Technology helps level the playing field. Whether it’s with hand tools, power tools, or digital tools, technology makes it possible to do more than we could otherwise.
In this vein, SmallBizDaily.com has made it their business to help SMEs accomplish more with limited resources. The blog post titled “How Tech and Data Can Transform Small Businesses” continues this effort. Jen Cohen Crompton, a guest author from The Neat Company, discusses how a technology refresh can boost your productivity. She frames the possibilities into five basic areas:
1. Modern data storage: Paper archives in filing cabinets and reminders on sticky notes should be replaced with digital and cloud-based options. Modern solutions allow you not only to store more business information, but also to have quicker, easier access to those records. Quality enterprise content management (ECM) systems can make searching for documents as easy as using Google.
2. Modern accounting workflows: Nothing crunches numbers as well as a computer. You may be surprised at how much automation can be provided by today’s accounting software packages. Letting a machine track receipts and calculate margins reduces errors, maximizes efficiency, and enables you to focus on tasks that are more valuable.
3. Modern data collection: With a smartphone camera and a small app, you can immediately digitize your records. An easy process of taking a picture, converting the image to PDF, and extracting the data can increase visibility and responsiveness in your organization.
4. Modern contacting: With today’s demands for attention pressing on your potential customers, emailing them direct is likely to get lost in the churn or sent to the spam folder, calling direct may result in your number being blocked as a telemarketer, and contacting face-to-face, while ideal, may not be possible when your leads are scattered across the nation. Using customer relationship management (CRM) software can help you get better results. A powerful CRM system can analyze public social media activity to help you identify the warmest leads.
5. Modern work: Your employees have their own personal tech and they know what modern information and communication systems can provide. They know what kinds of work require a physical presence at the office and what assignments can be completed via telework. When you enable them to make the most of their time instead of requiring a commute across town, you can boost their morale and reduce your overhead.
With these pathways open to your business, it may take some strategic planning to set the best course forward. A professional services company may need an immediate upgrade to data storage tools, while manufacturing or retail might need to consider telework policies for certain staff. Each time you invest in modernizing your organization though, you’ll soon see the dividends.
An ideal technology investment is one that solves multiple needs with one solution. aACE 5 is an affordable yet comprehensive business operations suite. It offers robust accounting workflows and automation, mobile apps for productivity, and a thorough CRM package. Built on FileMaker, aACE 5 operates on both Mac and PC systems, and it can be customized to your company’s unique business situation. Learn more about modernizing your tools with the aACE 5 advantage.
“Coming off Quickbooks, we found that QB just wasn’t offering us all the flexibility and horsepower we needed from an ERP. It needed to handle all the complexities of our day to day operations, give us the reports we needed, integrate into our existing process — and then fade into the background as everyone became comfortable with it to get the job done. aACE has done all that.” ~ Derek Navratil, IT Administrator, Janibell Inc.