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6 cloud services for growing your small business

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff | April 12, 2016
Small business technology and ecommerce experts discuss how investing in the right software and/or cloud-based services can help small online and bricks-and-mortar companies successfully scale.

4. Accounts payable (AP) software. Like accounting, accounts payable is another function that most small business owners would gladly outsource, or get help with, if they could afford to do so. And today there are a number of cloud-based AP solutions designed to help SMBs pay their bills and better manage cash flow.

“As we grew the number of properties we managed and did the financial reporting for, we had continual turnover in accounts payable,” says Russell Munz, president, Pyramid Real Estate Group. “So in 2004 we partnered with AvidXchange to automate many of the AP functions.  Our vendor invoices go to a lockbox. Get scanned into a workflow where pertinent info from the invoice gets digitized. Our team and clients can see the invoice as a PDF. And the invoice data gets imported into our accounting software,” he explains. “This has stopped the turnover in AP personnel and also benefits the customer with greater transparency – both of which have helped our company grow."

5. Marketing automation software. “One of the most effective ways to scale your business is by putting many of your marketing and sales efforts on auto-pilot using marketing automation software,” says Stephen C. Murphy, partner & CMO, Red Bamboo Marketing. “By automating mundane tasks and creating predictable acquisition and follow-up workflows, you can free up time for your sales folks to do what they do best – close deals. Software like HubSpot, Marketo, Pardot and a variety of others offer options for businesses of all sizes, and can offer robust automation that can save hundreds of hours each month,” he says. “Best of all, you can meticulously track results and make adjustments on the fly, helping to continually improve ROI and operating efficiency as you grow.”

6. CRM software. “When your customer and client list begins to expand, proper organization is absolutely critical,” says Blaszkiewicz. “You want to make sure that you have a CRM system that can organize all of your clients, capture leads and track your sales pipeline. These capabilities will not only help you better nurture relationships with clients, but give more opportunities for growing sales and revenue.”

Just remember when choosing a CRM system to “choose a solution that will scale easily with your expanding list of clients, as well as one that’s accessible to your growing team,” she says. And “if mobile access is important for you, be sure to adopt CRM software that allows you to manage customer relationships from anywhere, and on any device.”

 

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