It’s easy for a small business to get stuck doing things “the way we’ve always done them,” and end up missing out on technology advances.
They may drag their feet because of fear about learning a new workflow or being afraid that their business may suffer. But statistics show that just the opposite is true when companies break free of older processes and embrace the new capabilities that technology has to offer.
In a study by Deloitte of digitally advanced small businesses, it was found that companies that leverage technology to their benefit have several advantages over those that don’t. These include:
Ways to Embrace Technology to Make Your Business Better
Ditch Spreadsheets for Cloud Workflows
Does your office use spreadsheets to keep track of things like sales numbers or vendor lists? Using spreadsheets in your workflows can be time-consuming and inefficient.
What happens is usually you have one employee keeping the spreadsheet updates, then they have to email the spreadsheet around to others in the organization to read or add to. You end up with multiple copies of the same data on different computers and an inefficient and error-prone process.
It’s much easier to leverage cloud workflows to put those lists and reports in a sharable version online that everyone can access and update as needed. This means there is only one copy of the document that is always available to authorized users. No one has to manually email the sheet around or wonder which copy is the most recent.
Automate Manual & Repetitive Workflows
Employees in non-optimized offices spend an average of 22% of their day on manual and repetitive processes. This limits the amount of work an employee can take on in a day and can lead to bottlenecks and delays in a business process.
For example, if the sales team has to wait for customer support to physically email them a copy of a new customer online inquiry or call, if that person happens to be in a meeting, that follow up message is delayed.
With an automation that automatically sends your sales team pertinent customer leads, according to type and priority, you improve the workflow and remove the bottleneck.
When you automate processes, you not only speed them up, you free up your team to work on more forward-moving activities instead of repetitive tasks.
Make It Easier to Find Information
The time it takes to look for a customer file or other document on a hard drive can really add up if you’re still stuck in older ways of doing things. For example, you might need to find the editable copy of your sales brochure to make changes and have to spend an hour or so searching different employee computers to find it.
It takes office workers an average of 18 minutes to locate a file manually.
When you leverage a cloud platform like Microsoft 365, which includes cloud storage and search capabilities, it makes it much easier to find the information needed.
Teams can have files that are specific to their department only or search a company-wide file storage by keyword. Applications like Word and Excel also make it easy to pin important documents to the top for easy reference anytime.
Improve Your Customer Experience
By adopting new technologies such as VoIP, web chat, and CRM systems, you’re better able to serve customers and thus improve their experience.
Newer technologies make it easy for customers to get self-help service on platforms like Facebook Messenger any time of day or night. VoIP systems can also make it easier for your team to connect with customers by phone, chat, or video no matter where they may be working.
You can also improve your order, payment, and shipment workflows by leveraging automations to speed up processes, make them more convenient for customers, and reduce the time it takes from order to shipment.
Reduce Your Risk of Suffering a Cyberattack
No matter what size business you have, cybersecurity is a big concern. 60% of small businesses end up having to close their doors within 6-months of falling victim to a data breach or other cyberattack.
Are you still relying on simple antivirus to keep your systems safe? If so, you’re leaving your company at risk.
Newer technologies, such as advanced firewall systems, can automate threat response and proactively seek out any potential problems.
The increased use of mobile devices for work has also made it a necessity to have endpoint protection and management in place to ensure your data and cloud accounts stay protected.
Get Started with a Technology Plan for 2021!
ECN IT can help your Tucson business put together a productivity-boosting technology strategy for 2021 and beyond.
We’re here and ready to talk IT infrastructure with you! Reach out at 520-355-7553 or through our website.
References linked to: