There aren’t many businesses that don’t currently use some kind of technology. It has changed the way we hire, how we communicate, and how we work.
It helps us work faster, create large talent pools, and with IT services improve how we work with our customers. Technology matters whatever way you look at it. Sometimes it might feel like with all of the technology we have, it can be a bit overkill.
But it pays to remember the ways that technology has improved how we do business, as a small company or a freelancer.
Paperwork and the filing of customer details, large projects, and other documents used to take a lot of time. In general, the process for keeping records safe wasn’t always a great one. If there were a break-in or a fire, then all of the details would go up in smoke too.
We have more ways to keep records safely now. When the safety technology is implemented correctly and maintained well, only the correct people will ever have access to the documents.
There is an added layer of protection, too with encryption. Putting passwords on files means that more sensitive information is less likely to end up in the wrong hands, and if it does, it can’t be accessed.
#2 Backed Up
Where we used to need to make many paper copies in order to have back-ups of information, we are now able to simply decide how you want to back up the information – via a cloud or a hard disk drive and you have got a copy of all your hard work.
Marketing has probably never been as exciting as it is now. Not only do we have easier access to the marketing, press and advertising contacts on newspapers, TV and radio.
But, we can now create a completely online campaign that can have a global impact. Technology has given us many platforms on which we can sing from the rooftops about our brand and products. And then it gave us the software to handle analytics, automation and in-depth information about our customers.
You can produce websites, newsletters, and even have your customers able to communicate via Whatsapp groups.
It has taken the conversation to where it needed to be – with the audience and with them in mind.
#4 Customer Services
Speaking of conversations, your customer service has never been in a better position. There are automated chatbots, or the ability to hire someone to handle it for you.
Being realistic, if you don’t treat your customers well, they won’t be customers for long. And where once upon a time an irate customer might just write a letter and would give you in the region of a month to reply, it is now much faster.
People, your customers will send an instant message, or an email and expect a response within 24 hours, not 24 days. Having chat support on your website and customer services available 24/7 is essential.
For you and your workers. If you don’t have an office that you have to go to or a physical store – you and/or your staff could work from anywhere in the world.
We can share huge files via things like DropBox or WeTransfer, and communicate any time and anywhere. Slack and Trello are great options for handling your staff and communication too.
Without the cost of a physical office or space, there is a lot to be said for the money-saving aspect too.
Of course, the more productive you are – the more you can work and earn. There are so many tools that are designed to help you automate the things that you need to do every day that might be pretty time consuming, and there are tools to keep your to-do list very neat and easy to stay on top of.
Not only do you have access to your team’s productivity and working hours, but you also have the ability to track yours down to the second. And bill accordingly.
It is now so easy to make a payment online, that when you reach a point of many sales, you don’t even need notifications of the transactions.
The ease of the payment process, coupled with things like drop shipping, means that everything is taken care of. There are also accounts designed for freelancers and small businesses that are totally online. They don’t need an in-person signature and can be opened in a matter of minutes.
Which means that when it comes to paying VAT or taxes, everything is much easier to access and find. Of course, it pays to keep a written account of your earnings and costs, but in general – it couldn’t be easier.
Combining social media marketing and your website, you can now have so many more global customers than you may have thought possible. This works even better for services and course sellers.
While physical products will still need to be shipping, digital content can be downloaded in seconds – so someone the other side of the world can purchase your goods, and you can deliver in minutes. Truly global.
If you are online and come across a portfolio that really stands out to you, you can now reach out to that person and work out a way to collaborate. Which was incredibly difficult before the age of the internet.
Exchanging emails, other online communication tools and even WhatsApp you can now have a whole project built with someone you may never meet. Communication can make or break a project, and with the easy of conversation now, the options are limitless.
There are so many more applications of technology in business that it would be impossible to list them all. And, each company is impacted and improved by technology in a different way.
It is always worth spending an hour or two per week looking at new technologies and software that can be applicable to your business and the potential impact you can make.
How are you combining tech into your business?