For most small businesses and start-ups, making use of technology in the right way within your business model can pave the way to smoother operation, improved productivity and increased profits. Although technology can do wonders to the efficiency of business, most business owners have no idea how they can implement and integrate the right IT systems into their organizations.
Given the highly competitive nature of business today, regardless of the industry, streamlining your business processes via the use of technology can be the competitive advantage you need to stay ahead. Below we discuss some ways to incorporate IT into your small business operations:
- Make use of cloud computing: Cloud computing services and subscription based software can be a very cost effective way to manage your team and IT resources. The ease of access that cloud computing provides and the centralized databases mean that your employees can access and update data while on the move. Cloud computing has also changed the way IT resources are purchased and used within the organization. With cloud computing companies don’t have to invest in purchasing full software packages for each individual PC but instead can pay for software as the need arises. This is usually done using subscription based models where you pay as you go for the services used. As a result cloud computing brings significant cost savings when it comes to managing and implementing IT resources for your business.
- Deploy smart devices: For businesses that operate while on the move at a variety of locations rather than within the confines of a standard office, using smart devices can have a huge impact on how efficiently the business runs. Providing your employees with devices such as tablets can change the way they access data and provide services to customers. Smart devices can directly impact the productivity of your workforce. They can use such devices to improve on-site data collection, improve reporting and invoicing, provide better quotations and even a better sales pitch.
- Integrated software solutions: A business generally comprises of a few separate entities (or departments) that work together to help you run smoothly. Usually made up of a sales department to handle product or service sales to customers, then billings to deal with accounts, payments and invoicing, a customer service department that handles complaints, maintains service quality and customer satisfaction, and some businesses may have more. Making use of modern technology and integrated software solutions each of these business elements can share data between each other and manage information from a centralized system. Using such integrated software can simplify a lot of business processes making it easier to manage employees as well as customers.Making use of custom software in conjunction with smart devices can completely change the way business is done. One such example is for simplifying some trades businesses in Australia – in most cases these types of trade jobs generally involve employees going to various job sites to inspect the work to be done before quoting a price to the customer, after which approval is obtained and the job date scheduled. To simplify this process of quoting and to manage customer quotes and jobs a new quotation software known as KlickQuotes has made an appearance with the intention of streamlining trades businesses. Using this software employees can create quotes on site which are immediately emailed to the customer using an automated system, this software also allows the management of jobs, employees, quotes and customers all from one centralized location as the data is stored within the cloud.
- Better project & client management: Using technology can significantly improve project management and client management within the business. Purchasing project management software for your business can streamline and organize the way you handle projects. Project management software such as ActiveColab can allow your employees and project team to work together on a single project, create milestones and tasks as well as share documentation and information pertaining to a project all using a single system. Similarly client management software and CRMs can provide for smoother, efficient business operations.