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To grow your business (without going nuts), you need tools and software to support you as you scale. Otherwise, as things expand, everything from planning inventory and managing employees to just doing the books becomes way too unwieldy.
Here are six tech tools every growing business needs:
1. Mobile payments and chip card reader
First things first. Is your point of sale (POS) up to date? As in, does it accept chip cards and mobile payments (like Apple Pay and Android Pay)? If the answer is no, it’s time to switch things out.
Nearly everyone has chip cards now, and the inability to accept them screams “behind the times” (which, as a growing business, is not a good look). Mobile payments are the most secure, fastest, and most convenient way to pay and will soon be what customers expect as well.
A POS with the most cutting-edge, secure payments technology, like Square Reader for contactless and chip, provides the best checkout counter experience possible. Make sure you look for a POS that has other features that provide a seamless checkout, like the ability to store payment information for your regular customers.
2. Email marketing software
As your customer base grows, you need a more sophisticated way to market to it. Enter email marketing software—specifically, a solution with advanced segmenting features that allow you to laser-target campaigns.
Square Email Marketing automatically does this for you, slicing and dicing your customer list into loyal, regular, and lapsed customers. That way, you can quickly target the appropriate customers with the appropriate messages (a flash sale versus a VIP invite, for example).
The ability to send automated messages (like happy birthday offers) to certain audience segments is also important as you expand your marketing strategy.
3. Inventory management software
Customers now expect a cohesive shopping experience across all sales channels, so growing omnichannel businesses need to be on the ball when it comes to retail inventory management.
There are a variety of easy solutions in Square App Marketplace that take the hassle (and guesswork) out of the process, while syncing with the Square inventory management system. Tools like Shopventory, Stitch Labs, Intrakr Inventory, DEAR, and Shopseen help you manage your product listings across your online and brick-and-mortar stores from anywhere.
4. Rewards program software
You have more customers. Now you need to keep them coming back. A digital loyalty or rewards program like Square Loyalty is a no-brainer strategy to accomplish this, especially if you want to attract more 18- to 35-year-old shoppers. Sixty-eight percent of millennials say they would change where they shopped if it meant getting more perks.
5. Employee management software
Managing a growing roster of employees is a ton of work. There’s not only the development side of things (training, mentoring, keeping them motivated) but also the logistics—things like setting schedules and approving timesheets.
Employee management software keeps you sane. Square App Marketplace has several tools (like Deputy, Humanity, Homebase, WheniWork, and TSheets) that can add on to your Square Team Management solution, helping you schedule and communicate with your staff, track employee hours, approve PTO, and manage timesheets and overtime.
6. Accounting software
The “business” side of running a business is often the least fun part of your job. Luckily, Square App Marketplace has tons of software that you can hook up to your Square account to ease the pain as you grow—taking care of everything from accounting and bills to sales tax compliance.