By: First Union
Here are Tools/Resources for Small Business Owners
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Now more than ever, small businesses need assistance. You may have been able to get federal funding to help your business during this time, and you may not have. Whether you are a one-man army or have a hundred employees, there's always room to make your life easier and your business more efficient. Try implementing some of these tools and resources for small business owners to aid in your success.
Ringless voicemail has gotten a bad rep in the past, but it can be a useful tool for small business owners. With a ringless voicemail drop, you can send a message straight to a client's voicemail without having to dial and drop a pre-recorded message without having their phone ring. Many people don’t answer numbers that are not saved in their phone, so this will save you a lot of time with callbacks. This can help you field your inbound and outbound calls and save you a lot of time waiting. If you do not have a full-fledged customer service department this is a must-have to do it yourself.
This is a fantastic free tool, if you are not already using it, it's time to start. When you set up a Google account you gain access to a suite of programs for free, all stored in the cloud. Don’t needlessly pay for Microsoft Word when you can use Google Docs, Sheets, Drive and so much more. It can seem intimidating if you have never used it and are used to a different program, but it is extremely user-friendly and will save you time and money. All your documents are automatically saved to your drive in the cloud so nothing will be lost again. You can organize everything with folders to your liking, and access them from any computer. Run, don’t walk to Google Drive.
Find a customer relationship management tool that you like and stick to it. Even if you only have a few clients or customers at the moment, you want to grow, right? No matter how good you think you are at remembering names and interactions it can get overwhelming, fast. A good CRM will help you build and keep track of your client base and remember each interaction so you can form personalized relationships.
Chamber Of Commerce
Joining your local Chamber of Commerce could be a little pricey, around $100-$400, but this is an underused resource that pays off. Find your local branch and get involved. They can help connect you with other business owners in your industry and network. Depending on your location, some even have free networking events. It’s always good to build on your community surrounding your small business. Joining can help you grow your customer base, they may also help with digital tools and the latest advertising. Their goal is to promote the interest of local small businesses, so get involved!
If you haven't explored this free networking tool now is the time. People are increasingly communicating in the digital world and it's a fast way to make new connections. If you have a profile set up and just sitting there, give it some attention this weekend, you might just find your next client. You can find other local and global business owners and strike up conversations that would have never been possible before.
Local Community College
Your local community college is filled to the brim with educated people who want an internship or an entry-level job. Having a good relationship with your local educational institutions can pay off in so many ways. You may even be able to attend classes or send employees to get some diversified training for a low price. This relationship can be mutually beneficial.
Fund your next business venture with First Union Lending. We have nine different business loan types to choose from. This means that we’re uniquely qualified to help you find the perfect loan to open your small business. Applying for a business loan doesn’t affect your credit. Better yet, your business loan may be approved as soon as the same day. To discuss our business loans with one of our lending experts, click here or call 863-825-5626. We’ll talk about our various business loans and help you find the right one. Get started with the process now by learning more about our business loan types here.