Growing businesses work at a frenetic pace. You know technology can help alleviate some of the pains associated with this — but what happens when your small business doesn’t even have the resources to implement the very systems that can help you?

There’s no way around it: You’ve got to invest a little time now in order to save time later. Here are five must-haves to keep in mind as you evaluate technology for your growing business.

1) Easy automation

Dirty truth: Repetitive tasks are the enemy of growing businesses. Automation may sound intimidating, but really it’s just an easy way for smaller teams to be more efficient. As you evaluate, look for a product that offers workflows and automation. Today’s tools are designed so that even the most technically-challenged among us can set up automated emails, approval workflows, and other efficiencies to speed processes.

2) Plug-and-play integration

Today there are apps to solve every issue, but keep in mind that dozens of disconnected apps give you siloed data — and lots of frustration. Make sure you’re looking at apps that integrate with others other or come in a platform solution that offers plug-and-play connectivity. Sharing data is essential to growth; it helps your team run efficiently and provide the kind of experience today’s customers expect.

3) Artificial intelligence (AI)

Many solutions today feature built-in intelligence that acts as a virtual assistant, finding the data you need, reminding you to make certain calls, and making sure nothing falls through the cracks. At a basic level, AI removes some guesswork, so you can concentrate on moving the needle; it lets sales teams know which opportunities are ripe, service teams know which customers are unhappy, and marketing teams know which leads to nurture. AI is here to stay; you need to invest in an intelligent platform if you want to keep up.

4) Scalability

Growing businesses often make technology decisions based on what they need now, rather than what they will need in the future. We get it: it’s hard to know what you’ll need in six days, let alone six months. But you’ve got to have a long-term vision for your technology; be sure your products will scale for more users and easily integrate with other solutions so you won’t outgrow your technology faster than you think.

The right technology helps young businesses grow responsibly. Finding the right solutions mean less flying by the seat of your pants, and more growing like a weed. Start now by looking at the Small Business Solutions from Salesforce.

This article originally appeared in The Salesforce Blog.


This article was written by Ruthie Miller from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.