If you want your business to boom in 2017, January is the time to get your operations sorted. Putting the right technology and software in place is critical to streamlining your processes and serving your customers more effectively.
Here are the top seven tech tools you need to set your business up for success this year:
A mobile credit and debit card reader
The data is undeniable — cash-only businesses won’t cut it for much longer. Australians only carry $55 in their wallets on average, and they top up their funds at an ATM less than once a week. Setting up your business to accept credit and debit card payments ensures that your customers are happy and you’re not missing sales. Mobile payments are the fastest, most convenient way to get set up to accept card payments. Square has two options available for businesses — our Reader for chip cards ($19, enabling you to accept chip and magstripe cards) and the new Reader for contactless and chip ($59, enabling you to accept tap-and-go cards, mobile wallets and chip cards).
Businesses that are enabled to send invoices on the spot, as soon as the work is complete, save valuable time after hours. E-invoicing tools and apps can get paid up to 80 percent faster when compared to traditional processes (such as calculating and formatting an invoice in Excel). Square Invoices enables you to send unlimited e-invoices from the Square Point of Sale app for free, and your customers can then select to pay you quickly and securely online with the click of a button.
A cloud-based point-of-sale system
Up your mobility with a powerful point-of-sale system that you can run from a tablet. Cloud-based point-of-sale apps, like Square Point of Sale, give businesses greater mobility by running everything you need to record transactions, accept payments, send digital receipts, and manage your inventory and staff directly from a mobile device. By getting team members out from behind the counter and speaking directly with your customers, you’re enabling better service and relationship building, and boosting sales in turn. In addition, cloud-based point-of-sale apps are typically more affordable and come with all the powerful features you’d expect from a fixed hardware-based POS — including connectivity with hardware like traditional receipt printers and cash drawers.
Employee management software
If your business is growing and you’re employing more staff, you know you’re on the right track. But a larger team brings more management and administration needs, and keeping track of time cards manually can be messy and complicated. That’s why Square’s new Employee Management features enable you to clock staff in and out, directly from the Square Point of Sale app. You also benefit from increased security features such as passcodes and managed access to features. From $3 per month, per employee, it’s an affordable way to bring order to your growth.
Business intelligence and reporting tools
If you’re smart about growth in 2017, data from last year’s business performance will help you plan everything from staffing to promotional and marketing activities. Square Analytics, which uses all the valuable data captured from your point of sale, gives you an unparallelled level of insight into business operations. You get an ongoing view of comparative sales reports, the busiest times of day, customer frequency and feedback, sales by employee, and much more. And best of all, it’s free to access all of these reporting and analytics tools directly from Square Dashboard.
Integrated accounting software
Streamlining your front-of-house operations is important for servicing your customers more efficiently, but getting the back end sorted will help you save time and run your business smarter. Integrating your point of sale with cloud-based accounting software means your transaction data flows seamlessly between platforms, reducing the need for manual data entry and improving accuracy. Square Point of Sale integrates with QuickBooks Online and Xero, giving you the choice of some of the world’s best cloud-based accounting software.
Australians spent an estimated $21 billion online between October 2015 and October 2016, meaning that if you’re not already selling online, your business could be missing sales. For many new businesses, e-commerce is also a low-risk starting point to startup a new idea or product. Square for E-Commerce enables you to accept payments online with Square and your web shopfront powered by world’s most popular website builders: BigCommerce, Weebly, Ecwid, WooCommerce, Magento and Wix. From there, when you view your sales and track your inventory from Square Dashboard, giving you a 360-degree view of your online and offline business that you won’t get anywhere else.