Consider how businesses were run thirty years ago, and compare it to now. Things have changed at an incredible pace. With the internet has come business websites and the ability to email people within seconds, no matter where they live. In this article we discuss Running A Business? Here’s How Technology Can Be Of Help.
Each new innovation becomes a badge of superiority for a business, until other companies catch up and it becomes the new normal.
Whilst businesses have to constantly monitor what technology and their rivals are doing, there is good news here as well.
Businesses can employ modern technology to enhance almost every area of their work.
Let’s have a look at some examples right now.
Improved work allocation
In the ‘old days’ a manager might be constantly scrabbling through paper files to find out who was dealing with a particular case. One can see on https://crm.webfletch.co.uk/features/job-sheet-software the benefits of using modern job sheet software.
It can be used to create jobs and then delegate them to employees, having first checked their online timetables.
Activities like these can be done from a mobile phone. Customers can also be invoiced and emailed using the same software.
Enhanced customer service
Websites are able to offer more and more to potential and existing customers. They can create accounts and check on payments and deliveries.
The public can access online help desks to have all their questions answered, and speak to customer service staff. It is possible to email a company or book a delivery slot twenty four hours a day, often from a mobile phone.
Online chat is another new option where people can speak to someone in a virtual call centre, and receive immediate replies. Reply bots can provide automated responses using preset question and answer scripts.
Much company information is stored in the cloud these days. This has two key benefits: it’s easier to create a paperless office, and the information can be accessed from anywhere.
Passwords are encrypted to double up on security, and there can even be two-step verification.
Besides the internet, many businesses have their own intranet. This is a connection to internal company pages providing access according to job roles. It therefore enables local file sharing.
Increased productivity and control of finance
Companies can use time tracking software. Managers can check where their workers are and how long they are spending on business travel.
This protects against employees abusing the system, and increases their accountability to management.
Businesses cannot just create their own invoices on the go. They can use budget tracking software and other accounting platforms that connect to the company’s accounts and bookkeeping data.
An enhanced marketing process
Opt-in forms are a great tool for businesses. People who visit a website or who click on a link can choose to receive further mailing from the company.
This could include special offers, discounts and new product information. Email marketing is a highly effective way of generating sales because it targets audiences who are already interested in similar products or services.
Companies can harness blog posts and social media to their marketing engine. Regular quality posts on Facebook and Twitter can help build up customer connection.
Helpful ‘how to’ videos on Youtube can be the bait to catch new potential customers as well.
Multiple ways to communicate
We have already mentioned phones, email and the like. Added to that are the video related communication options, such as Skype, Zoom or Facetime.
Webinars are a great marketing tool to secure business through quality content. Businesses can also use teleconference calls, webinars and web conferences.
We mentioned the intranet earlier, and there are also other platforms that enable businesses to communicate with those inside the company.
Specific groups can be created, in a similar way to email mailing lists.
Greater ways to train
Employees need to have regular training in order to stay up to date with legislation and business news. The great thing about online training is that it can be done anywhere.
It can include modules containing text, photos, videos and internet links. It’s easy to incorporate business handouts within the modules, in pdf format for easy download and use.
Questions can be included at the end of each section, to check on employee understanding. Overall scores and even a certificate can be given at the end.
This then feeds into a software programme that monitors who has had what training. It can really help with identifying areas where staff lack key information and skills.
Technology can help businesses with their productivity, marketing, communication channels and accounts. It is possible to create and edit documents from anywhere, storing them in the cloud.
Selected people can then access and share these files. One piece of software might connect with another, and many programmes can be used from a mobile phone.
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Also published on Medium.