Small businesses are at a disadvantage trying to make their mark in their respective market. With limited resources and time to make a business successful, taking advantage of technology could be vital to help them compete with larger companies. Technology can help small business owners leverage limited capital in smarter, more effective ways. In some cases, using technology provides greater efficiency and versatility, making it a tool to help maximize practices already being conducted at the business. However, you may need to make some adjustments to reap the benefits of tech-friendly alternatives.
The good news is that the benefits often outweigh the short-lived challenges of the transitional process, once new systems are in place. You can use technology in the four business practices listed below to narrow the resource gap between you and your more established competitors:
There are a plethora of productivity tools out there that can help you increase the efficiency of your business.Therefore, you will start to get more done and hopefully achieve a higher stream of revenue as well.
Time tracking software is a great tool to determine where time is spent and by whom. This helps you spot where time is being wasted and opportunities to increase efficiency. Such analysis, when properly utilized, is great for accountability, process improvement and productivity.
You should also utilize project management and task management tools to stay on top of your daily business responsibilities. A great one to get started with is Trello, it has a simple interface and a lot of free features to make it great for business owners using software like this for the first time. If you’re more experienced or have a more complicated business, Microsoft Project offers powerful tools to meet all your needs.
And finally, you should create a digital filing system to make it easier to sort, save, share and find documents.
There are tools that can help you manage your company’s finances and spot wasteful spending, as a result, will increase your bottom line.
If you haven’t already, you should use an online invoicing system to reduce costs of collecting payments from customers. Also use online budget tracking to keep track of, and reduce, your expenses.
An increasing number of consumers are online shopping these days; therefore, it is necessary that you create an online presence to sell your product. To keep your finances more efficient you should share digital files with your bookkeeper or accountant consistently to improve your ongoing bookkeeping processes.
You might also want to explore open source applications to replace more costly name brand ones. For accounting you could explore GnuCash, OpenElement is a good one for web designing and eHour could help with tracking time.
Software can help you market your business better by streamlining workflows and increasing collaboration between different marketing channels.
Utilize social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, etc. to promote your business, products and services. Once you are on these platforms, some social media sites will allow you to do video marketing, which will help humanize your product. Tutorials are available for whatever platform you would like to use.
If you want your consumers to be a targeted audience, you might want to consider starting a blog. Domain builders such as WordPress and Wix offer easy to use tools to help you get started.
Once you build your website, you can start collecting email addresses through an opt-in form and start utilizing the power of email marketing.
Collaboration and Learning
Technology can help coordinate your team and train them to increase productivity.
Ever since the pandemic came into our world last year, working remotely has become a common practice for a lot of businesses. If you are working remotely, you should conduct regular teleconference calls to make sure your team is on the same page. Zoom and Microsoft Teams are popular platforms for a lot of businesses.
You should expand your teams and your own knowledge with online business training. This will help provide knowledge as you integrate more technology in your company. Kutztown Small Business Development Center has a growing collection of free courses that focuses on small businesses. Microsoft Office Training also provides useful tutorials of getting familiar with new and challenging interfaces.
Companies should be sharing files and data on the cloud and communicate quickly and clearly with your team through team messaging. Applications such as Slack and GroupMe are popular with a lot of companies.