The development of workplace technology continues apace in 2019 and as we approach the close of the decade it shows no sign of slowing.
In this article we look at four areas of your business and how you can utilise technology to support and grow your business.
Without robust financial processes in place, any business will struggle. After all, cash flow has a huge impact on your ability to function day to day as well as enabling your growth plans.
Implementing a good mix of apps will enable you to streamline everything from your mileage and expenses claims to the issuing of invoices. And what’s more, you can do most of it on the go!
The options are growing all the time, but some well know and established options include Xero, Quickbooks and FreeAgent. You can even implement direct debit payments from clients through systems like GoCardless which further smooth your cash flow and reduce the risk of late payments causing you financial hiccups.
The best place to start is a conversation with your accountant who should be able to outline the options most suited to your business needs.
Simplify your expenses
Apps like Receipt Bank, MileIQ and Expensify make it easy for you and your staff to keep track of mileage and expenses. Receipts connect direct to accounting packages making bank reconciliations a breeze and saving your accounts team the headache of lost receipts and unexpectedly high expense claims.
It’s worth knowing that MileIQ is free to Office365 premium business subscribers and allows you to record and allocate mileage at the swipe of a finger.
If you’re still relying on spreadsheets, or worse still paper records, for your people management now is the time to revolutionise your HR department!
Cloud-based HR management software is easily accessible to business of all sizes. There are several systems available, although my system of choice is Breathe.
This simple to use, secure system allows a single point of reference for all staff documentation, policy management, performance management, training records, holiday records, absence management, and disciplinary records.
Imagine all the office space you could save by moving your records to one of these systems!
Online training services
In the past training could be an onerous job for businesses to manage. However, it can be made a lot cheaper and less time consuming using online training services. Instead of having to spend whole days out of the office to complete statutory training your staff can train from the convenience of your workplace at a time that suits the needs of the business.
Keeping track of work progress can be a messy affair with notebooks, post-it notes, and files all over the place. Yet it doesn’t need to be like that.
The options to streamline your workflow management are extensive and finding what meets your needs might take a little research. Here are some options to think about:
With a variety of subscriptions available you can combine this single system to manage your client information, documents, email and so much more. As an off the shelf product you might find you need to invest in some technical support to tailor the system to your needs but it’s worth spending the time to do this to get the most from your subscription.
If Office365 isn’t the right fit, there are alternatives such as GSuite that are well worth looking at.
WeTransfer and Dropbox
With the explosion in digital technology, it’s not unusual to need to share very large files that are too large for many email systems. Services such as WeTransfer and Dropbox offer fabulously cost-effective file sharing and storage solutions.
The market is flooded with productivity apps, all with their own pros and cons. However, some free apps we love are Toggl for time management and Asana or Trello for task and project management. If you need something a little more comprehensive, then services like Monday can be worth a look.
The digital age has brought about a communications revolution and email was just the tip of the iceberg.
A big step in improving external communications is to make sure all your data is organised. Like your accounts though it’s a good idea to look at cloud-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) options instead of keeping records in spreadsheets.
When researching your options look at solutions that will enable you to keep track of the latest conversations you or your team have had with your client, enable you to easily communicate with your clients and track the success of marketing campaigns. You can find free basic services like HubSpot that allow you to bolt-on paid features or, depending on your needs, you might prefer to opt for a more extensive service of a fully paid subscription.
Keep chat on topic
With so many different messaging platforms available it can be easy to lose track of where different conversations are taking place. Apps like Slack address this by enabling you to keep your chat organised through the use of channels, threads, and hashtags. Imagine never having to waste time searching through trails of emails, texts, WhatsApp messages and Messenger feeds to find important information about a client or project.
These days any business can benefit from a little Artificial Intelligence to improve communication and efficiency. Whether it’s a chat function on your website that responds to basic queries when you can’t or a fully AI ordering facility, the possibilities are growing every day.
Transforming your workplace
Transforming your workplace and business processes can feel daunting, and occasionally unsettling for your workforce.
Book a call to find out how we can support you, and your team, to implement the changes you need to elevate your business and boost productivity.
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