Running a small business calls for tight budget controls, and many owners don’t think they can stretch to the kind of systems that will streamline their operations. With so much competition from tech-savvy startups, however, can they really afford not to?
Although it’s tempting to avoid the cost of additional software and do everything yourself, investing in technology systems will free up time and boot your bottom line in the long run. Plus, you don’t have to spend much to reap the many rewards that the Internet has to offer. So, from time trackers to automated payroll systems in your office, here are just some of the ways modern technology can transform your small business.
It doesn’t matter whether you head up a team of 50 people or you work alone, productivity trackers (or time-tracking software) will allow you to see where your business hours are being spent, and how you could become more efficient. If you’re guilty of procrastination or you suspect you have a dead-weight employee in your team, this software will help you stay accountable of your work time and keep an eye on your workers. It is easily installed onto a single computer, or can be purchased as part of a full business management system.
You could also use digital dictation to streamline your work processes, as well as creating a cloud-based filing system, making it easier to find and share documents.
Payroll and invoicing are two tasks that have the ability to sap resources from any business, so you should be making the most of online software if you want to free up time and manpower in your business. The XCD HR core package is a “single solution” software program that negates the need for manual entry in a number of areas (such as payroll and admin tasks), so it’s a great way to streamline your money matters.
If your business doesn’t have a social media marketing strategy, you’re missing a trick. The Internet provides endless opportunities to promote your products or services to the masses, and it’s free. In the modern world of business, you should be making the most of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube, if you want to reach new customers and stay ahead of your competitors.
If you’re keen to harness the power of Internet marketing, you can also hire a content writer to keep a business blog that’s related to your target audience and use video marketing to attract new customers.
These days, you need to be using social media so that your customers can contact you quickly and easily. If nothing else, set up accounts on Facebook and Twitter and make sure they are regularly monitored and that customer comments or complaints are promptly replied to. You may be reluctant to move your customer service online, but it is much more convenient than telephone systems for both you and your clients, and it costs next to nothing. You can also use online surveys and questionnaires to collect customer feedback to help you understand your target audience and adjust your offering.