Top 5 tools transforming small businesses

{This article has been updated to put a spotlight on top 5 tools transforming small businesses.}

As a small business owner growing business in an era where digital transformation defines how you do business, have unprecedented opportunities to thrive and expand your reach. Embrace the right technologies, and these tools become game-changers, offering you enhanced productivity, improved customer experiences, and a competitive edge. In this article, we will explore the top 5  tools that can empower your small business to navigate the complexities of the modern business landscape.

Top 5 tools transforming small businesses

Here are the top five technologies for your small business to consider:

Looker Studio

Looker Studio is an indispensable tool that every business should have in its toolkit for harnessing the power of data. With Looker Studio, you can effortlessly transform raw data into insightful, easy-to-understand, and fully customizable dashboards and reports. Here’s why Looker Studio is a must-have:

1. Data Storytelling: Looker Studio empowers you to craft compelling data narratives using a drag-and-drop report editor. Create visually appealing charts like line, bar, and pie charts, geo maps, area and bubble graphs, paginated data tables, pivot tables, and more.

2. Interactivity: Make your reports come alive with interactive elements such as viewer filters and date range controls. The data control feature allows you to turn any report into a flexible template that anyone can use to explore their own data.

3. Hyperlink Integration: Seamlessly include links and clickable images within your reports to create product catalogs, video libraries, and other hyperlinked content, enhancing the user experience.

4. Branding and Annotation: Personalize your reports by adding annotations and branding elements such as text and images. This feature helps you convey your unique message and style.

5. Styling Options: Apply various styles and color themes to transform your data stories into works of data visualization art, ensuring that your reports not only inform but also engage your audience.

Other features of Looker Studio includes:

Connectivity: Looker Studio offers easy access to a wide variety of data sources. Its built-in connectors and partner integrations enable you to connect to virtually any type of data, with access to over 1000 data sets from more than 850 connectors, including popular services like Google Analytics, Google Ads, Cloud Spanner, Campaign Manager 360, Google Sheets, AppSheet, and many others.

Data Visualization: Quickly and intuitively create interactive reports and dashboards using Looker Studio’s web-based reporting tools. You can build your own reports or explore a library of visualizations to find the perfect fit for your data.

Sharing and Collaboration: Share your reports and dashboards with individuals, teams, or the wider world. Collaborate in real-time with colleagues to enhance decision-making. Embed your reports seamlessly into web pages for broader accessibility.

Community Insights: Gain inspiration and insights from what others have created by exploring the Looker Studio gallery, where you can view reports and dashboards built by the Looker community.

Looker Studio is one of the tools transforming small businesses and expedient in harnessing the power of data to drive success. It is free to use.


Dropbox offers one of the best ways to store, sync, and share files securely, along with the admin tools IT needs to protect your business. Dropbox for Business works with all the apps your team already uses to be productive — everything from Word and Excel to Photoshop and Acrobat. With its intuitive interface, it’s easy to create a folder, share it, and start collaborating instantly. Say goodbye to clunky FTP servers, on-site storage, and large email attachments. Use Dropbox like a server. Especially for small businesses, the cost of a Dropbox account can be much cheaper than buying an in-house server and having to hire someone to maintain it.

You can share files with clients, customers, and partners, and know that it’s secure. Dropbox for Business uses strong cipher encryption in transit and at rest, as well as file segmentation and hashing to anonymize stored data. You  can secure your account even further with authentication features like single sign-on (SSO) support and two-step verification. Dropbox supports Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, and Linux, providing a seamless way to work across different platforms.

Office 365

Based on a subscription model, Office 365 is an online suite of software products that can help boost your team’s productivity. Use familiar desktop applications such as Word, Access, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher, OneNote, Outlook, and SharePoint Online. Office 365 is Microsoft’s fastest selling product with revenues growing over 100 percent quarterly.

Top reasons small businesses should use Office 365:

  • One user license allows installation on up to five devices
  • Easy to administer via the web-based Admin Console
  • 24/7 technical support is included
  • Office for iPad, tablets, and mobile devices now available
  • Receive new feature sets as they become available, providing an “Evergreen” product

BRAND NEW! Microsoft today launches Office 365 Video!

According to Redmond Magazine, “This Office 365 Video service is part of SharePoint Online. It facilitates the uploading and sharing of videos within groups in an organization, as permitted by IT through Active Directory access management. The service provides an easy way for end users to upload videos to portal pages using a Web interface. Files can be dragged and dropped onto the interface to upload them. Microsoft encrypts the videos in transit and at rest.”

Hootsuite or Buffer

Both Hootsuite and Buffer are great tools that will help you be more organized and deliver better social media results. The best way to decide which one is right for your business is to analyze your situation.

Hootsuite’s strengths:

  • Vast variety of features
  • Ability to monitor numerous streams at the same time
  • Schedule posts in bulk

Hootsuite’s weaknesses:

  • Overly complex dashboard (takes a bit of time to become familiar with the interface)
  • Price – the free and pro plans are limited, and the enterprise plan can get pricey

Buffer and Hootsuite could not be more opposite. Buffer is like Hootsuite’s younger, simpler cousin.

Buffer’s strengths:

  • Simplified sharing and messaging
  • User-friendly and self-explanatory
  • Easy-to-understand analytics
  • Offers a Free Plan and an Awesome Plan that is cost-effective (and comes with unlimited hugs from the Buffer team!)

If you manage numerous social accounts and have lots of followers then Hootsuite might be your better option. Because of its complexity,  it might take a while to get familiar with all of its features and best practices, but once you do your social media life will be much easier.

On the other hand, if your social media time is limited and you want something that is super quick for scheduling updates, Buffer is a great tool. Simple, fast and efficient – it might be your best choice.

Or, you can use both, as Hootsuite and Buffer have the ability to complement each other very well. Scheduling is definitely easier with Buffer, but you still need to be able to respond and interact with your followers, which is where Hootsuite does the better job.


As a small business, you likely use email newsletters to keep your users updated. MailChimp is an excellent email marketing service that lets you design, send, and track HTML email campaigns with their easy-to-use user interface. MailChimp tracks trends and monitors list growth, allowing you to see the impact your campaigns have on social networks, measures your return on investment, and more.

MailChimp lets you send emails, manage subscribers, offer superb tracking, setup auto-responders, create beautiful email templates, target subscribers, and A/B split test your campaigns. MailChimp does have a free option with certain limitations (Up to 2000 subscribers and 12,000 emails/month), but their paid service is well worth the cost.

Do you need help securing your digital transformation initiatives, contact us right away or use the form below!

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