From embracing mobile technologies and apps to leveraging the power of the cloud, small business owners have many technology tactics at their disposal to grow their businesses.
However, sometimes - even with all of the available resources and tools it’s tough to know where to get started. Saving you time and effort, and supporting you in achieving your business goals, is why we created these 6 easy ways to leverage your technology.
There’s no better way to supercharge growth and enable mobility than through the cloud. SMBs can use the cloud to create fully functional teams without investing in a brick-and-mortar location. Data can be shared from home or on the road, which increases productivity and allows you to build your business from anywhere.
The scalability of the cloud also means there’s a low cost of entry and an immediate ability to level the playing field with larger corporations.
When you embrace mobility, it enables you to hire the best and most affordable remote talent in areas outside of the typical 50-mile radius. This doesn’t just make operations easier, it has a major impact on revenue and job creation.
Find the Right Apps That Work for You
Getting the balance right between business success and a lifestyle that is productive and fulfilling can be hard to achieve; don’t we all know it! And that is why the business and personal coaching industry is booming.
However, using technology, there are a number of ways we can help streamline our business and our daily lives in general. There are lots of apps, which are very helpful in streamlining time and increasing productivity. We are all different, of course, and so it is about finding the right apps and tools that fit in with our personal style.
It can take a good deal of searching and ‘road-testing’ but when you do begin to find the right apps that work for you it is well worth it. Our advice is: begin to look for those apps. Ask business contacts and friends which apps they use and then go road test them.
Leverage Cloud to Scale
Cloud platforms now allow even the smallest businesses to have enterprise level scalability, security and risk reduction. With a platform like Office 365, the price per user provides great value. The functionality and features you gain with Outlook email, file sharing with SharePoint and file storage with One Drive, make it unnecessary to buy your own email/file server.
Likewise, avoid the temptation to invest in your own network equipment. Instead, contract with a managed IT provider for these components, which they own and maintain—all at a flat monthly rate with no need for upfront capital investments by you.
Use Technology as a Multiplier
To grow a small business, you need to compete with larger, more established companies. Technology and online tools are the great equalizers that save you time and increase productivity without having to adopt a ‘fake it to make it’ philosophy. They enable you to legitimately leverage your work-force and cast a longer shadow in the marketplace than your size would have allowed in the past.
Use a Digital Task Manager
Time is both your greatest ally, if managed well, and biggest foe if wasted. We all need a system that traps everything needing action and puts it in a logical order. A good digital task manager, together with a strategy for using it, is a good solution. While having vision is one thing, handling the details that bring it to fruition is another.
In particular, identify the tasks that will repeat every year or every month. Hoping someone remembers to handle those routine tasks at the right time is a recipe for failure. A good digital task manager hands those repeating tasks back to you when you need to see them. You stay focused on handling the details that would otherwise fall through the cracks.
Develop a Cloud Strategy
It’s no longer a question for small business to go to the cloud or not – it’s happening regardless. Your financial software provider is rapidly moving to the cloud, and there will not be sufficient support for installed software applications in the future. Businesses that are proactive during this migration will recognize a heap of new benefits. Business pain points and security concerns can now be solved with new, innovative, cost-effective cloud-based applications that work elegantly together.
Take advantage of the innovation that has recently become available because of cloud accounting, and improve your business processes with a defined cloud strategy.
Armed with the content you just read, we expect your small business will grow more effectively and efficiently.
Sources: Partnership with Microsoft
First Published: Microsoft 80 Ways to Supercharge Your Business