Competition is fierce in the business world, but being small doesn’t mean you can’t fight your corner. With the advancements in business technology and the increasing viability of the Internet as a marketing tool, there’s no reason why your small business shouldn’t be pitching for work that is usually the monopoly of bigger companies.
Using software and services, it’s possible to reduce your overheads, monitor your payroll, keep in touch with management and keep an eye on human resources. Social media allows you to engage both local consumer bases and those further afield, build a trusted brand and expand your audience. By simply targeting what it is that your business needs, you can identify the technology solutions that offer the most value to your company and increase your profits.
Human Resources and Mobile Payments
Human resources are vital to the running of any expanding company, but most small businesses can’t afford what it takes to hire the right personnel. Exact Hire gives you a virtual Human Resources Department, allowing you to eliminate manual application tracking through a paperless and more efficient software program. In addition, it’s possible to speed up the hiring process by collecting critical hire information and the program even offers the potential to uncover cognitive, behavioural and job-skill information about your potential and existing employees.
Meanwhile, one of the biggest developments in 2013 is the development of mobile payment technology. While the initial financial outlay for a card reader is daunting for many new businesses, being only able to take cash acting as an obstacle and can cost your business dearly through lost sales and missed opportunities. But now specialist software such as the Intuit Pay Mobile Payments dongle allows you to turn your smartphone or iPad into a card reader, wherever you happen to be. Simply plug the dongle into your mobile, have your customer swipe their credit or debit card and punch in their security information and the transaction is authorised. More cost effective than a card reader and more flexible, it allows you to take one-off or on the spot payments safely and securely.
Cloud software and programs for Luddites
Given the increasing interest in social networking sites, the opportunity to tap into a new client base has never been more prominent. There are a number of cloud-based products that allow you to gather unprecedented amounts of information from client-based social media profiles, giving you a quick introduction to large numbers of people who could well be potential clients.
Facebook, Twitter and even consumer forums offer fantastic opportunities for those looking to broaden their client bases. Many of these are available as apps for smartphones; check out products, such as Nimble, Tender Support and 37signals, for starters.
If you really don’t know where to start then there’s even software available for that problem! Check out the free download from Microsoft: Business Technology Simplified. There, you’ll find all the information you need, with online tutorials available to put you in the driving seat. At the end of the day, programs, apps and software are simply other office tools, just as much as your stapler and photocopier. Once you know how to use them, you’ll be amazed at how you did anything without them.