Every small business owner (SBO) wants to cut the cost of operations and grow margins. If your company can deliver the same (or better) services or products for less outlay, your business increases profits.

Technology Helps Small Business Grow

The SCORE organization has collated data on the relationship between small business and technology, revealing challenges and technology-based solutions.

Check out the numbers1:

·         8 out of 10 SBOs use a mobile device at least once a day;

·         56% use mobile tech for scheduling and routine communication with business associates and employees;

·         One in three SBOs use mobile tech to create to-do lists and organize a work schedule;

·         About 25% of small businesses save time using online banking.

·         56% of SBOs use customer relationship management (CRM) software to track every project or every order.

·         According to SCORE, 92% of small business use some form of cloud computing to save money, improve collaborations, and increase security in the event of a catastrophic data loss.

·         63% of small business owners are overwhelmed by available technologies and need reliable information and help.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) Offers Help

You know your business, but you may not know the latest in security technology or how to market your website. The SBA recommends that SBOs focus on five areas of technology to improve business revenues without busting the budget.

Accounting software is a must. Any small business has to track where the money came from and where it went as it flowed through the company.  It’s important to select accounting software that syncs seamlessly with your online banking activities to avoid duplicate entries and other time-consuming chores. Talk to a small business specialist at your bank to choose the right accounting software for your business and your bank to get the most from both.

Planning software and tools can cut big jobs done to size. Mind-mapping software, for example, provides a visual representation of a complex business activity in the planning stages. Mind-mapping software identifies pinch-points and other implementation problems before the company wastes manpower and money on a flawed plan.

Get a time tracker. Track how much time it takes to do all of the items on that day’s “to-do” list. Time tracking software identifies time-wasting activities and helps you focus on those aspects of business that require the SBO’s attention, not micro-managing activities that someone else could handle.

Email management software is another valuable tech tool that can be configured to organize incoming and out-going emails in an orderly, productive fashion. How much time do you spend reading and responding to emails? What if email could be routed to another employee to handle? You, the SBO, wouldn’t address customer concerns – your customer service rep could automatically handle those important relationships.

Mobile access software and hardware is a “must-have” in today’s business realm. The respected Pew Research Center reports that nearly 66% of “Americans are smartphone owners, and for many, these devices are a key entry point to the online world.”2

Your sales team needs mobile access when it’s on the road. Your technicians need mobile access to capture payment at the time services are delivered, improving cash flow and cutting collection to almost nothing. Mobile access facilitates online conferencing, sales and promotions, and pro-active push incentives your company sends to existing customers.

The mobile trend is expected to expand as the technology improves. Already, may websites have a mobi-version that displays attractively on small, smartphone screens to eliminate scrolling up, down, right and left.

So, as a small business owner, look at each broad area of your business operations to discover how technology can streamline operations, lower costs, expand margins, and boost productivity.

Time to get technical on the job and grow faster.

1.      https://www.score.org/resource/infographic-how-can-technology-help-my-small-business

2.      http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/04/01/us-smartphone-use-in-2015/

 


The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank, a division of ZB, N.A.