When running a small business, especially a start-up, it is important to watch every dollar you spend. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, more than 50% of new businesses fail within five years. One of the primary reasons is not having enough money and capital.
Those businesses that do succeed usually take a few years before they can generate a profit. Keeping costs low is essential for keeping your business open. Finding ways to cut costs can be tricky, especially without sacrificing quality or service in the process. Here are ways you can leverage the right type of technology to help you be more productive, increase revenue, and lower costs.
Be More Efficient
A slow network can have dramatic consequences for your productivity. At an age where everybody needs a laptop and a connection, a slow network interferes with day-to-day tasks. For businesses that struggle with managing their IT solutions, finding a budget-friendly provider is tricky. Technology can help you with your production process and you can also see how your staff are spending their time.
It gives you the chance to speed up the way that you operate, and it is a fantastic way for you to improve your company overall. If you aren’t sure where to start, then it is always a good idea for you to invest in task management tools or even email management processes. This will help you to stay on top of your inbox and it also makes sure that absolutely every message is being delivered on time. A good IT service will be able to help you implement the right measures.
Use Online Marketing Tools
Marketing can become very expensive. When a business is having financial difficulty, marketing is usually one of the first to be cut. However marketing should be the last thing you cut, it is one of the only ways you can attract potential customers and grow your business.
Rather than eliminating it from your budget, leverage technology and online tools to market your business and gain more customers. Social media, content and email marketing are inexpensive yet very effective marketing tools, offering big returns by connecting you to people who need your product with ease. You can also take advantage of social media as well as this will help you to get the exposure you need.
Train your teams
Everybody uses digital technology. But that doesn’t mean that everybody knows how to use digital tools. Millennials and Gen Z can struggle with the most basic computing skills, such as using spreadsheets and powerpoints. Unfortunately, these skills play a major role in everyday tasks.
Employees need to know how to use Excel to manage data reports from analytics tools, for instance. According to excelsemipro.com, 80% of users don’t know how to format cells or paste values into a table. Consequently, they can waste a lot of time preparing reports and comparing data. Powerpoint is another indispensable business tool that creates confusion. Many employees are unable to prepare a presentation deck. Therefore, it has become vital to invest in staff training for everyday IT tools.
Be Easy to Find with a Great Website
Prospective clients and customers will always see a strong, modern and clean website as a sign of professionalism, and the good news is that you don’t have to pay thousands to a web developer to have a professional company website that sets you apart from the crowd.
There are many platforms that you can use to build your own website easily, even if you’ve got no previous experience, and still get stunning results. However, once your website is up and running, you need to put the work in to get it ranked high enough in search engines, such as Google, to be visible to potential customers.
The main way of doing this is by using search engine optimization, or SEO as it is more commonly known. This involves including the words people use to search for your website. It isn’t as tricky as it sounds, and various pieces of software and plug-ins can help you out. However, it is worth hiring the experts, such as https://ignitedigital.com/vancouver-search-engine-optimization-seo/, to help to get your website noticed. Along with your own website, it’s useful to create profiles on dedicated industry search engines like Octopart.com.
Stay Connected on the Go
Storing files and documents on floppy disks, CD-Roms and USB sticks is old practice. Now, it is all about the cloud storage systems. From Google Drive to Dropbox, you can store and access information from pretty much any device and anywhere in the world.
The good news is that you don’t need to invest in a pricey, top-of-the-range smartphone or tablet to stay connected on the go. A basic one will do the job just fine. And, if you’re in a business where your clients need to reach you quickly and easily, having a dedicated smartphone can be more useful than you realize.
Automate Repetitive Tasks, Systems, and Back-ups
There are many administrative and operational tasks that a business must do to remain successful. In the past, you may have needed to hire an employee or outsource to ensure these tasks were completed. Now you can simplify by automating certain business processes and tasks.
- Your File Back Ups. If your business keeps important records or files, it’s definitely worth considering the option of offsite storage space. You should also make sure that all company computers are running backup software – you can never be too safe. Storing important information in the cloud is also an option that’s worth considering. In the event of a computer crash, cloud storage automatic backup software programs or offsite storage mean that you won’t lose access to important files, documents and records.
- Your Email Marketing. One of the best things to automate within your business is your email marketing. Although you may want to send a personalized email to everyone who signs up to your newsletter or buys a product, eventually you will be spending your entire work-day replying to emails. If you want to make the process easier, signing up for an email marketing automation service could save you a lot of time. Not only will this allow you to create a series of emails that go out to anyone that gets added to your lists, but it will give you the opportunity to see your open and click-through rates in more detail. To learn more about how to conduct email marketing, click here on email automation.
- Your Social Media Responses. If you get a lot of people commenting on your social media or messaging you directly asking the same questions, you may want to consider setting up canned responses. Although these don’t work for everyone, they’re a great way to ensure you’re not wasting time answering the same questions over and over again. Using a couple of prompts and pre-written answers, your customers could have the information they need without actually having to talk to somebody. For more information about canned social media responses, you can visit this site here.
- Your Customer Service Center. If you have a busy customer service center that you need to control, automation may be the best solution. Not only can it help you to increase efficiency, but it can also help when it comes to improving the customer experience. To find out more, you can visit this site about robotic process automation here.
According to Harvard Business Review, companies are losing 10-15% of their time due to not automating simple tasks. Task automation done correctly can help you save large amounts of time, effort, and money!
Improve Your Security Measures
Cybercrime is becoming extremely prevalent, costing companies close to $1.5 trillion in 2018. Smaller companies are at greater risk, this is why many hackers are targeting small companies now.
Criminals assume that less established ventures won’t have proper security measures in place, making them the perfect target. Investing in security technologies, like cameras, alarms, computer security such as anti-virus and firewalls can help you. This can be a substantial investment, but in the long run, it will cost you a lot less than having your business data and products stolen.
In the past, only large businesses could afford market research and data to help them reach their target audience. Technology like Google Analytics can help you gain insight into your target market and their behaviors.
Business analytics also can also help your business use real-time data to make smarter decisions, identify potential opportunities, and streamline your operations so you can maximize your profits. Some of the most successful businesses have relied on analytics to gain a competitive advantage.
Allow Employees to Work From Home
The costs involved in buying or renting office space are sometimes more than a business can bear. In today’s economy, you may not need all of your employees in one place to be able to run your company. Allowing some of your employees to work from home can help save overhead costs, such as utilities, office supplies, and even office space. Another large benefit is that it can help boost morale for your employees.
You can utilize communication, email, and conference calling software to ensure collaboration between employees no matter where they are at. Remote access software can also be an invaluable tool for employees to share files, access each other’s devices and collaborate with ease from remote locations.