5 Essential Software Tools to Get Your Business Through Tough Economic Times

By Jessica Wishart

5 Essential Software Tools to Get Your Business Through Tough Economic Times

With so much uncertainty and many experts warning we are on the cusp of an economic downturn or possible recession, you may be looking to eliminate expenses and shore up your cash. While you can't cut your way to growth, you've got to ensure you are positioning your company well to withstand uncertain times with the capital to survive and thrive. If you're re-evaluating your tech stack, you're not alone.
 

Here are some software tools to add to your "no-cut" list:

  1. Asynchronous Collaboration Tools. This one almost goes without saying; you can't run a business without the ability to communicate effectively. If you're the kind of company that likes testing out a variety of tools, this could be a good time to pare down your list of collaboration tools to the essentials. Using a shared workspace like Microsoft or Google for emails, shared documents, calendars, and chat is table stakes.
     
    Rather than having messages coming across from a variety of platforms, consolidating to just a few channels that are used company-wide can have the dual benefit of saving on license fees and helping your team to focus. If you've got requests coming in via Slack, text messages, emails, social media, or inboxes within apps, you're more likely to miss something and also feel overwhelmed. For departments that need power tools to do their work (like Jira for engineers or an inventory system for a warehouse), choose tools that integrate with your primary collaboration workspace.
     
  2. Automation Tools. Don't pay your smart, talented team to do simple, repeatable tasks. You need those brains focused on solving business problems and taking care of your customers. Automate what you can so that your team can focus on more important work. Automation tools like Zapier and Tray can help you remove repetitive busy work from your day and keep your company productive and profitable. These tools can also help with keeping your collaboration tools under control, funneling notifications into a single inbox.
     
  3. CRM System. Now's not the time to skimp on customer intelligence. Your ability to provide top-notch customer service, really listen to your customers, understand their needs (which may have changed over the last few months or years), and provide the best possible experience is key to your success. As our friend and customer experience guru, John DiJulius says, "Customer loyalty is every company’s greatest asset in any economy." If you don't believe this already, run the numbers on how much it costs to acquire a new customer compared to continuing to service an existing one.
     
    Capturing customer insights in your CRM system where the whole team can see it and use it to deliver quality experiences is especially critical when money is tight. You want to be on your customer's "no-cut" list, so don't skimp on systems and tools that help you deliver exceptional value.
     
    If you're not already using a CRM, you can start with some great free options on the market. For example, HubSpot's CRM is free. (Here's a list of other free CRM systems to check out.)
     
  4. Remote Meeting Platform. Whether it's Zoom, MSTeams, Webex, or another solution, having a remote meeting tool has become essential for most businesses. Even for teams that are back in the office full time, being able to communicate with customers, partners, vendors and other stakeholders likely will necessitate using a tool like this.
     
    Maintaining some flexible work hours and remote work options can also help you retain and recruit talent. Flexibility to work remotely when needed has become increasingly important for workers, many of whom have left jobs to seek more flexibility elsewhere. (Don't worry, I won't go on and on about "the great resignation" but having tools in place to facilitate remote work will be necessary for many businesses to succeed.)
     
    For some companies, shifting to remote or hybrid work permanently can open up the possibility to bring in talent from other places at a lower cost, open up new markets to service, or save on overhead expenses of running an office. Of course, there are trade-offs and each business has unique needs, but having the tools and infrastructure to support remote work is one component of your essential tech stack for the future.
     
  5. Strategy Execution System. In times of economic uncertainty, your strategy and precision of execution matter more than ever. When the economy is good, you don't have to be as disciplined in choosing the right few things to focus on. But, when resources are constrained, you can't spread them out to try many different strategies to see what sticks, and you certainly can't afford sloppy execution. You need a system to choose the right few strategies to focus on, break those down into actionable plans, communicate those plans clearly and effectively throughout the organization, and measure progress with visible dashboards. That's where Rhythm strategy execution software comes in. We have the best strategy execution software platform on the market, and our methodology has helped companies survive and thrive in good economic times and bad for over 16 years.
 
Our team of experts is ready to help you find the right strategy to achieve your dreams and goals, no matter the economy. Armed with the right strategy and the right tools, you'll be ready for anything.
 
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