small-business-technology|Photo Courtesy ofDepositphotos.comhttp://depositphotos.com/14004513/stock-photo-Hand-holding-Smartphone.html?sqc=28Some tech-savvy small business owners might find new business tools worth exploring simply for their own sake. Others want to know what tasks a new app can automate for their company before spending much time exploring, or know what efficiencies a device delivers before adding it into their technology budget.

There’s something to interest just about any small business owner in a recent list of “25 must-have technologies for small businesses” outlined in an article on the InfoWorld website. The article interweaves 25 apps, devices, cloud services and other tools, linking the different technologies to one another to suggest how a small business owner might use them throughout the day. Here’s a sample of the new tools in three categories.

Business Operations

  • Insightly (free, up to $99/month): This cloud-based application combines CRM and project management into a single tool.
  • LiquidPlanner (starts at $29/month per user): As priorities and conditions change over the course of a project, this software uses predictive analytics to manage the countless schedule calibrations.
  • Prism by SiSense ($50/month): Small businesses can crunch “Big Data” and use the flexible analytics to drive business strategy.

Marketing

  • Vocus (starts at $250/month): Small- and medium-sized businesses can use a single social media inbox and suite of services to streamline marketing communications.
  • Woopra (free, up to $500/month): This analytics tool helps small businesses identify customers and track consumer behavior.

Sales

  • Followup.cc (free, up to $99/year): Automate follow-ups by making it easy to schedule a follow-up reminder the minute you respond to an email.
  • Square ($2.75/swipe up to $275/month): Using a small reader that connects to smartphones, retailers can easily accept credit card payments.

That’s just a sample of the 25 “must-have” technologies highlighted in the InfoWorld article. Very few small- to medium-sized businesses would likely have a need for — or be able to afford — all of these technologies. Instead, businesses should pick and choose a handful of the solutions that meet their needs and technology budget.

We’d appreciate learning from your experiences. Which “must-have” business apps do you recommend? Share your comments below!

Source: InfoWorld, April 2013