We all know that technology can be a valuable asset to any business but it can come at a costly price. Small businesses are usually on a tight budget at first. Is taking the risk by keeping up with technology worth it? It can, though, help facility efficiency, locate additional customers, and even save you money in the long run. I have found areas where technology can help you become more productive and hopefully more profitable. I hope you enjoy Cathy’s Tuesday Tip! ~Cathy
Online Continued Education
Continued business training is quite important. It is always changing and there is always someone boasting that their method is best. Traveling the world to attend conferences that claim to have the key for running a successful business sounds amazing. This is not the best idea for a small business owner, it cost way to much. Luckily, there is the internet that brings the world to us. There are many online business training programs, some are even free. They allow the flexibility to complete without having to stay on a strict schedule. They are mainly go at your own pace.
Again, this is free. Open-source software gives small businesses an alternative to using mainstream commercial applications to manage their business. The most popular is openoffice.org. It provides word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases, and more.
Having access to alternative phones services allows business owners and employees not to be stuck in the office. This makes it possible to bring the office wherever it is needed to be. Other options are VoIP and virtual phones.
Using teleconference services allows employees and clients to all communicate in one space. Employees could be in a conference room and the client could be in their office across the country and still complete a meeting. These days there is no special equipment needed to bridge the calls. There is also web conferencing if it is better to meet face to face.
Keeping track of the amount of time spent on a project or with a client is important. It can save money for the business and the client. Tracking time spent can also aide in helping accurately estimate projects and boost productivity. These trackers come in all forms, desktop apps, and online tools.
It is overkill for some small businesses to use expensive accounting programs to manage the books. Online invoicing may be the perfect alternative. This allows the billing process to be managed quicker and more efficiently which means invoices are paid sooner.
Like stated above, taking the office away from the office has its benefits. Not being tied to a desk affords the freedom to handle other issues outside the office. Using remote desktop applications allows business owners and employees the ability to log on to their primary computer via a laptop, smartphone or tablet to access that data remotely.
Online File Conversion
Using an online file conversion application can save money by not have to buy costly software.There are services to convert documents, audio/video files, and even graphics to a new file format.
This allows all parts of the day to be planned whether it is an appointment with client or a dinner with the wife. All can be managed in one place. Others can select times on your calendar without even a discussion which saves time. This removes the task of setting meetings. It manages itself.
Most of these small business tech solutions are relatively inexpensive or free and could have great benefits. We are looking to simplify our lives while increasing efficiency and productivity. Trying a couple of these could be that key.
I hope you enjoyed Cathy’s Tuesday Tip this week. To view more of Cathy’s Tuesday Tips, visit our blog.