was also filled with fear that this would be the day my twitter followers moved on to someone else to supply them with great articles and answer their questions. Social Media works best when you work it everyday and a working weekday without internet made me realize how important social media is to me!
So, what internet related business tool would you not be able to live without? Let us know in the comment section below or on our Facebook page!