4 Areas to Include Tech in Your Small Business
Maximizing efficiency while minimizing cost is the goal of every company looking for positive cash flow. As technology continues to adapt to the needs of the modern economy, small business owners are finding that with tech support and products, they can leverage the company’s limited capital in more effective ways.
New businesses are finding it easier to incorporate technology into a variety of their departments and services, while older companies have to make adjustments to fully understand the benefits of a digitized world. While there are challenges with integrating technology and transitioning between old processes and new streamlined ones, the benefits that will accompany a new system or device will quickly squash any bad memories.
If you aren’t sure what your company could use by way of a digital upgrade, consider the following areas of operations and how tech can help.
Time tracking software can be used to help you establish accountability measures for employee productivity. This a tool that reports what time is spent on what projects and by whom. It helps promote productivity and process improvement.
Digital dictation can help streamline the work processes that are tedious. Digital recorders can take notes during meetings and corresponding software can transcribe the information.
Project management tools will keep you from forgetting deadlines, material purchases, completion timelines, and your daily list of things that must be done. This software can also be shared among managers, keeping everyone in the loop about progress, changes, or areas where additional resources might be needed.
Digital filing systems can minimize isolated data and mountains of paperwork. With critical information stored online, it is easier to share documents between departments, save important updates or memos, or search for necessary documents in a moment.
Encourage an email management process to help sift through inbox distractions. Maximize your time by using email rules to sift through priority clients or employees, and eliminate unnecessary interruptions by turning off your notifications.
Use Internet-based funding opportunities, such as public investment through Crowdfunding or private investment with Matthew Ocko , to give your cash flow a boost. Completing online applications cuts down on paperwork and improves the efficiency of approval.
Collect payments from customers through online invoicing services. This can improve your collections numbers, develop more consistent cash flow numbers, and eliminate time-consuming billing tasks in the accounting department.
Online budget tracking can give you the most-up-to-date reporting on your company’s finances. Smartphone connections allow you to track purchases and determine where your expenses are getting out of control.
Develop a website that allows you to sell your products online. This improves your income stream and creates more brand loyalty and awareness.
Purchase a comprehensive accounting software system that is hosted through the cloud to streamline your business finances. Train your bookkeeping or accounting department in report running and sending digital files to keep the stream of financial information up-to-date and easily accessible by department heads.
Create a marketing plan through a software system that allows for team collaboration and quality reporting. Choose a program that will employ data analytics to show you the most effective areas of your strategy or areas that need to be revisited.
Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Youtube, and Pinterest are digital sources of some of the most affordable marketing opportunities your company can find. You don’t need a lot of expensive training, as these platforms are user-friendly and will go a long way in developing your identity with your target market. Use these sites to develop an online advertising plan with a narrow demographic.
Develop a website that is designed to convert visitors into leads. Include an opt-in form on the site where you can collect email addresses and use the power of email marketing. Add a blog to your website where guests and customers can stay informed on what is happening in your industry and at your company. Keep the content fresh and engaging with video blogs, linked articles, and guest posts.
Collaboration and Training
Use teleconferencing to help connect team members in different locations during important meetings. Using virtual office set-ups with video chatting provides visual inclusion for strategic planning or evaluations.
Conduct webinars or web conferences to keep everyone aware of changes or trends in the company. This limits travel expenses and still encourage face-to-face virtual participation.
Use online business training platforms to keep certifications or licensing requirements valid. These platforms can also be used to make the onboarding process more efficient and thorough.
Take advantage of cloud-based services and storage. Using cloud-based hosting agencies further strengthens your data security but makes collaboration more timely and affordable.
Technology has done a lot for the business sector, and you don’t need to be a Fortune 500 to enjoy its benefits. With some small changes here and there, you can create a more efficient operating system that saves money, reduces the potential for error, and creates more times for focusing on the customer or new product development.