Home Tips & Tricks Bringing new and experimental tools into a business can almost be the dictionary definition of taking a risk. After all, you may have already found out from bitter experience that many services out there simply don’t do the jobs they are required to do or do not deliver the level of performance that you were expecting. You might find that if you settle for the most popular software, you are left disappointed, and your business takes a hit as a result. However, risk-taking is all part of running a business, especially if you want to succeed. An important part of this is that you experiment with different software and services to help you get the best results out of your business and employees. Sometimes, that requires diving into the territory of massively overlooked or underrated tools that could be hidden gems when it comes to unlocking the true potential of your business. What's Inside 11) Custom Swag 2) Communication Software3) Business Intelligence4) The Cloud5) Effective downtime management6) CybersecurityFinal thoughts 1) Custom Swag Custom swag is a tool embraced by a lot of businesses to great effect, but it is generally shrugged off by many others. This is a shame as custom swag can be an effective marketing tool or used for raising employee morale. It is the simple act of giving out free branded items; for example, you might give out free items featuring your company logo with your customers’ orders. You could also use branded merchandise as a uniform for your employees, perhaps using matching polo shirts and topping off with Anthem Branding – quality custom hats, as a good example. Doing this will have many benefits and can also contribute to the safety of your workplace. What are the benefits of custom swag to sales? There are lots of benefits to using customer swag in marketing. It can help your business to gain more loyal customers as part of a relationship-building tool, which will help them associate with your company and talk about it with others. This gives you publicity as well as a potential extra sale. You will also find that when you use custom swag, your customers are more likely to choose your company over businesses due to the promise of something a little extra and free, especially if what you have given out previously is of high quality. What are the benefits of custom swag for employees? Using custom swag for your employees might seem like an extra expense, but it is actually more beneficial than you might have first thought. This is down to a multitude of uses in all types of work environments. As briefly mentioned above, you can use it as a uniform. Hats, shirts, and hoodies are all ways that you can integrate custom swag into your business uniform, which in itself has many benefits. It can be used to raise morale. You can give your employees prizes such as water bottles, clothing, and products for their hard work. This is a great way to show your employees how much you care about them and all the hard work and time they commit to your business. 2) Communication Software There are so many different forms of communication software that it can be difficult to find one that you are happy with. Because of this, you might as well settle for the mainstream choices, but some of these might not feel like they do the job. It can be a bit like getting a burger from a chain fast food restaurant to settle your cravings, but you need a burger from a bespoke restaurant to really satiate them – and that requires effort and going the extra distance to find the right outlet. Though that’s merely a metaphor, putting in those extra miles is often worth the effort, as the correct communication software can do a lot for your business. Benefits communication has to customers There are so many benefits to communicating with your customers that you probably can’t count them easily. However, some are more useful than others, and you will find that you will miss out on a lot by using the wrong communication software and strategy. Customer satisfaction, the delivery process, and the stress levels of your drivers can be made so much better by giving ETAs, tracking, and making sure that you are staying in contact with your customer after the item has been delivered. Benefits communication has to employees There are many benefits that good communication can present to your employees. You will find it integral in raising morale by keeping your employees informed of what is happening across the business. This can be crucial if you have people working remotely or in a hybrid pattern, meaning that you will need to find software that works well for everyone. You might find project management software to be particularly useful or Gantt charts to help boost communication and understanding in more intimate groups. See Also4 Ways to Make Your Business Culture More SecureRoman.T·May 21, 2021 3) Business Intelligence Despite being ignored by many, this incredibly powerful software could help shape your business for years to come. It has almost limitless possibilities, telling you about the future of your business and trends within your industry by analyzing the reams of data your company creates. This can be incredibly important to growing and expanding your business, as well as increasing customer satisfaction rates and efficiency. Benefits business intelligence has to customer experience There is a range of ways that business intelligence can improve your customers’ experience, starting with your business website right through to customer contact. It can also tell you what times of the year your customers are most and least likely to buy from you, when your returning customers come in packs and when you are most likely to get new clients. This is invaluable information that can help you prepare and organize better and get your strategies ready to be able to make the most of the situation. It can also tell you a lot about your customers and might help you realize you have been talking to the wrong audience all along – or talking to the right people in the wrong way. Benefits business intelligence has to sales Of course, it also potentially greatly benefits sales if used correctly. It can help you understand your audience better through data, as mentioned above. However, this also allows you to see what kinds of products you should be producing, and business intelligence can be a great way to ensure that you make the most out of peak times. It can help you keep an eye on the world outside of your business to see what your competitors are doing, as well as accumulate data from your business’s past that can point you in the right direction and, importantly, helps you not to make the same mistake twice. 4) The Cloud Investing in the Cloud is increasingly common in businesses, so it can be argued that it is not overlooked and therefore has no place on this list. However, you might realize that many companies simply do not understand the potential and don’t see the Cloud for the incredibly useful business tool that it is – a secure hub for a business that can be used to grow and expand a company. Benefits that the Cloud has to business growth The Cloud gives businesses room to grow in a secure space. It has the capacity for a company to work both onsite and remotely, allowing businesses to expand internationally. This is important for bringing in talent from around the world, which might not have been practical before. You might find that there is a huge amount of potential that can be unlocked using the Cloud that is particular to your niches and can build a sturdy foundation for a successful business. Benefits that the Cloud has to internal organization There are many benefits the Cloud gives in terms of internal organization. You will find that there is huge potential to be had in the Cloud services. The Cloud can work with millions of different types of software, meaning that you can easily integrate and control your business online. As you can also have permissions set accordingly to control access, it also means that you can work with your company more effectively and change things that are going wrong without causing too much of a problem. 5) Effective downtime management Downtime can be a business’s worst nightmare. This means you will have to learn how to manage it properly. However, you will find that companies tend to like to take the easy way and just let things continue as they are, as it is simply more convenient. This is a dangerous game to play, and it can be truly detrimental to your business. You will find that a little downtime management can go a long way, such as maintaining tech, training staff, and using communication software to minimize disruption. Benefits that downtime management has to employee morale There are many benefits to employee morale in effective downtime management. You will find that downtime causes a lot of problems for employees, such as: Loss of workflow momentum Loss of confidence Increased stress and frustration levels Breakdowns in communication Reduced efficiency The feeling of wasting time All these are dangerous for businesses, so intelligent and strategic thinking is needed to prevent downtime issues from happening, as it can cause everything to grind to a halt and affect employees’ well-being and performance. Benefits downtime management has to your company to customer relationship There is no end of ways that your customer-business relationship can be affected by downtime. You might miss deadlines, which makes your business look bad. You will find that the stress among employees might seriously affect the level of customer service they provide, too, which is far from ideal and can escalate the situation further. In short, everything that is negative about unplanned downtime can and will have a direct impact on how your business is viewed by customers and how the world interacts with it. 6) Cybersecurity Cybersecurity is a critical part of any business. Yet again, so many companies think that the bare minimum will do. You will quickly find that there are so many threats out there – especially with the pandemic recently bringing cybercriminals more targets through the rush to become digital. However, you shouldn’t fall into the trap of complacency – being proactive and aware is crucial. There are a whole lot of problems that can arise if you don’t have the proper (and the latest) cybersecurity, and your business empire can be reduced to ruins almost overnight if you don’t take the right precautions. Benefits of cybersecurity to business procedures Cybersecurity will almost certainly change business procedures, but for the better. Introducing sign-on methods such as MFA can be a great way to help build protection for employees working in the office and from home. You will also find that tools such as attack path analytics help you protect your company from the inside out. All of these elements should be invested in, on top of end-user education, employee training on cybersecurity and best practices, and installing the appropriate hardware and software. Benefits that cybersecurity has to your company’s reputation If your business falls victim to a cyber-attack, it will take a hit to its reputation, no matter if you manage to stop the attack before major damage has ensued. Your customers’ data is important to your business, customers, and, unfortunately, cyber criminals as well – so you must work hard to protect it. You will also find that your business, when hit by a cyberattack, will be at the mercy of your customers, and if the cyberattack doesn’t ruin your company, your brand’s lowered reputation just might. Final thoughts Finding the right tools for your business is likely to need a different approach if you are going to stand out from the crowd. While going for the big names is a tried and tested method, there are plenty of hidden gems if you delve a bit deeper. Another game changer might be looking further into the potential of what you already use and seeing the untapped potential there.