In years gone past, small businesses had to shell out big dollars for technology but now advanced technologies are highly affordable and can significantly increase business efficiency and connectivity with suppliers and customers.
Now is the time to take advantage of the benefits technology can offer. Here are five tips on how to embrace technology in your business.
Many accounting products have moved online and made bookkeeping much less onerous. Cloud accounting includes more than just your bookkeeping system. Your whole accounting ecosystem can be cloud-based, including inventory management, point of sales, customer relationship management, payroll and eCommerce. All these platforms can be integrated within the cloud, helping your business run smoothly and professionally.
The ability to access your information anytime anywhere will break the chain between your desk and your business information. Read more about the benefits of cloud accounting or speak to your Accru Accountant about what solutions are right for your business.
Customers are more likely than ever to check you out online before making contact. Some may even only engage with you if you have an online presence in the first place, so it is vital that you are easy to find online and have a professional, mobile-friendly website.
A website is an important branding tool and can not only create credibility, but also a assist in increasing potential customer traffic, communication of promotions and information about your products and services. The best part…. good websites are now very affordable.
3. Social Media
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are fundamentally changing the way we connect, collaborate and communicate. As a result, businesses are using social mediums to positively connect with their consumers.
Social media is ever-changing, so it is vital that you’re not just present but also monitor the feedback that comes through these channels. Monitoring comments, questions and feedback is important to ensure that your business is being portrayed fairly to the market and demonstrates you care about your business. Partaking in the conversation, sharing valuable links and information can all help show potential customers that you care about your business and what your brand is about.
4. Collaboration tools
Technology is not only helping businesses communicate with their customers, but also with the people within the business. Products like Microsoft Office 365 allow you to store your files online, work online and share files securely with your team. In a lot of cases, this eliminates the need for servers and network drives, allowing you and your team to work online from anywhere on any device.
Evolving technologies offer many other ways you can collaborate with your staff and customers. These include customer portals, instant messaging and online employee management systems that manage everything from employee records to rostering and timesheets.
Online spending has grown by 12.4% in the past year, so it’s worth considering how you can incorporate eCommerce in your business. Taking your sales online is relatively simple and cost-effective with providers like eBay and Shopify. Accepting debit and credit payments online is also made easy and affordable through payment systems like PayPal, Stripe, eWay and Square. As a bonus, solutions such as these can integrate with a cloud accounting package, simplifying your bookkeeping.
So where to from here?
Find the right IT minded person to help you implement new technologies in your business – someone that has the expertise and is able to communicate effectively with you.
Automation and connectivity technology, if used correctly, can free you to spend more time ‘on’ your business rather than ‘in’ your business.
If you are ready to move to the cloud or would like more information, contact your Accru Accountant. We can assist you in finding the right solution for your needs and will ensure a smooth migration.
By Claire Mortimer Accru Melbourne