When some people think of small businesses, they think of quaint, family-run operations that work out of a cozy brick-and-mortar while answering landline-based phones. The term “small business,” however, doesn’t mean “antiquated,” and even the most traditional offices can see incredible changes when they fully embrace the latest technology available to them.
Technology has advanced incredibly quickly over the last decade, and in many cases, there are tools and resources available to traditional offices that they don’t even realize exist but could revolutionize their businesses.
Today’s business-oriented technologies have adapted both worker and consumer behavior, and allow for automation, improved efficiency, and increased efficacy of the work that you’re doing, and in this post, we’ll look at why that’s the case.
It Allows For Increased Flexibility
While traditional offices have historically prioritized having workers at their desks from 9-5 Monday through Friday, there is modern technology available to businesses of all sizes that can change that, and you can trust us when we say that’s for the better.
Increasing numbers of businesses are allowing their team members to work remotely, for example, thanks to virtual business phone systems like Tresta, live chat software, and access to secure Cloud software. This not only attracts more workers who are prioritizing the flexibility and convenience that comes with remote work, but it also allows businesses to truly find the best candidate for the job regardless of geographic location.
It also doesn’t hurt that this technology allows your team to work more on a schedule that works for them. If they need to handle some work while they wait for their car battery to be replaced, for example, they can easily do that. Your team– and you!– can work on the go, and that’s something to keep in mind.
It Helps You Save Time & Increase Productivity
There are tools today that business owners could only dream of two decades ago, offering incredible automation capabilities that will save your office an immense amount of time.
CRM software like Hubspot, for example, will automatically send follow-ups to recent customers to make sure they’re happy with their experience, saving you from having to do so.
There is also employee scheduling software like When I Work that’s capable of taking all those complex schedule requirements of your team and somehow creating a cohesive schedule for you, and accounting software like Quickbooks that allows you to send automated invoices to retainer clients and track all expenses.
You’ll also want to look at live answering services like PATLive, which uses top-of-the-line call scripting technology to serve your customers exactly as you would. You can have us answer calls during your off-hours, handle call overflow, or take every call that goes to your office, allowing your team to focus more on what they need to.
These tools can significantly cut down on cumbersome administration, marketing, and even customer service tasks while ensuring that nothing is left open to human error. As a result, you and your team can spend more time focused on the tasks that need your attention.
It Offers Increased Security
The conventional methods of filing away documents, contracts, and reports in in-office cabinets (whether they’re locked or not) leaves a lot to be desired in terms of both security and convenience.
All it takes is one person breaking into the office or a natural disaster like a flood or a fire sweeping through it for your files to be lost or stolen. Either way, they’re gone for good.
Most of today’s technology is cloud-based, using secure and remote cloud storage so that only those who have been granted access can interact with your files. This includes everything from invoicing software to point of sale tools to communication channels, keeping every part of your business (including your information and your customers’) secure.
It Provides More Data Than Ever Before
Do you want to know exactly how every customer feels about their recent interaction with your customer service team, or how your employees feel about their managers? Or maybe you want to track the effectiveness of individual salespeople, seeing not only how customers perceive them but also who is most successful at closing sales, or upselling?
The sheer amount of data that comes with advanced, technology-driven tools will revolutionize your business. You can get real, concrete information about how your business is performing and what factors are influencing that. This is actionable data that you can use to make improvements within your organization that can transform your office like never before.
It Facilitates Teamwork & Collaboration
When you’ve got technology on your side, gone are the days of pointless meetings where nothing is ever really accomplished. Teamwork looks a little different, especially with increasing numbers of workers opting for remote work, but this is for the best.
Direct, improved communication is now the norm in offices making regular use of teamwork-oriented technology. There are even free tools like Trello, which allow users to create “Cards” that are moved from “Board” to “Board,” tracking their progress while offering teamwork features like member tagging, alerts, deadlines, and Google Drive integrations.
Project management is easier than ever before, even if you’re working with third-party contractors or clients, and even if they’re out of state. As a result, productivity is improved, even more, projects are completed faster and more thoroughly, and everyone is on the same page. If that’s not a small business owner’s dream, then I don’t know what is.
Many small business owners who are still relying heavily on their understanding of traditional offices don’t realize how accessible some of the technologies discussed above are, even if they’re on a small budget.
In many cases, you can easily find technology that’s affordable and that aligns with your budget, and you’ll find that it either can help you save time or maximize productivity, both of which can lead to a direct increase in revenue overall.