There are so many brands, startups and large corporations out there vying for supremacy that even the most minor of advantages can make a huge difference. And whether your business is still in the startup stage or already getting ready to expand into new countries and territories, investing in the right technology that’s able to grow and scale with you can be that advantage. Here are just a few example of tech solutions that can make your business run more efficiently and give you the edge you need.
Take your tech into the Cloud
For companies with staff that traveled regularly or that had various satellite branches spread out across the country, sharing documents and files was always a bit of a headache. The arrival of cloud computing has thankfully changed this forever, as employees can now access all the documents they need from whatever location they happen to be in, outside of standard business hours when need be, and in an inexpensive manner -or even for free, if your company is still small enough. An added benefit is that even if an employee’s laptop is stolen or hardware at the office gets damaged, your data is still safe. Various other business solutions are now available on a cloud-based system too, such as cloud-based accounting systems where you can create invoices on the go and access the records you need from any connected device.
Choose an appropriate telephony system
Forking out money you could ill afford to have a switchboard and various phone lines installed in your office space was another necessary evil for many companies, but technology has once again come to the rescue. From VoIP systems to completely online calls like those provided by Skype for Business and similar platforms, softphone technology that can be deployed to your employees’ laptops and automated call attendants that replace the need for a receptionist in very new startups with limited resources, voice communication has never been more affordable. In the case of a call center or business with several branches, PBX services can now even be combined with software-based systems that operate on a data network, reducing costs and allowing your company to become more competitive.
Make your website work for you
With its ability to act as a 24/7 salesperson and provide your customers with all the information they need anywhere, anytime, your website can easily become your hardest working (and cheapest!) employee. By investing in best practice SEO techniques, regularly adding useful content and updating your FAQ, and making sure your website is accessible from various different devices and adapts to different screen sizes, you can create an asset that sets you apart from all of your competitors. You might not be available to answer your customer’s questions at 3am, but your website can be!
Help your employees manage their time and delegate like a pro for free
Whether you use a shared spreadsheet on a platform like Google Docs or task management software like Trello, Asana, or Smartsheet, managing projects and tasks has never been easier. And like all the best technologies, these kinds of solutions can scale up with you as your company grows, starting off from a free solution for startups to enterprise solutions that cater to even the largest of international businesses.
Outsource to a global freelancer and professional services market
You’re no longer limited to using the accountants, tax firms, marketing professionals, content and web developers, graphic designers, and legal services in your immediate area. By using platforms like Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancer.com, you can easily and affordably outsource non-core business functions to reputable providers across the globe. By working with people from different time zones, you can even ensure that work is still being done on important projects while you’re asleep! Make sure to assist other businesses by leaving a positive review for the professionals who do a great job for you.
Stay in touch with employees on the road with free messaging apps
Nowadays everyone has a smartphone and using a free messaging service like WhatsApp to keep in touch with employees working outside the office or meeting with clients is a great way to stay abreast of any news they might have without disturbing them during a meeting or while they’re driving. Best of all, it’s completely free – and by using a service like WhatsApp Web you can easily communicate with several staff members directly from your PC or laptop.
One of the best things about technology is that it levels the playing field – no matter how small or large your business is, there’s bound to be a solution that fits your needs and budget – all you need to do is stay open to the possibilities!
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