Your SMB is stranded on a desert island. You have the necessities to survive: company computers, a personal mobile, email, and wifi—the business equivalent to food and water supplies—but you can only bring four technologies with you.
What four technologies does your SMB (small and medium-sized business) need in order to survive?
We’ve all played a version of this game. It requires some careful thought, so we mulled it over for awhile and this is how we answered the question.
We decided that there are four key areas for an SMB to function.
Our strategy was to incorporate one piece of technology for each of the key areas. This way, technology would make the process easier, quicker, and stronger in legal, communication, marketing, and finance.
We asked an associate counsel at Jive Communications, Lance Brimhall, for his thoughts on a technology that helps the legal department run smoothly. It’s so simple, but when Lance told me his answer I immediately threw up my hands and said, “Of course!”
What do lawyers have in abundance? Documents.
And what do those legal documents often require? Signatures.
“The most helpful software solution for SMBs to meet legal/contract needs is a competent e-sign platform like Adobe Sign. Adobe Sign drastically simplifies the process of finding an executive for an urgent signature or routing documents for signature by multiple parties.”—Lance Brimhall
Someone needs to take care of the finances at your SMB, and Freshbooks makes that job a lot easier. Freshbooks includes features for invoicing, expenses, time tracking, payments, and financial reports.
Evan Roman Mars, creator and host of 99% Invisible, (one of my favorite podcasts), vouches for Freshbooks:
“It’s beautiful and really well designed. The invoicing, accepting online payments, and keeping track of expenses couldn’t be simpler.”
But the best part about Freshbooks is that it’s securely stored in the Cloud! This means mobility and speed like you’ve never experienced when crunching numbers. Because of the ease and growing security in cloud technology, SMBs should be comfortable (or get comfortable) working with cloud vendors like Freshbooks.
What technology could Jive’s marketing team not live without? Marketo.
Our hypothetical question, “What four technologies you can’t live without?” became a real scenario a few weeks ago.
Like so many companies around the world, we use Marketo’s incredible services to manage leads and grow our business. A few weeks ago, Marketo shut down unexpectedly for half a day, leaving marketing teams around the world unable to access their automated campaigns. A Jive marketing employee, Ryan Alleman, described the difficulty of the Marketo outage:
“Without Marketo, website forms aren’t capturing leads, marketing emails aren’t getting sent, and there are questions about the security of any data stored through Marketo.”
Now this event was an anomaly—someone forgot to pay the bill for the website domain. . . whoops! We still recommend Marketo’s service for to marketing departments. In fact, we would recommend Marketo even more because this experience reminded us how marketing automation has made life so much better. Absence truly makes the heart grow fonder.
You have email, what else do you need? A business phone. Email is not enough. Business phones remain a preferred method of communication today for several reasons: it’s quicker than email, it leaves less room for misinterpretation, and it adds a human touch that’s often required in business.
Imagine you have an important business decision that you need to discuss with a colleague who is out of the state. It’s urgent, and you need an immediate answer. Do you fire up your Gmail or pick up the phone? Of course you pick up the phone.
Here is another cloud vendor that will improve your SMB. Jive Voice is a Cloud based phone services that make your business more efficient and easier to manage. Jive replaces existing phone equipment with a cloud hosted PBX, which means your desk and smart phones work together and can be managed from your web browser and a mobile app. Cloud phone systems make it easier for your customer to contact your teams, turn any location into a workplace and reduce your current expenses. And if you add Jive Video to your contract, our state-of-the-art video conferencing capabilities brings you face-to-face with your coworkers, even when you’re on a desert island.
After a few weeks of using them, you’ll wonder how you managed to live without them.
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