Best Small Business Technology for Your Tech Stack

 

If you are like most small businesses you rely heavily on software subscriptions to streamline operations, manage tasks, and drive growth. However, with the abundance of technology choices available, picking the right tools for your business can be a daunting task.  Here are some strategies to help you manage your technology stack to ensure you are spending correctly and using the best tools for your business.

Assess Your Current Tech Stack

Before diving into the sea of available software solutions, take a close look at your existing technology stack. Identify the tools you’re currently using, what you’re paying for, and how comfortable you are with them. Often, there are features within your current tools you may not be using. By learning about all the capabilities you can get the most from your existing software and possibly eliminate redundancy or unnecessary expenses.

Define Your Objectives

There is always another shiny new toy of software product but before you decide whether you should sign up for another subscription clearly define your objectives and primary pain points. What specific tasks or goals are you looking to accomplish? Where do you current software tools fall short? Defining your will guide as you build a tech stack that aligns with your business objectives.

Evaluate Integration Capabilities

One crucial factor to consider when choosing new software is its integration capabilities with your existing systems. Direct integrations between tools minimize the need for manual data transfer and reduce the risk of errors. Look for solutions that seamlessly integrate with your current workflow to ensure smooth operations across your tech stack.  While a new tool may be awesome, if it requires you to completely rebuild entire databases or redo existing systems, there is a cost that should figure into your analysis.

Conduct Thorough Research

With numerous options available for each software category, conducting thorough research is essential. Explore multiple alternatives, read reviews, and seek recommendations from trusted sources. However, avoid the temptation to simply choose the top-recommended option without considering its suitability for your specific needs.

Trial and Iteration

Rather than committing to multiple software solutions at once, consider trialing one or two options initially. Use this trial period to assess how well the software meets your requirements and integrates with your existing stack. Take note of any pain points or shortcomings to inform your decision-making process.  And even if you think you have found the best choice, consider a month to month subscription until you are sure it  is the best fit for you.  There is nothing I hate more than waiting for my year to be up to make a change I know is right for me.

Onboarding Preparation

Making the switch can be painful, so take time to prepare for the change by planning  the onboarding phase.  This is especially important if you’re transitioning your entire team to a new software solution. Clearly outline the purpose of the tool and establish protocols for its implementation. Start by migrating small test groups of data to identify and address any issues before scaling up.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

As your technology stack grows, it’s essential to periodically evaluate the cost-benefit ratio of each tool. Create a detailed spreadsheet listing the tools you’re using, their costs, what you use the product for and the value they provide to your business. This analysis will help identify opportunities to optimize your stack by eliminating underutilized or redundant tools. I am always surprised by the small subscriptions business owners forget about, sometimes for years.  Don’t let that happen to you

Embrace Change

Finally, be willing to adapt and evolve your tech stack as your business needs change. Don’t be afraid to replace outdated or inefficient tools with more effective solutions, even if it requires a period of adjustment. Remember, the goal is to build a tech stack that enhances your productivity and drives business growth.

 

Favorite Small Business Tools for Your Tech Stack

Every business owner has their favorites, here’s my list of tools I couldn’t live without. 

Confession – I am a reseller for many of these products, so if you do sign up, I would appreciate it if you use my link.

 

Calendar: Calendly – This tool has saved me hours eliminating the back-and-forth emails to find the perfect time to meet. Best of all if you have simple scheduling needs, it is free forever!

Email Marketing: Constant Contact – There are other tools, but I have used Constant Contact since 2002.  It is affordable, easy to use, and  they have continued to update the product so it is still a best in class for small business.

Graphic Design: Canva – With templates for everything you might want to design, Canva lets anyone create beautiful custom graphics. This won’t replace a great professional designer, but will let you expand build on a foundation to look good everywhere.

Social Media Scheduling: Publer – This tool is how I manage to put be visible on so many platforms everyday.  I can post the same video or image to multiple channels, but adjust the description to match the platform.  I can schedule weeks and even months in advance, review engagement and reuse the best content

Video Shorts: Opus ClipThis is definitely my new favorite tool.  I have been creating video shorts for my podcast for about two years.  While they are extremely valuable, creating a one minute clip with captions could take 30 minutes or more.  With Opus Clips I can create 3 – 5 great clips in minute.  Their AI tool helps me quickly find the best clips and my custom templates insure they look like my brand.

Web Hosting: Siteground -Although I  don’t build websites these days, Siteground was my go to hosting company for all our clients for more than a decade. Their servers are fast, the tools are easy to use and the price is right.  Today, all my websites live on their servers.

Live Streaming: StreamyardStreamyard is a professional live streaming and recording studio in your browser. Record your content, or stream live to Facebook, YouTube, and other platforms.

Task List: TodoistWhen I ran an agency, I needed a much more robust project management tool.  But for a solo entrepreneur it was overkill so I went looking for a simple task list and found Todoist.  I love how easy it is to add tasks from my desktop, phone or inside my gmail.

Podcast Guest and Host Tool: Podmatch – As a podcaster I am always looking to make connections with other hosts and guests.  Podmatch is a wonderful community filled with everyone from experienced professionals to podcast newbies.  It is easy to fill your schedule with the connections you make here.

Podcast Hosting: PodbeanI have seen hosting platforms come and go, but since starting my podcast 14 years ago, I have been a fan of Podbean. Affordable, easy to use, and delivers each episode seamlessly to iTunes, Spotify and every other major distribution platform

Podcast Recording: Zencaster Zencastr is an all-in-one podcasting platform. Record, edit, distribute and monetize all from the same place. It’s never been easier to podcast.  What I love best is the transcript with every recording. Use code: MORETHANAFEWWORDS to save