“The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man, and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment” – Warren G. Bennis
This humorous take on the increased advancement of technology surely paints a grim picture of the future. But don’t worry; technology has not reached that extreme, at least now (wink). At the present, Benefits of technology in business, is nothing less than boon. And if as a business, you do not make use of technology because of some factors such as fear of its impact, or the need of skilled personnel, or the extra capital required, etc.; you are missing out on some great profits. Today technology such as a variety of Software tools, Management systems, Automation and Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, etc. have become easy to streamline into businesses and derive great benefits. So, how and what technology can you use for your business? Lets have a look in detail
30 Ways To Use Technology In Your Small Business:
Technology reduces lots of human efforts and even reduces error. Not only that, it can also act as a supplement to improve the work done by human. Following are some Benefits of technology in business, especially if it is a small business –
1. First things first, you need to understand the need to include technology and take help of IT experts. Your expert will help you understand How technology helps business growth and develop for you a strategic IT plan. This’ll be you first step where you’ll be determine how you’ll go about streamlining technology within your business.
2. When it comes to business, it is important that everyone does their work perfectly and on time. A ‘Time tracking Software’ is your tool for this. You can make use of it keep a track of who is spending their time where and doing what.
3. Along with tracking the time spent, you can easily do scheduling for all your staff. Optimized scheduling software enables this by developing of weekly schedules and distributing it to the workforce becomes easier, thereby preventing under staffing of over staffing problems.
4. There is also option available to you such as integrating resource management software which is a tool which manages your human capital i.e. your employees, their schedule and that of your business too. Using you can effectively plan you resources and balance the workload of your business for various projects.
5. When it comes to the workforce, having an Employee training software system is another technology you need. With this system in place your HR personnel will be able to create training courses, assign them and then track and manage them.
6. As much as your employees are important to you, so are your customers. Thus, you need to invest into a Customer Relationship Management Software Tool. A CRM helps you in storing customer data, and even any service issues related to them. Thus, you can analyze the buying trend and find sales opportunities; and based on it manage your marketing campaigns, all within a single tool.
7. There are cloud-based Marketing Planning software available to help you have a solid marketing plan. They help to plan and work a marketing strategy which improves your business efficiency as well as productivity.
8. If you are to get profits, reducing your spending is important. Online budgeting tools will help you for this by enabling managing of your money. It lets you keep track of your budget, and analyze the data too. And the best part is that some of them come completely free. Examples are Empower, YNAB (You Need a Budget), Clarity Money, Moneydance, PocketGuard, etc.
9. There are a number of Accounting Software tools available which helps you track the financial flow – your expenses and revenue. It thus also helps you get an estimate of the future cash flow. This helps accountants in recording, analyzing, as well as reporting all your business financial transactions.
10. Online invoicing software is another option which will enable you to automate the invoice operations for your business, and also easily execute any of your outstanding invoice tasks. It is able to distinguish between your billed and unbilled invoice work, and organizes all your unbilled invoice work; efficiently managing your Billing processes.
11. Now that you are embracing technology, it’s time to come out of the traditional filing methods. Reduce the unnecessary clutter, store, and preserve all the important business files digitally using Digital filing system software.
12. Do note that along with digital filing, start moving on from physical written files to digital files. If you have not yet done so. It is saves paper and space, is environment friendly, and also it becomes easier to share digital files with others over the cloud.
13. There online tax software services are cloud-based software. These will automatically file your tax return and even provide free versions. The free online tax services are mostly available for those with specific income limits. As a small business, this will work in your favour. Because more your income, the more you’ll have to pay.
14. Or you can add in an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) System, which is similar to that of a Digital filing system software, but with more security, efficiency, and scalability.
15. Internet of Things i.e. IoT is another technology which you need to integrate. Using IoT, devices can be connected, and hence can communicate too with each other using internet.
16. Task management tools help to organize your work to organize your projects and efficiently complete it within specified deadlines. You can thus set your priority for tasks, visualize their progress, and add in the analysis by using Task Management tools.
17. A simple board and chalk, or a maintained register can be replaced by use of some very basic tools such as spreadsheets, your work becomes easier. The best option would be to make use of an online project management application or software. Which provide various features and can be accessed from anywhere.
18. A digital dictation/transcription recorder is a equipment you need to have. Based on your need you can decide what type of recorders you need, you can record human speech or dictation on these recorders by filtering or equalizing the sound, adjusting the tempo etc.; it can then be manually typed.
19. Another alternative for digital recorder is transcription software. Because of the Speech Recognition technology, they can record audio or video files with human speech and convert it automatically into a text transcript.
20. While adapting and integrating all these various online and software tools, do remember that as a business – be it small, you need your own business website. This will give you a constant online presence and help you build your business as a brand.
21. You can always get your business website developed from a website development company, but other much affordable option is to make use of Content Management Systems (CMS) such as WordPress, Joomla, etc.
22. For your website you can get an opt in form, from which you will be able generate leads and then nurture them to convert them into your customers.
23. Along with forms for lead generation, you should also add in feedback, reviews, ratings, and even survey forms within your website. This helps you receive customer feedback and based on which you can strategize accordingly.
24. Mobile application for your business is a must today. They are important in creating brand awareness and even bringing about sales. They let you be always present on your customer’s mobile. They can also be great source of income.
25. Blogging is a great way to go about improving your business performance. You can start a blog which is related to your business. Blogs if done engaging and informative enough, it can easily target your audience.
26. Speaking of blogging, video marketing is another great brand promoting method which is highly engaging, and can yield good benefits if used correctly. Video Marketing Software Tools are available today for the purpose.
27. And yes of course, starting your online store is always a great idea, if you provide products. If your customers/potential customers aren’t able to physically come to buy your products, an e-commerce website for your business is a good idea, as it’ll increase your reach.
28. Remember to add in internet payment system within your business. You can add mobile wallets to your mobile apps, make provision for online and mobile payment on for your e-commerce website, and even make online payment available at your physical outlet so that customers are able to easily make online payments.
29. Robotics is another Modern technology used in business and it can be used along with human workforce to get quick, optimum, and error free work results.
30. Harnessing Social Media is the need of today’s business. This is the platform where all your customers, irrespective of age or sex or ethnicity. Thus, you need a proper Social Media Optimization and Marketing plan in place.
The above mentioned are the various 30 ways in which you can reap Benefits of technology in business. Again, the stress here is of adapting technology and to make its use for optimize your business performance. It is going to ultimately increase your revenue, create a brand awareness and image for your business, and more importantly give you an edge over your competitors.