Time is money, and you need to save as much of both when it comes to running a successful business. Therefore, it’s time to wise up and save yourself some valuable hours by utilising what’s available to you on the market. Technology is constantly evolving and changing to improve the processes within a company, so start using it!
There’s no time like the present to put your thinking hat on, go through your business with a fine toothed comb, and start implementing changes and introducing new software and tech that will help your small company generate more hours and minutes for your team to take advantage of. Who knows what more you’ll be able to achieve in your business with extra time; you will soon, so read on.
Goodbye Note Books
However old school, you like to keep things; it’s time to give your notepad and pens their redundancy. Whether you’re using a tablet, laptop, or the latest iPhone, you’re able to capture all the information that you need to note down immediately, on any device. Having the info there digitally from the get go can save valuable time in translating what the information means for your business and on the process of yourself, or a member of your team, writing it up so everyone can understand. Details can be sent back to your office in real-time and can go up and be automatically saved into your company’s data so that they can be recorded and utilised straight away.
The faster that instruction and knowledge are used, the quicker your business will function. There are a variety of tablets that can be taken into the meeting room, to a conference, or a networking event, and if typing isn’t your thing; use a stylus. The tech is there for you to write down information, as you would on a notepad or paper with a traditional pen, index what you’ve written and transfer it to where it needs to be. Check out some of the best apps for taking notes on your tablet here and start downloading a few to see what will suit your business the best.
If you’re still not being swayed and cannot bear to give up your stationery; there’s still the right tech out there for you. There are apps available that will import your handwritten notes into digital form, simply by photographing them. However, you might need to check for the odd typo, but it will still save you the time of typing up your notes yourself, so they’re worth checking out.
Forget The Flights
Meetings and informal discussion are the keys to the growth and success of a small business. Therefore speaking regularly with the right people is a must, and will lead to new ideas and opportunities for your company. However, if the right person’s business is across the country, or overseas; it can be an expensive meeting of minds to pay out for. Cut the need for fuel, rail passes, and plane tickets, and utilise video conferencing.
Work out the time differences and choose a suitable hour to communicate with who you need to. Download the right technology, whether it’s Skype, Adobe Connect, or any of the other communication software that’s available on the market, and utilise it straight away. Using technology designed for business communication will save you hours of travel and the money you’d otherwise spend on tickets, which are vital when you’re running a small business.
Discover what your competitors and peers are using the most when it comes to video conference software and invest in the most popular version; this will ensure that you’re able to successfully communicate with other business’ easily. Networking events and talks can be a massive expense, that will impact any small business, so utilising the tech to watch a live stream or a pre-recording of something that will help your company to develop, is a smart choice.
Advance Your Admin
There will always be processes within your company that needs a human touch; customer service being one of them for example. However, you need to filter out what activities can be done by technology and software instead. Hiring a person to complete certain aspects of your company’s admin is an expensive decision, especially when there is tech already available to help.
Time-consuming administrative and accounting duties, like invoice validation and stock control, can be completed by a computer, rather than a human having to sift through mountains of date. Implementing the correct software in the various areas of your business will save you the time, hassle, and money it would take for yourself, or a team member, to complete each task.
Email management is another time-consuming area of the smooth running of business; however, the influx of information and lines of business communication can not be ignored and will continue to be part of running your company. Streamlining email management is being introduced by various email platforms, including Gmail, and implements artificial intelligence (A.I.) to scan each of your incoming emails.
Once scanned, you will be given an array of response options to click, based on keywords and text that the scanner has found within your message; so, you can email back a reply at the click of a button. Taking advantage of email technology will save you hours in typing out responses when you could be using it to push your business forward in other areas instead.
As previously mentioned; there’s nothing quite like human contact when it comes to customer service, as people enjoy human interaction when they are seeking help and advice. However, it’s predicted that by as early as 2018 (yes, next year!), there will be digital assistants that will have the ability to mimic a human interaction and conversation, both in how they listen and respond. By 2020, it’s thought that 85% of all customer service interactions will be powered by A.I bots; so it’s tech that’s worth checking out and keeping an eye on, especially if it’s going to save you time and cash.
Phones: Yeah, They’re Smart Now
Here’s nothing more frustrating than a client missing an important meeting; except for when you miss something equally as vital to your business. Don’t worry; start using your smartphone to help remind you of scheduling dates, and times. Better yet; use the phones of your clients and those you need to liaise with too.
The tech is there so that whoever you’re due to meet will get an automated SMS sent to them before your catch-up is due. When other people are just as busy as you are, they can often forget the note that they scribbled down in their diary last month to meet you for a coffee and to go over some things that are important to your business. Therefore, sending them a timely reminder could be the difference between your company progressing with their help, and you being stood up in Starbucks.
Aside from sending you and others friendly appointment reminders; your smartphone can now hold as much software and technology as a tablet, and even some laptops can. The storage capacity on your phone makes it a portable office right in the palm of your hand; so start utilising it to its maximum capabilities for added time and money efficiency in your business!
Apps are available that can track and manage pretty much every part of your business; including your expenses, your calendar, and your stock. A smartphone can become a crucial tool in the running of your small company, so check out 25 of the latest apps that will enhance and help your business here. You can take customer payments through an app, and even gain their signature, so it’s an area that you need to investigate if you’re looking to update your business operations.
Marketing Made Easy
Getting your brand and name out there and marketing your business when you’re not one of the big guys is a challenge, but you’re in business because you thrive on a challenge, so take action. Regular social media updates are an effective way to reach your target consumer audience; however, it’s often a time-consuming activity, especially when you’re flying solo or part of a small team. Utilising a social media management system is the perfect option for you, and will save you valuable time; you can schedule your posts and don’t have to keep moving between various sites.
As a business person; you’re already aware of how important the use of your time is. If your run a company of any size, you cannot afford to waste your hours and minutes doing something that could be completed by technology, or worse, paying someone to do those tasks for you.
Now is when you need to go through your business and see where and how to incorporate the latest time-saving tech into your company so that you can develop and grow at a faster rate and utilise your free moments wisely. Now you’ve read this, be proactive and download what you need for a bright business future!