Technology, for many businesses, seems like a double-edged sword. Unfortunately, technology should be a tool that doesn’t come with any drawback. How can you get everything you expect from technology?
The rumor is true; software and hardware can save you money. But beware, because there are a lot of technology solutions available that claim to help you save money and end up being another expense.
To find technology that saves your company money, consider the following factors:
- Is it easy to use?
- Will you spend more money on training staff, than you will on the new tech?
- Does it have everything you were hoping for to solve your problem?
- Are you paying for features you know you won’t use?
These questions can help you decide which solution is right for you. The great thing about saving money with technology is that there is no need to compromise. There are so many options available for every business problem that you can always find what you need.
When looking to save money with technology, create a clear list of demands, then start your search.
Don’t worry though, not every money-saving tech solution is about bringing in a new system. Here are 5 simple ways that technology can save any business money:
- Reduce paper waste with digital storage.
- Permit trusted employees to telecommute reducing sick days.
- Simplify systems to decrease the time spent filing, organizing, etc.
- Save hundreds on advertising by switching to digital marketing.
- Reduce your office space by eliminating outdated equipment, filing systems and more.
Properly functioning IT improves a business’s productivity. User-friendly software can streamline your company’s processes and eliminate unnecessary work. When you’re looking to improve productivity with technology, it’s vital that the solution fits your staff.
Managers and CEOs often hold off for too long on implementing technology because they fear the time and money that may be needed for training. For example, if you’re implementing QuickBooks, your secretary doesn’t need to understand the entire suite, only the region where they can input returned invoices.
Don’t deliver umbrella training to your entire staff. Identify and focus on how new technology will impact each person’s job function.
Data of Greater Value
Even small companies that rely on paper systems and a brick-and-mortar setup have access to precious data. How can you tap into that data? Technology.
There are two frames of thought when it comes to data value. First, it must be easily accessible. Useful data shouldn’t be hard to extract. Second, it must deliver quantifiable information to staff.
Many companies find that IT and specific software solutions eliminate hours, especially when it comes to collecting, sorting, and analyzing data necessary for strategic decision making.
The best way to implement data collection software is to decide what data you value the most. For customer management, you might need software that extracts data from a website or other software that holds your customer portal. There are many software solutions, but it’s important to find the right customer management software for you.
More Engagement from Staff
Remember when instant messaging was all the rage? Then, it seemed like all types of messaging were instant. Now here we are, no one responds to emails, and people get frustrated.
Don’t underestimate the benefits of a quality instant messenger. Utilize, Slack, Skype, Zoom, Facebook Messenger, or even Google’s IM. Make it easy for your staff to engage. Make it easy for people who have the correct information to disperse it to their team or their manager without stopping what they are working on completely.
Increased Support Between Departments
Modern day technology has changed the function of the IT department. IT once installed systems and performed updates. Now they create databases that work differently for various departments.
Many businesses don’t realize that their IT department has an in-depth understanding of each person’s job function. A much better bridge between departments than HR.
Reduce Stolen Time
Although people don’t like talking about it, if your employee is on their Facebook page, or even reading the news while on the clock they are stealing from you.
Reduce stolen time with time tracking software. Now you can be fancy and get software that tracks mouse clicks, typing rates, and web browsing, or you can opt for a simple mobile solution. As always, choose what fits your company and your staff for effective results.
With the right time tracking software you can increase productivity, reduce stolen time and even more.
Improve Financial Tracking and Accuracy
Technology can improve or ease the struggle of:
- Collecting payments
- Tracking invoices
- Processing payments to suppliers
Technology is your accounting department’s new best friend. From QuickBooks to Sage 300, there are so many options available that you can choose one to best fit your business’s size and needs.
Small companies should choose software that helps with taxes and invoice tracking, as they probably have a reliable system for collecting payments and payroll. Larger companies need payroll help to save tens of thousands in outsourced payroll expenses.
Advanced Marketing Techniques
Any startup, brick-and-mortar shop, small business or large corporation can use technology to obtain the benefits of nearly free marketing. Content marketing involves careful planning, and minimal effort past that.
Save money on marketing by:
- Utilizing freelance contractors rather than hourly staff.
- Obtain more business through online traffic.
- Save thousands on advertising expenses, remove physical advertising components from the marketing strategy.
Open New Revenue Streams
eCommerce is here to stay. There’s no avoiding it. You can take on an entirely new revenue stream with the investment of about $300 to get your website running and taking payments or orders online.
For online companies, consider creating an app to reach new clients and open a new revenue stream.
Because you can quickly implement technology, it might seem overwhelming. How do you choose the right option, and will your staff even use it correctly?
The best way to ensure that technology is helping your business is to work with an experienced IT professional or a consultant. They can help you decide which software or hardware solutions fit you, your company and your staff.