Own A Small Business? This Tech Can Give You More Time To Run It
Running a small business is no easy task. Sometimes, it feels as though you need about 10 more hands to get everything done each day. But, this isn’t always possible, especially when you are a management staff of one. The following tech tools and services can help give you more time so that you can focus on the areas of business that matter most.
Streamlining your operations means creating processes that reduce unnecessary steps and are carried out in the most efficient way possible. One way to streamline is to focus on how you communicate with your customers. If you own a hotel, software can help you keep in touch with them whether they are in the room, by the pool, or out to dinner. Another area where communication can take place seamlessly is by utilizing artificial intelligence on your website. Instead of having to constantly reply to FAQs, your AI (web-based chatbot) can give your customers answers instantly. Your customers may even have a little fun with your AI.
On the other hand, “streamlining” could involve upgrading the devices and equipment in your office to more efficient models. Is your 10-year-old laptop chugging along? It might be time for a new one. Is your router having trouble communicating with your modem? Look into purchasing a router/modem combo.
Next is figuring out how to handle your money. If you don’t already have experience in bookkeeping and money management, you’re going to spend a great deal of time figuring out everything from accounts payable to tax withholding. Payroll and accounting software will come in handy here. Your payroll processing software will handle many tasks automatically and will have an app that allows you to create same-day direct deposits. This will ensure you can always take care of employee benefits and administrative issues no matter where you are and will keep your payroll automated and organized, meaning your employees never miss a paycheck.
So far, we’ve only looked at software that can help. But, technology is so much more than apps and services. There are also many professionals in the technology sector that you can hire as a full-time employee or a freelance contractor to keep your business running. A few options here include:
● Social media manager. A social media manager can prioritize communicating with your customers on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. MavSocial explains that a novice social media specialist may only charge around $35 per hour, while a more experienced expert may command $100 per hour or more.
● Web/app developer. A website or mobile applications developer (or preferably both) will help increase brand awareness and create a platform upon which to build your business online. A mobile app will also help you create loyalty incentives and a more customized user experience, according to design firm The Creative Momentum.
● Virtual assistant. Using technology to your advantage doesn’t necessarily have to mean outsourcing only areas where you don’t have knowledge. You can also use the internet to bring in an assistant to help with common tasks, such as responding to emails and doing research. Even freeing up 10 hours each week will have a positive impact on how efficient you are when running your business.
Don’t forget to look for free online tools that can complement the help you’ve enlisted. For example, if you want to create an eye-catching logo to drive customers to your business, you can use a logo creator online instead of hiring a designer. Find a template and then customize it by resizing and adding your own copy, font, and colors.
Technology today requires very little user maintenance and is easily implemented. From your telephone systems to freelancers that don’t even need an office, the above ideas can help you run your business during business hours so that you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. While you don’t have to implement all of the above at once, everything you do to free yourself up to focus on what’s most important will put you one step closer to finding the success you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
Article contributed by Katie Conroy. Special thanks!BC (Batiste Consulting, LLC) provides a variety of college and career workshops, including virtual sales course facilitation and financial literacy seminars for high school and college students. Email Dr. B at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more