technology tools

By Rieva Lesonsky

Today’s small business owners rely on a raft of technology tools to help them get more done with less. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without my favorite apps—and I know I’m not alone.

SurePayroll recently surveyed small business owners and entrepreneurs to find out what their favorite technology tools are. The results show that small business owners are using technology tools

to store and collaborate on documents, to manage relationships with customers, to use email marketing, and to talk to their customers on social media.

Here are the favorite technology tools of entrepreneurs in Sure Payroll’s survey.

For cloud storage, the top tools were Dropbox, Google Drive, Apple iCloud, Microsoft One Drive, and Box no big surprises there, are there.

When it comes to social media, entrepreneurs’ favorite social networks are Facebook Linked in, Google Plus, Twitter cancel and Instagram. Managing social media can take up a lot of time, so it’s no wonder that small business owners in the survey turned to social media management tools to help them get control of their days. The most popular social media management tools are HootSuite, TweetDeck, and a tie among Sprout Social/Social Flow/Hearsay.

Customer relationship management is also another area where technology can really help your business grow. Small business owners in the survey cite SalesForce, Act and SugarCRM/Contact Plus/OnContact as the best tool to help stay in touch with their customers.

Of course no small business these days can survive without email marketing. There are many solutions to help you reach out to your customers via email, but the most popular in the survey are Constant Contact, MailChimp, Hubspot, Marketo and a tie among loqua/Infusionsoft/Silverpop/Unica.

Getting organized is every small business owner’s Holy Grail. Whether you are seeking to put all your thoughts in one place, manage your business travel, deal with expenses, or handle projects and assigned tasks, there are many apps to help you do so. The most popular in the survey are Google Drive, Evernote, Tripit and a tie among project management tools Trello and Asana and expense management tool Expensify.

A whopping 78 percent of small business owners in the survey say they have made changes to their business this yea to deal with an increasingly online marketplace. This is up from 70 percent a year ago. What exactly are they doing? Half are using online services to streamline their business, while 58 percent say they have recently started using social media.

In addition, almost three in 10 survey respondents say they are eliminating their own outdated products or services. In other words, not only are entrepreneurs taking advantage of new technology but they’re also modernizing their own offerings because they recognize customers’ desire for the new.

What strikes me most about this survey is that the favorite technology tools of small business owners are not obscure products, but ones almost everyone has heard of if not actually used. If you haven’t already put these tools to work in your own business, the vote of confidence from the business owners polled should make it easier for you to take the leap into using these technology solutions to expand your company.

What tech tools does your business rely on, and what are you using them for?