If you feel like you’ve missed the boat into the 2000s and your business is stuck in the 20th Century, don’t be embarrassed. With technology – among other things – changing more rapidly than ever before, it’s difficult for even the most tech-savvy and innovative business owner to keep up with all the trends. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try; there are some excellent reasons to update your business’s processes and tools to catch up. The benefits of doing so include higher efficiency, better security, and – or course – more money. Read below for five ways you can propel your business into the 21st Century and, if the IT-related aspects are a bit beyond your skills, simply contact a managed IT support service to assist you.
1. Ditch the Paper
The time consumption and cost of printing should be enough of a motivator to move the majority of your business’s documents and records online. However, when you consider how much less space a computer file takes compared to a filing cabinet, the decision becomes a no-brainer. If you regularly communicate with customers, try transitioning from letters to emails or even SMS messages. This will not only save you time and money; it will also create a positive impression on your customers as this approach to communication is more environmentally friendly.
2. All Aboard the Cloud
Maybe you were reading the above tip and thinking, “But what about viruses? I need to print my files so I have a secure copy.” Good news: the cloud covers this for you. By storing your documents and other things online, rather than just on your computer, you’ll be able to access the things you need from any internet-using device, even if your own computer has a meltdown. The cloud is also great for allowing modern business owners to work while they’re on the move and easily share important files with their staff.
Online outsourcing platforms now make it easy to hire professional yet affordable individuals to complete once-off or infrequent tasks for your business. This saves you from having to hire staff when you won’t always have enough work to make their salaries worthwhile. Today you can outsource just about anything, from graphic design and marketing to business administration.
4. Engaging with Your Customers
Thanks in large part to social media, customers now expect businesses to listen and respond to their opinions and feedback more than they previously did. This means you need to be acutely aware of public opinion regarding your business and consider investing more time into customer relations.
5. Keep Your Finger on the Pulse
Staying astride of societal trends and patterns has always been an important factor of running a successful business, but this is now particularly crucial. Always be prepared to innovate, don’t hold too tightly to traditions without good reason, and keep your eyes open for ways to stay ahead of the game.
The current era is indeed an intimidating time for business owners, with so many things to keep track of and a never-ceasing list of changes to how businesses are run. With that said, this volatile environment is also exciting for entrepreneurs and switched-on professionals. If you can survive in today’s corporate world, no doubt you can thrive as well.