Improve Your Small Business Performance with Clever Technology & Hassle Free IT
If your business has grown to more than a few employees, now is likely to be the time you need to consider what technology you use to ensure you maintain oversight and productivity levels.
As your business grows and you bring in new people you face the inevitable challenge of releasing control of many of the tasks related to running your business. But if your team are to develop and thrive, and you want the time to focus on growth you must step back. Fortunately, there are many tools (software, websites and apps) that you can use to maintain oversight, and ensure your team are productive with minimal intervention on your part.
If you have a “virtual” workforce or your team are geographically spread you’ll need a cheap, efficient way to bring them together. No business owner wants to spend £100s on expensive train fares or waste time commuting across London for meetings; this is where collaborative tools come in.
Using collaborative tools, staff can work with their peers and maintain complete transparency with you, their employer.
There are lots of familiar free applications at your disposal; Skype, Dropbox, Google Docs and Google Hangouts are actively used — or at least known of — by most SMEs. There are also ‘integrated’ project management solutions that help to reduce costs and risks, share documents, and connect disparate work groups in real time.
These tools can help to empower your team while giving you administrative oversight of their activity:
- Slack (Cloud-based Team Collaboration). A cloud-based service providing tools for messaging, managing files, and helping teams save time in collaborative projects.
- Microsoft Teams (Team Hub). Part of the Office 365 suite of applications. It brings conversations, content, apps — and teams — together in one place.
As a business grows, administrative tasks such as accounting can mount up. When it was just you and a few team members, spreadsheets could just about shoulder the burden but with a growing team this approach can have a detrimental impact on the growth or efficiency of your small business.
Using the right software can reduce the time and effort it takes you to complete mundane, repetitive tasks. It also makes it much easier to pass those tasks onto your staff so that you are freed-up to manage business critical activities; the high-value creative work.
We recommend the following specialist software that will ensure your administrative tasks do not drain your time:
- Xero (Cloud Accounting). Assists in completing various accounting and bookkeeping tasks, making these tasks significantly quicker and easier to manage.
- Trello (Web-based Project Management). Helps to organise your projects into boards. It tells you what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and what’s in progress: giving you complete transparency and oversight.
- Zoho CRM (Full CRM and more). A customer relationship management (CRM) software solution designed to help streamline sales and marketing, customer support, contacts, inventory management and other business functions, which allows you to share these tasks with your team while retaining a grip on process and communication with your customers.
Cyber Security & Data Protection
As a small business grows, and you become more reliant on technology to maintain oversight and enhance your team’s productivity the threat of falling victim to cyber-crime increases.
Unfortunately,it’s often an innocent error on the part of one of your team that will enable a cyber-criminal to access your systems or data. To learn more on how you can detect threats and respond to security breaches, read our 3 Tips for protecting your business from cyber crime, and most importantly share it with your team!
Outsource Your IT
From product development, to project planning and accounting, IT is vital to most businesses, which is why our final recommendation to help you enhance your business’ productivity is to outsource your IT support.
Outsourcing your IT means you no longer have to manage the various third party IT suppliers you need to run your business, you pass on the stress of ensuring your data is secure and you can rest assured that your team will get the best IT advice and support, fast.
Here are 4 reasons your company will benefit from a Professional Business IT Support Service:
- Outsourcing your IT services means you (and your team) can focus on your actual business objectives.
- Professional IT Support reduces system downtime and provides faster response times relating to inevitable faults – so productivity is maintained.
- A Business IT Service ensures that you use the best equipment, and remain up-to-date and secure, which of course means less hassle for you and a more productive team.
- Finally, outsourcing your IT is far less expensive than employing a full time staff member to manage your IT network or provide IT support.
Read more the benefits of Business IT Support for small companies in London in this blog.
Clever use of technology can help you to maintain oversight of areas of your business that you may be reluctant to relinquish control of, while empowering your team to do their job in a productive and transparent way. To summarise:
Collaboration tools allow you to work virtually with any member of your team.
Specialist software professionalises and speeds up administrative tasks.
Cyber Security awareness means your team can use clever tech without endangering your businesses’ network or data security.
Outsourced IT means you can handover the stress and hassle of all your IT and Technology to an on-call expert.
Are you already using collaborative technologies or specialist software? We’d love to hear your thoughts on how they’re affecting your business performance.
Contact us to find out more on any of the above points, or to ask specific questions.