It is often said that technology comes to improve or facilitate people’s lives, a premise that can be perfectly applied to business. The world evolves at breakneck speed. Every day, more tools are born to make business management more orderly, productive, efficient, and even better to communicate with clients or reach new ones.
The range of options that companies can use goes through applications to manage and receive payments, make transfers, manage business accounts, optimize internal processes, and receive financing to improve cash flow. Still, it also reaches social aspects such as customer interaction management, branding, design, content optimization for online search engines, among other elements.
There are many options on the market, especially for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Managing all these operational functions, which are not necessarily part of their core business, ends up taking away time that they can dedicate to more strategic tasks within your business.
Especially when it comes to money management, there is a wide universe of companies that have developed financial technology platforms, or Fintechs, to optimize and manage this aspect of the business more easily. In general, there are three great advantages of using this type of application in a company: security, speed and accuracy.
As far as speed is concerned, using technological platforms that can even be handled by a mobile phone saves time by registering operations without the need to go to a bank branch or office. It is easier to record expenses or income at any time.
This immediacy that allows the management of the accounts, in turn, leads to greater precision in them. In other words, you can have a clear, detailed and real-time view of the accounting records and business operations, and you can even receive notifications in this regard.
Finally, perhaps the most important advantage that Business Apps offer is security. Managing money through an application reduces the use of cash in the business; while if we are talking about invoices and receipts, the fact that these are in the digital world prevents any important one from being lost.
And although within the context there are also risks such as information theft or account hacking, there are also applications and software -in most cases included within the applications themselves- that protect this information and make transactions safe.
In the security section, platforms such as LastPass can also be included, a “vault” in which passwords for the different accounts used in business management can be stored. These accounts can range from bank users’ social networks to other platforms used in the company’s operation.
LastPass saves the passwords in its application for each of these accounts, even creating strong passwords which can be updated when the user requires it, and to access the application, only a master password is required. In other words, instead of memorizing or storing all the passwords to be used in computers or devices, they can be safely stored in a digital tool.
When money management is not adequate, business objectives can be compromised. For example, not keeping in mind the debts that must be covered and their terms can compromise the cash flow of the business in a short time, affecting not only the operation but also investments or expansion plans.
Maintaining control and monitoring of expenses is essential for the well-being of a company, and one of the aspects in which financial technology has evolved the most is in creating solutions in this regard.
Here are some apps for business and managing your money:
- Expensify: It is a simple application that allows you to control your expenses. Its functionalities are scanning receipts, easy processing of refunds, travel expenses, and taxes. In addition, it can be integrated with the human resources department; It also allows you to create custom reports and get help with audits and compliance to ensure that all operations carried out are valid. The platform costs between 5 and 9 dollars per month per user.
- Mint: It is a free download application in which you can download all the accounts and invoices of the business to control them. All this information is displayed on a dashboard to see a complete view of the company’s finances on a single screen. Not only does it allow you to be aware of current invoices, but it also reminds you when they are due and offers tips for preparing your budget.
- InDinero: It is a cloud-based finance application used to keep accounting and taxes as they increase. It has a financial director who is available to support when needed. It is ideal for businesses that record sustained growth. Of course, it can be considered an expensive platform since its cost is 300 dollars per month.
One of the objectives of financial technology is to make the management of companies easier, and the centralization of services in a platform is a way to achieve this. That is why there are applications through which you can perform multiple tasks or access different services.
For example, Kabbage is a platform created by American Express. Small businesses can accept payments from their customers while issuing professional invoices and personalized payments; they also offer a current account for the industry, and financing can be accessed to improve its cash flow.
Especially when a business is in its infancy, cash flow can inconvenience its development and survival. This is where applications like Kabbage come into operation, with the easy approval of lines of credit that can be used at your convenience over several months.
Likewise, this application allows you to have on the same platform the current account with which the business will be managed, earn interest-depending on the balance of the performance-, and have a debit card to make the necessary purchases and payments.
Regarding the receipt of payments, the tool allows uploading the company logo to add it to the invoice sent to customers electronically. It also allows you to create a personalized link for the business, which is shared with customers to make their payments online with debit or credit cards.
Leaving aside the financing component, a similar application is Freshbooks. It is a platform that allows you to automate tasks such as invoicing, control of expenses, following up on clients and obtaining complete reports of the business’s finances when they are needed.
In addition, with Freshbooks, you can also make payments online, and all the functionalities can be accessed from your phone.
And if there is a platform that fits completely within the term financial technology, it is Figure. It is a company that has been in operation for just over three years. It uses blockchain technology to grant loans, capital management, investment services for private funds, and financing and payment processing.
Small businesses or startups can use Figure to support their growth by raising capital in a digital environment, possibly starting to operate in the capital market through the blockchain market.
Communication And Branding
For a business to be successful, increase its sales, and reach new customers, it is necessary to be involved in the latest digital trends. In this way, you can create valuable material to reach the target audience and improve communication and money management online.
The user experience can never be neglected in business management, and with the information and tools on the market, the task can be simplified.
This digital platform allows customers to receive the documents they need more directly. Features include automated responses, sales collateral design, and professional reporting. It is a Smart Communications company specializing in customer communications management (CCM).
If it’s about connecting with customers beyond the financial spectrum, and a better branding system is required to help consolidate sales, you can turn to an app for companies like Block Club.
This application helps businesses connect with their audience through strategic campaigns. Within these campaigns is Inbound Marketing, strategies and content production, management of social networks, organic positioning of the brand in search engines (SEO, for its acronym in English), among others.
It can also be an ally in another fundamental aspect of business management such as branding, with the creation of logos, identity design, brand positioning, brand architecture, key messages, advertising campaigns, among other aspects.
In all cases, the application generates reports to evaluate the behavior of the campaigns carried out through Block Club, regardless of their nature. This application’s knowledge can help guide businesses to the latest technological trends that move their consumers.
Undoubtedly, technology has facilitated access to all kinds of information, including information that can be used to get to know customers. From consumption habits to understanding the user experience, the data is on the network, and the platforms that help the group share information for the benefit of the organizations and maximize their sales.
These are the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms, those that are responsible for centralizing all interactions between companies and customers, also leaving a record of them, which allows improving knowledge about customers to anticipate their needs or offer better experiences as the business relationship grows.
Some of these tools have large corporations behind them, such as Microsoft Dynamics, created in 2012 and allows you to connect products, people and operations on a single platform. However, it is necessary to have programming knowledge to exploit all its functionalities.
Another option is Salesforce, which, although it was initially more oriented towards large companies, now also has solutions for SMEs. With its Customer 360 program, one of the best known in the market, Salesforce unifies marketing, sales, commerce, IT services departments through shared and easy-to-understand data in an integrated CRM platform. It shows a single view of customers so that sales teams can deliver personalized experiences.
Data CRM is another of the best-known and most recommended software on the market because it allows you to monitor business management in real-time. The information display helps to prioritize activities through colors and create workflows. It helps define metrics and progress indicators and obtain detailed reports of the results that the business is achieving and how to optimize them based on sales and customer relations.