In this article, Opus Energy shares its top 6 technology solutions for helping SME owners to streamline their business processes
Recent studies have shown that as many as 65% of SMEs are losing time and money through failing to adopt technology with many admitting to possessing no basic digital skills, despite a proven correlation between digital skills and high business turnover.
Utilise project management tools
Being able to stay on top of your workload is important, but when you’re juggling twenty different tasks, it’s easy to lose track of where you are. There are lots of online tools to help you manage projects more efficiently and help you stick to deadlines, keep your priorities organised and ensure nothing gets forgotten or dropped.
2. Take advantage of Cloud
It’s been argued that one of the biggest impacts on businesses over the last few years has been the introduction of cloud technology, but not everyone is reaping the benefits yet.
In the past, people would use programs on their computers or building servers to do their work, but cloud-based software allows the same programs to be accessed through the internet. As long as you have an internet connection, you can complete your work anywhere, when it suits you.
Cloud software allows multiple users to simultaneously collaborate on the same document, without creating multiple versions. Users can see changes in real-time, including who has made what changes, which saves time as you don’t have to wait for other people to finish editing before you can start.
At the same time, it’s easier to protect sensitive information and prevent data loss with cloud-based software. From encrypted emails to mobile device management and threat intelligence, you can be confident that your data and intellectual property is well protected.
3. Online training courses
As a small business owner, it’s vital to continue to develop and expand you and your team’s knowledge, whether that be in your specific sector, or more general business updates. Self-paced training and online business training programs, which are often free, are the ideal way to expand your know-how from your own office.
4. Time management
Finding a time that works for you and a supplier, a new client or even a lunch date with friends can often be an exercise of email tennis. Using online calendars will allow others check your availability for meetings. This not only takes the management of your calendar out of your hands but will save everyone a lot of admin time and hassle.
5. Digitalise your invoices
When it comes to getting paid, the easiest way to track and log your finances is online. There are currently several companies offering similar invoicing services.
A digitalised and streamlined online invoicing service may be an appropriate alternative for your business that allows you to manage your billing process quicker and more proficiently.
6. Keep track of your time
Whether or not you bill customers and clients by the hour, there is much to be gained from keeping track of where you and your team’s time goes each day and there are many time-tracking tools available in order to do so. This also helps you spot where you can be more time-efficient, and which tasks are taking up too much of your time.
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