As far as small businesses and technology are concerned, the best tool in the shed isn’t necessarily the sharpest but the most useful. By the most useful, we mean the one that delivers a competitive advantage while being future-oriented.

With that said, these 4 digital tools will be a must-have for your small business in 2024.

1. A Customer Relationship Management Tools

Customer service experience is still a major influence on how customers view brands. Recent data shows that 95% of consumers say customer service impacts their brand loyalty, citing easy access, self-service, and professional agents as important factors.

A CRM organizes and stores crucial customer data in a central location. This information enables businesses to gather important insights into their preferences and behaviors and use them to improve customer experience through laser targeting and personalization. 

Some, such as Insightly, are created for SMBs and have free plans you can try. Agile CRM is another free and easy-to-use option with premium plans costing as low as $15.

Moreover, CRMs automate mundane yet crucial tasks in the customer lifecycle –for example, identifying leads, tracking leads, scoring leads, and end-to-end workflow management. These functions also support sales by providing sales teams with the most current data to fan lead engagement.

2. Cloud-based Collaboration Digital Tools

Cloud-based collaboration tools beat the constraints of place and time to enable teams to access, store, and share data online.

For example, you can have Google Workspace to Share and work on documents live with messaging, Slack for a collaborative chat application, efax for mobile faxing, and Google Meet for good quality video collaboration tool.

By enabling real-time collaboration, these platforms allow team members to work on documents simultaneously, share feedback, and track changes seamlessly. Team members can exchange anything from ideation to follow-up and never have to be in the same room to finish a project.

Additionally, cloud-based collaboration tools automatically manage version control, ensuring that everyone works on the latest iteration of a document, eliminating information loss or costly mistakes.

More importantly, they easily integrate with necessary third-party apps, making it even easier to deliver optimal results.

3. AI-based Cyber Security Software

According to Forbes, more than 30% of U.S. small businesses have vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit. Moreover, cybercriminals target small businesses because their security expertise is lower than large enterprises.

Since digital innovations are on the rise and will likely stay that way, investing in robust cybersecurity software will help small businesses avoid becoming victims of unaffordable cyber attacks.

AI-driven cybersecurity solutions empower security systems to learn from past incidents, resolve threats in real time, and anticipate future threats. The result is having a proactive instead of a reactive cyber security system.  

4. Project Management Tools

Project management tools help automate most project management tasks, including planning, organizing, tracking progress, and allocating resources for projects. 

The most important features include project planning, task management to help with task assignments, to-do lists to support planning, time and budget tracking to ensure to prevent lagging and overspending, and project dashboards to support project viewing and tracking.

You also need collaboration and integration with important third-party apps such as CRMs such as Hubspot and document management apps such as Google Drive so team members can work together from anywhere. 

Wrapping Up

Above considering a tool that won’t blow your budget, consider the value it brings for your small business. If it doesn’t make your processes much more efficient, it’s too expensive even if it’s free. Speaking of efficiency, efax offers free fax solutions for your faxing needs.