When it comes to running a business, cutting costs and maximising efficiency is the name of the game. This may make some business owners reluctant to invest in new technologies due to the costs.
Rest assured though, that new technologies can actually save money and lower costs in the long-run, as well as making tasks easier and less time-consuming. So, how can modern tech lower costs for your business?
Time, as the saying goes, is money. And, as a business owner, you don’t want to be wasting time on anything — let alone tasks that don’t necessarily create any income.
As such, there are plenty of tools that you can utilise to save money through efficiency. For example, there are communications tools ranging from multi-line phone systems to instant messaging platforms such as Slack.
With a multi-line phone system, employees can speed up communication with each other and with customers. This means you’ll be able to make business decisions faster — jumping on opportunities to maximise profits. Plus, customer-facing staff will be able to engage with potential buyers more quickly and retain potentially disgruntled customers, making your business more resilient.
Another way businesses can save time (and money) is by automating as many systems as possible. Automating tasks has proved controversial but, for small businesses in particular, automating inventory and accounting tasks can save money and make staff happier.
Digital point-of-sale systems, for example, can automatically manage product inventories — making it easier to keep track of what’s in stock and what isn’t. This will also improve customer satisfaction as they’ll be able to see which products are available to buy now, without hesitation.
Tightening your security might sound time-consuming and potentially unnecessary. However, in a world where business deals are organised over email and transactions are handled digitally, ensuring your business has a stringent IT security system should, arguably, be your first priority.
The costs of failing to secure your IT infrastructure can be huge — if you’re in Europe, your business will be subject to GDPR rules that can carry huge penalties. And, even if you’re outside the EU, the reputational costs of a big data breach can cripple your business overnight — remember Ashley Madison?
Fortunately, there are plenty of easy ways to raise the drawbridge against online threats. A lot of companies are already employing VPNs to shield internet traffic from potentially shady wifi networks. VPNs, reroute your internet connection through different servers to protect the data your sending online.
Another way to secure your business’ data is by utilising password managers. A password manager creates super-strong passwords for all the websites and apps that require a password to sign-in. All you have to do is remember one single master password. This can help make your security credentials almost unbreakable — keeping all your data secure, and helping you save time and money.
Digitising records can be another effective way to save costs and improve security at the same time. Digital CRM or POS systems, for example, can keep all your records stored locally, as well as in the cloud, giving your business an effective back-up of important records and documents. Plus, if your data is stored entirely in the cloud, you won’t have to worry about potential office burglars stealing your valuable data storage.
It’s often said that technology has shrunk the world and, for businesses, this is definitely true. Employees can now work from home without any hindrance, thanks to web-based apps such as Gmail and Slack. Plus, the growth in VoIP technology means that workers need not attend meetings in person — instead they can dial-in just as easily.
Another benefit of easy remote working is that staff will feel more trusted and potentially more inclined to stay with your company. Employees who can work from home around childcare, doctors’ appointments, or even tradespeople, will feel more accommodated for, giving them a greater job satisfaction.
One of the biggest challenges for businesses is making sure that staff have the skills to grow and thrive within the modern world of work. Prior to the internet, this required lengthy and time-consuming training courses — which ate into valuable time at work. However, training courses are widely available online, from coding to SEO skills and everything in between.
What’s more, online training courses are often cheaper than in-person courses. This means that, firstly, you don’t need to shell-out as much to upskill existing staff and, secondly, you won’t need to hire new staff to plug skills gaps.
Above all, tech offers significant efficiency benefits to modern businesses. From speedier communications through VoIP and multi-line phone systems, to elimination of errors through digitised systems, modern tech makes the process of running a business almost seamless.
And, while there are significant challenges facing modern businesses, there are myriad tech solutions available to help business owners overcome these hurdles, whilst keeping employees happy and motivated.