Running a small business can be challenging and stressful. It’s also very rewarding when you succeed. Making your business profitable is a top priority, and running a tight ship with crisp operations can help you be profitable sooner. Being organized also helps you ensure that your team members are spending their time on the right work, and expand more easily when you’re ready. It will allow you to expand your business easily and see where improvements can be made or gaps could be filled.
With today’s technology, small business solutions are endless. Here are three things you can start doing to make your business more efficient:
Use cloud-based customer management systems
Surely you’re not still using paper? There are dozens of online systems that can be deployed for keeping track of information, to-do lists, files, customers and calendars. The advantage of cloud-based systems (as opposed to on-premise) is that you can access them wherever you are, sync them to your Smartphone and home computers, helping you stay on task.
Before, businesses would build their own custom systems; however, it’s now possible to customize a number of today’s leading software programs. By choosing the right application, you can customize it to meet any needs of your business, so that you have a system that’s right for you.
Look for customizable CRM systems like Method:CRM — it’s easy to use and syncs with QuickBooks to help make relationship management and accounting a breeze. Sharing customer information and files can be time consuming, so having important details in one place will save you time.
If you’re doing a lot of team collaboration, Google Docs is a good option; however, it is limited in that it’s difficult to manage with large teams or hundreds of files.
Outsource where possible
Learn to outsource any processes or actions that you are not capable to handling in-house. This is especially important if the project is short-term. There are two advantages to hiring freelancers: it will cost much less and it streamlines the work.
A freelancer charges a certain rate, which can be per day or per project. You won’t need to pay any overheads for office space or staff benefits. They are also dedicated to the work – meetings, emails or questions from co-workers aren’t distracting them. That means you’ll usually have a faster turnaround than with in-house staff.
To avoid complications and challenges of hiring a freelancer, you can use a service such as Freelancer.com or Elance.com. They have a huge list of freelancers that are ready to work; you can see their previous projects, ratings and reviews from previous clients and make your decision based on that.
Save time with automation
Consider what the most tedious and repetitive tasks are in your business and find a way to automate them with technology. Doing this will help you maximise productivity, reduce expenses and increase your bottom line.
Ensure that the technology you’re using makes sense for your business. If you run a cake making business, you can automate requests or appointment booking for custom creations with a secure online form. For a company that requires a lot of meetings, there are programs like Timetrade that will allow you to give clients access to a calendar with your available times for meetings and calls. They book their appointments and you receive a notification, saving you time on the email back and forth.
When looking for other ways to improve your business, look no further than technology, automation, and outsourcing. The ability to focus on what’s important – managing, sales and so on – can only help your company.