This is a guest post for Skills You Need.
Want to contribute? Find out how.
Do Business with Technological Ease
Are you taking good advantage of the wide range of technologies available for your business today?
This is the 21st century and sticking to your old ways may be wasting much more effort, time and money than you think. A certain method of doing things may have worked for you in the past but in this current environment of fast evolving products, quickly adapting enterprises, and a rabid focus on efficiency, the use of advanced IT to simplify your business has become a need rather than a luxury.
Mindsets have changed over the recent past with the younger generation of professionals and business owners growing with smartphones, information at their fingertips, and a fast paced lifestyle, among other things. This generation of a tech-savvy workforce is, at the same time, the growing clientele base of every business. Thus, rethinking the way we do business to adapt to the modified needs of the population is a must.
Here are a few questions that may help you assess whether your business requires a few upgrades here and there:
1. Is there sufficient information about your business on the internet?
Maintain a robust online presence.
People have become increasingly impatient. They have been used to getting instant access to information and no business is exempted. Nowadays, people want instant answers to their questions. This is why providing a comprehensive range of information online about your business is a must.
For example, a person trying to book holiday accommodation has certain considerations that will make him choose one establishment over another in an instant. At times, people do not want to wait (and at times do not even have the time to) for an email containing the updated hotel room rates. Something as seemingly trivial as the ability of an inn to provide internet access or extra beds at no cost may be the deciding factor. If information about such is absent from your website, you may not even be aware that you had been losing a lot of potential customers already.
In the same manner, giving sufficient and useful information about your business online gives the impression of good service. A website that is lacking in content or that is improperly designed may lead a potential customer to think that a company’s service is as lacklustre and as disorganized as its online presence.
Conversely, the available information about your business will save you from answering phone calls or emails about things that you can just post on your website.
Thus, it is important to maintain a good online presence and make available a comprehensive range of information about your business. It not only helps your clients. It is a great marketing tool in making your company known. It also takes some work off your back.
2. Is your business fast and efficient enough?
Simply put, would you rather wait in line at a car park that automatically prints out your receipt as you enter or leave the premises or would you opt to queue your vehicle at a place where a parking attendant patiently and manually writes information on a receipt in his solitary booth, no matter how fast he is?
In this age, time has become even more of the essence. Automating processes not only help with service efficiency that attracts customers towards your business. It also saves on manpower costs and gives your employees adequate time and space to focus on the core and more important tasks. Why burden yourself with manual bookkeeping, when software applications can easily do the hard debit/credit work for you. Instead of number-crunching, you can spend time improving your product.
It may be the case that you already have automated processes; but they have become too outdated and thus they are not fast enough anymore and sufficient support is no longer available. While you may have spent a lot for that previous all-important upgrade, the system has already served its purpose and another upgrade may have been long overdue. Your business is fast evolving, and so is technology.
In any case, the systems analysis and design involved in any upgrade also provides an opportunity for you to reexamine the flow of information and the procedures most used in your company to be able to streamline them and choose the easiest and fastest manner of doing things. Thus, choosing an upgrade is worth the extra expense.
Further Reading from Skills You Need
If you are thinking about running your own business, or already do so, but feel that you need some guidance, then this eBook is for you. It takes you through self-employment in easy steps, helping you to ensure that your business has more chance of success.
The Skills You Need Guide to Self-Employment and Running Your Own Business is the guide no new or aspiring entrepreneur can afford to be without!
Based on our popular self-employment and entrepreneurship content.
3. Do you have sufficient and secure data storage and back-up?
Avail of convenient data storage solutions. If there is something a business must maintain and protect at all costs, it is data.
Even a small business should think big. There will come a time when the amount of data you keep for your business will be too large to handle manually. Digital storage is fast, quickly accessible, conveniently transferred, and requires minimal space. There is also no excuse now for not having a secure back-up of your business data. Cloud storage is accessible anywhere, requires very little maintenance, and is relatively cheap compared to maintaining your own server.
With data always comes security. Never forget to focus on security. As data is everything for a business, having good data storage is as important as giving that storage sufficient security. No matter how good your business data is organized, if it is susceptible to breach, then you will just be handing your data to thieves on a silver platter.
About the Author
Beata Green is Director of HeadChannel Ltd., a London based bespoke software development company.
She is responsible for overall strategic direction and overseeing the company’s continuing growth, building closer client relationships and maintaining best working practices.
She enjoys brisk country walks with her red fox Labrador and then relaxing in front of a TV crime drama with a glass of red wine.