Building a successful business requires a lot more than simply implementing a repeatable business model. Instead, it requires entrepreneurs to be able to deal with and handle a lot of unexpected challenges and problems. Recently, dealing with those challenges has become a bit easier, thanks to new technologies and services. Here are six technologies, services and companies that solve common problems all entrepreneurs face.
Office space — Micro Office
Finding the right office for your business cannot only be challenging, it can also be very expensive. Micro Office is trying to help make the process easier, especially for companies. The service provides companies with full furnished offices, conference rooms and a mailing address along with many other options. Micro Office also provides virtual office options that give a mailing address, phone number, voicemail forwarding, and monthly usage of conference rooms.
Pricing plans vary based on the services a company needs, but start at $99 a month for virtual office solutions and range up to $700 a month for a super-service plan. Tenants will need to provide computers and pay additional for telephone calls and high-speed Internet for the office. Micro Office will have seven locations by the end of the summer, mainly in New York, with one office opening in Chicago.
Business security — Divide
Smartphones and tablets have become a bit of a double-edged sword for businesses. On the one hand these devices have helped to make workers more productive, but on the other they have also created security concerns for businesses as well. Divide can help businesses protect themselves from some of those BYOD dangers. The app attempts to do this by dividing workers' devices so that the employees can have a fully encrypted workspace on their phones and tablets that IT administrators can manage, but still maintain their privacy.
The app is free and currently available for Android and Apple devices. Workers have full access to their personal data on their smartphones, but are also able to access work data securely by entering a pin.
Supply chain management — Biz Slate
Enterprise resources planning systems are generally not something associated with small businesses for a number of reasons. First, those systems that integrate data from various departments within an organization, including accounting, manufacturing, sales, service and others, are generally very expensive and require lots of training. BizSlate is attempting to simplify that process for small businesses by offering a cloud-based solution to supply chain issues.
The services offered by BizSlate can help businesses in a number of ways, but chiefly businesses can benefit by keeping closer track of inventory and improving shipment time frames, which can lower costs and increase customer happiness. ERP services from BizSlate can range in the tens of thousands of dollars, but traditional ERP services can cost in the hundreds of thousands. More pricing information can be obtained from BizSlate.
Consulting — Sound Advice Consulting Services
Growing a business can be a challenge for even the most experienced entrepreneurs. For those new to entrepreneurship, dealing with the basic needs of a successful business such as staffing and consulting services can be even more overwhelming. Sound Advice Consulting Services is attempting to help startups and, more important, the entrepreneurs running them by providing them with everything from hiring and talent acquisition services to outsourced human resources and accounting services.
The service deals mainly with startups and customizes their plans to meet the individual needs of a company. As a result, Sound Advice says their plans have customized pricing based on company needs.
Data analytics — Roambi
Big Data has been a popular buzzword for more than a year now, but many small businesses still associate the concept with larger companies and corporations. However, smaller businesses are now able to take full advantage of Big Data solutions, thanks to new technologies and apps. One of those apps is Roambi, which provides business intelligence solutions to businesses of any size. Those solutions, which include sales and customer data, are provided to companies in real-time through the Roambi app.
Currently, Roambi is only available in the Apple App store, but the company recently launched a cloud platform. Pricing for Roambi varies, but the new cloud platform costs $39.99 per user a month and has a minimum of 10 users. Roambi also has solutions for larger businesses. More pricing information can be found on the Roambi website.
Sales development — Business Leads
Tracking down sales leads can be one of the most challenging aspects of being a small business owner. Business Leads is trying to help small business owners meet that challenge by crowdsourcing. Businesses looking for a particular lead post their need on the site and bounty hunters can then reap financial benefit for connecting companies with leads they are looking for. An example currently running on Business Leads offers $80 to someone who is able to provide a company with leads to payroll services companies in South Florida.
The service is free for companies to post lead requests. The only time companies pay a bounty is when they are satisfied with their referral. Business Leads also takes 15 percent of each bounty payment.