Over the past year, many companies have scrambled to adapt their operations to the realities of employees suddenly working from home and customers no longer comfortable with in-person interactions. They implemented new tech tools that helped solve those challenges—and many discovered new opportunities along the way.
We asked entrepreneurs the top business tech tools their company adopted in the past 12 months. Here’s how they responded:
Loom (video messaging)
We are a marketing consultancy that works specifically with financial advisors. The best tech tool we’ve adopted over the past year is the Loom video message recorder. It makes it easy to record and share quick videos. This has been extremely useful in a number of areas. For example, I use the videos to record instructions and examples of me doing tasks for freelancers we hire. I also use the videos when doing cold outreach to people so they know I’m not just copying and pasting a message to thousands of people. They can see the video and know I recorded it specifically for them. This has improved my response rate dramatically.
—James Pollard, founder, The Advisor Coach, Claymont, Delaware
“They can see the video and know I recorded it specifically for them.”
Connectteam (team collaboration)
The best tech tool I’ve adopted over the past year is Connectteam. It is a communication tool that allows my employees to connect through individual chat and group chats. Connectteam has helped with maintaining day-to-day communication and collaboration within my company. It is easy to use, and its design encourages efficient and interactive participation between all levels of employees. Managers can effectively track progress without wasting time searching for information.
—Tyler Forte, founder and CEO, Felix Homes, Nashville
Klaviyo (ecommerce marketing)
We have an ecommerce business and started using Klaviyo ecommerce marketing software in 2020. We chose it because it’s optimized for upselling and generating more revenue. The features we find most valuable are audience segmentation tools, pre-built automation and campaigns, A/B testing, and its compatibility with Shopify.
—Darren Litt, co-founder, Hiya Health, Los Angeles
As part of our pivot due to COVID-19, we started utilizing the customer relationship management (CRM) software HubSpot. It particularly helped us by allowing us to email promotions to our existing customer base. In the awning business, it often takes years (or an act of God) for our customers to need us again—so relationships often become neglected. Utilizing CRM software to increase engagement through referral promotions has helped us grow despite the pandemic.
—Mike Falahee, owner, Marygrove Awnings, Livonia, Michigan
Ahrefs (SEO data)
The best tech tool that my company has adopted over the past year is Ahrefs. This is computer software that takes an overall picture of a website and breaks it down into easy-to-read search-engine optimization data. Kind of like an x-ray machine for a website. During the pandemic, my company committed to building a bigger presence on the web through SEO. Ahrefs gave us the data to do that, including assessing potential backlinks and keywords.
—Jake Irving, owner, Willamette Life Insurance, Beaverton, Oregon
Zoom (video conferencing)
We are an adult daycare center, and when the first wave of COVID-19 hit, it was untenable to keep our doors open. So we pivoted and created an online version of our activity curriculum over Zoom video conferencing. Thanks to its ease of use, accessibility and reliability, Zoom has made it possible for us to keep more and more seniors connected and mentally fit (from a distance). The seniors have adapted exceptionally well to the new Zoom technology.
—Susan Eichler, founder and owner, Dayscape Adult Care Center, Coconut Creek, Florida
Google Analytics (website and advertising analytics)
Being cooped up all day during the pandemic forced me to learn about many things I didn’t know I needed to know. My greatest discovery was the power of Google Analytics. Before, I was posting advertisements on places I thought I could appeal to customers. After I learned about Google Analytics and started using it, I could track and see how well my ads were doing. I was able to see my ROI as well as track my social networking sites. I’ve generated a lot more revenue by understanding how ads work.
—Manny Vetti, president, Back Taxes Help, Stamford, Connecticut
What is your favorite new tech tool for businesses? Share your insights in the comment section below.Print this article