Digital tools you should invest in as your online business grows

Every successful entrepreneur in the online publishing space has to survive the “small-to-big” transition if they are to move from effectively running their own high-traffic online news sites to multiple website ownership. Becoming a small online publishing company can be incredibly difficult if you don’t have a strategic plan in place to manage change. Fortunately, the digital age has enabled entrepreneurs such as blog owners to explore new and innovative ways to overcome these hurdles and flourish. There are a plethora of digital tools that you can invest in that will help your online business to grow, expand your influence and provide smart ways to work and evolve.

You may have already encountered difficulties with transforming your business processes if you have recently been faced with the prospect of communicating and organising activities on an international level. Online businesses often involve people working across the globe so it is incredibly important that you are able to create, distribute and collaborate with ease. This culture change can be difficult to cultivate if you have been operating as an individual entrepreneur and are now looking to become the owner of a larger company. Computer software firm Diligent offers the world’s leading solution to this problem by providing secure digital boards and meeting management software that makes communication and meetings easier to arrange and document.

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Diligent products

Diligent currently helps more than 3,100 clients, including British Gas, Bupa and Aegon, in over 60 countries to “collaborate securely” with its Diligent Boards and Teams products. Establishing and cultivating strategic partnerships is central to the success of an online publishing business and Diligent makes it incredibly easy for everyone, wherever they are in the world, to access confidential and time-sensitive information in order to drive better strategic thinking and decision making. Diligent Teams is a particularly useful digital tool as it provides simple collaboration both inside and outside the organisation. This means that you will be able to work either side of the firewall to share documents, provision new users and gather feedback while being safe in the knowledge that you will be able to control, audit and revoke access when you want.

Becoming more organised is essential if you are to successfully manage the transition to becoming an online news publishing business so focusing on productivity tools will save time and minimise distraction. Both Evernote and Onenote are digital tools that can be used across devices, so you can work together, share and edit content and access all of your notes on computers, tablets and smartphones. You will need to leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) to grow your business and these digital tools will ensure that important contact details, statistics and your business plan can be viewed at anytime, anywhere.

Tech tools for a smart business

Investing in the right technology is the smart way to grow your business in 2016 and beyond as it will increase revenue and streamline every one of your business processes. HubSpot is ideal for online publishing companies as it caters for all of your digital marketing requirements, from SEO to lead generation, to social media and contact management. HubSpot makes it easier for you to implement an effective marketing campaign and provides easy to analyse data to find out your keyword rankings, traffic and other important website analytics. This meaningful data will allow you to generate reports that can act as a catalyst for further site improvements. Hubspot also features an intuitive, user-friendly control panel that can manage a variety of content with one login.

Power PDF is another tool that can provide a foundation to master your document workflows. Publishing companies have to handle a vast amount of important articles and documents and professional PDF solutions can create, convert and share these files via a virtually universal format and protect them using secure passwords and encryption.

Social media marketing

If you have the desire to grow your business then you must embrace social media. The most successful businesses now have a multitude of channels with which they communicate and engage with their target audience every day. Monitoring social media pages, from Facebook to Instagram, can be a time-consuming process if you are in the transition phase but tools like Hootsuite can provide a helping hand by managing and scheduling every post and blog you make online for multiple accounts with just one click. Hootsuite claims to let you do “more with social media” and combines best-in-class collaboration, analytics, security and apps to increase your social reach. It will also scale your social media efforts as your company grows, adapting to your new business objectives, which is great for newly established small online publishing companies.

Entrepreneurs that started out as bloggers and are used to a focused, singular business vision may not fully appreciate the importance of developing contacts with professionals. LinkedIn is one of the most recommended social media resources and it can help you establish yourself as an authority in the world of online publishing by highlighting your accomplishments and sharing your content. It is also the leading professional social network, so try to incorporate this often overlooked tool alongside your other social media activities.

Cloud

The cloud is a gateway to constantly evolving and power tools that can reduce the cost of traditional hardware and maintenance. For example, both Google Drive and Dropbox are invaluable resources for collaborative projects alongside other tools, such as Trigger, Harvest, BaseCamp and Trello. Another essential element of a growing online business is the issue of finances and your choice of accountancy software. Vendors such as Sage offer accountancy tools and solutions that can be integrated with other applications so you can keep on top of your payroll, invoices and other monetary obligations. Other standalone tools, such as YouNeedABudget.com can also track income and expenses for smaller businesses.

By embracing the digital tools listed here and following a coherent strategic plan, you can begin to grow your business and effectively manage the transition to becoming the owner of a larger publishing company in the online world.

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