By Jen Cohen Crompton
With endless tech and data tools flooding the small business market, it’s important that innovative small business owners and managers take time to consider adopting modern approaches to their everyday workflows, which will ultimately result in more efficient business functions. When state-of-the-art technology and accessible data are cohesively leveraged, small businesses can better analyze their operations and make decisions that result in a more efficient bottom line.
Advanced technology can often offer analytical insights that would otherwise go unnoticed by the everyday small business owner. Technology and data-driven small businesses can better assess their business functions from an informed perspective and apply resolutions that not only benefit business income, but also promote a collaborative work environment.
To better utilize technology and apply basic data-recognition processes into everyday business workflows, small business owners and managers should consider implementing some or all the following:
- Move to digital cloud-storage solutions and eliminate manual receipt and expense organization: Mobile apps and streamlined cloud solutions have replaced old school sticky notes and archaic paper filing cabinets. These high-tech solutions allow users to store more business information in addition to making that must-have information readily available.
- Transition away from outdated accounting workflows: Powerful accounting systems provide small businesses with an easier way to keep up with the finances associated with running their business, and, in-turn, allow them to eliminate costly errors and increase efficiency.
- Stop collecting data manually and develop a streamlined approach: Today’s smartphones enable small business owners to capture their most important business information by using their device’s camera, so there is no need to toss crumbled receipts into old shoe boxes or stuff folders full of invoices into cluttered filing cabinets. Mobile capture and PDF import technology automatically recognizes data, extracts the key information and organizes it, making not-so-obvious business insights available and ready to use.
- Use social media channels to develop warm leads as opposed to relying on traditional cold calling: Cold calling is an archaic approach that yields inconsistent results. Instead, today’s small businesses should target the warmest leads by analyzing data derived from social media.
- Eliminate the bullpen and allow employees to telecommute instead: Modern cloud technology makes the most important business information accessible anytime, anywhere allowing employees to work from home while the small business saves on overhead expenses.
Technology and data trends are rapidly changing the small business landscape, so it is important that owners and managers choose to implement the most appropriate technology for their business’s needs. In order to evolve, it is important for small business owners to take an overview of all workflow processes before identifying specific functions that can be supported and enhanced by more innovative technology.
Jen Cohen Crompton is the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at The Neat Company.