The advance of technology can truly help to boost your business, with a variety of apps and tools available to ease your daily workload and help you to focus on growth. For example, you and your employees can now work remotely from anywhere in the world due to video conferencing technology and cloud-based file sharing programs, thereby making it easier to connect with new markets globally. A stunning website can draw new customers in and an active social media presence can raise your profile further and reach new audiences. Tech advances have also made it easier for you to connect to potential investors and receive funding and support. The rise of automated software means the day-to-day running of your business can now be smoother and easier, allowing you to focus on where you want your business to go and spend less time focusing on data entry and sending invoices.
Use Cloud based technology
Cloud based technology is a revolution in computing, allowing you and your company to share services that would otherwise be restricted to big companies with large budgets. This means you can adapt the services you use as and when you need it, and scale your support as necessary. All you need is an Internet connection and you are away, so your employees have the possibility of working from any time and any place in the world. Working remotely not only provides flexibility to employees and a motivational factor that can boost productivity and increase work-based happiness, it also allows you to work with different markets worldwide and remain connected. Through using cloud-based backups you can be sure that all your important files and data are kept current and safe, and are accessible by your colleagues and employees only. If you are concerned about security when using cloud-based tech, you needn’t be. In fact, the cloud is not inherently insecure as many people may assume, but instead may offer greater security than in-house physical data storage can. For one thing it can be harder for someone to steal specific data, as it is more difficult to locate on the cloud than it would be in a filing cabinet in your office. Cloud providers have to provide robust security systems as their entire reputation is based on customers knowing that their data is protected. As such, they employ security experts working round the clock to stop any breaches in security, therefore your data is more likely to be safe in the cloud than in a traditional setting.
Have a good website
It is vital that you have an engaging and informative website that tells people who you are, what you do and why they should buy your product. It may seem basic and yet it is surprising how many businesses can get this initial step wrong. Good website design should not be overlooked as it can be the difference between you and your competitors. There is a wealth of free website hosting available, such as Webs.com and Freehosting.com, or some that cost a monthly or annual fee, for example Squarespace. Hosting sites such as WordPress, based on open source technology, can offer you a free website along with the option of customizing your site including your domain name, for a monthly fee. You can use a ready-made template or customize your own to make your website truly unique. Paying for a website designer to help craft your site can be valuable. This is particularly the case if there are particular aspects you want to include, such as videos or custom buttons, and you do not feel confident in your capabilities. It is also worth paying extra for a custom domain name, as this will allow new customers to find you. Try to keep your domain name short and representative of what your business is, so that it will appear easily in online searches. Remember that your website works as a storefront of your business. Therefore, it needs to be both professional and easy to navigate. Ensure that all links work and that the menu is not overly complicated and has minimal layers. Be sure to choose the right template for your business. For example, if you have a business that relies on the visuals, such as an online shop or a photographic business, then make sure your website represents this. Go for big, bold visuals and high-resolution pictures with limited text to visually sell your services.
Connect with investors online
The world on online technology has opened up many new doors for those seeking financial backing and investors. The traditional route for investment is a bank loan, but if you would rather take a different path and would benefit from the input of experienced businessmen and women then you now have access to more investors worldwide at the touch of a button. For example, angel investors offer not only money but also their time and mentoring to help your business succeed and grow. This is valuable, particularly if your business would benefit from the shared advice and networks of more experienced business owners. Pitch your company on the angel investment network to hopefully find the right option for you. If finding one or two key investors does not work in terms of obtaining the level of financial backing you need, then run your own crowdfunding campaign using online platforms such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo. These give you the chance to pitch your product or idea to a wide audience, and offer a range of investment levels, from a few dollars to thousands. Offer investors something of value in return, such as a limited edition design of your product, to incentivize them. Promote your crowdfunding campaign heavily on social media to raise its profile, and it will help if you create shareable content for the page, such as a video explaining why people should invest. This also adds a personal element to your campaign that can help funders to feel connected and encourage people to invest.
Make payments easy
Tech has made making payments easy. If you run a retail store, then you can now get rid of your cash register, freeing up valuable space, and make payments using specific apps on your tablet or iPad. This is also great if you have a mobile business, as your cash register becomes fully portable and you can trade from anywhere at any time, as long as there is an internet connection, meaning you can take your business anywhere.
Outsource to improve productivity
Outsourcing tasks that you do not need to oversee can free up valuable time and allow you and your employees to concentrate instead on the core focus of your business, allowing it to flourish. For example, you can outsource your invoicing and accounts, ensuring that all payments are up to date and any late reminders are sent out without you needing to keep track of each detail. You could outsource your admin to a virtual assistant, who can help you to maintain your schedule at a minimal level of input from yourself. Outsourcing can also give you access to a high level of expertise and knowledge without the associate price tag of hiring in-house. Outsourcing your IT, for example, can give you a range of skills available at any point should a problem arise, without needing to pay for a full time IT specialist at costs which may be prohibitive for a small business. IT services in Los Angeles can help to solve your IT issues with a range of experts on hand.
Advancements in tech have made communications, both internally and externally, easier to maintain and more effective. Project management software, such as Slack or Basecamp, can help to keep communication fluid between team members, breaking down large projects into bite-size pieces and highlighting each step involved and who is responsible for overseeing it. This can help in terms of ensuring there is no confusion and creating different channels for team members to communicate on. Using a project management app can also help to boost motivation, as, when a business goal is shared with the whole team, everyone is clear about what they are working towards and each step achieved is highlighted. Virtual meetings are easier than ever to arrange and hold, with an array of hosting platforms such as Skype or Facetime, allowing you to talk face to face with colleagues or clients globally and for free. This is becoming ever more popular with many interviews even being conducted via Skype.
Tech is also providing a boost to external communications as social media is allowing you to connect easily and directly with customers, both prospective and existing. Via social media you can access new audiences and market your product at minimal cost to your business. Remember that all your communications are public so always remain polite and respectful. If you can add humor to your communications you are more likely to find a wider following, and creating shareable content, such as gifs or short films, can boost your profile further. To make managing multiple accounts easy use a platform such as Hootsuite, which allows you to look at your different profiles and schedule posts in advance.