So how does today’s technology affect today’s small business:
Communication is critical in any business but even more so in small businesses. Today’s technology has streamlined communication with the small business organization. Applications such as Microsoft Teams and Slack allow for fast communication between employees even when they are not in the office. This allows for even faster responses and communications than your standard email.
Collaboration is critical in a small business because there are fewer employees and departments and therefore collaboration between managers is critical. Teams and Slack allow for employees to communicate quickly, share files, share screens, and even collaborate on documents at the same time. Additionally, with the use of Microsoft SharePoint, Dropbox, and other cloud services, files can be accessed at any time, anywhere with the use of an internet connection.
Today’s remote access tools have come along way from PC Anywhere. Today with VPN, LogMeIn, GoToMyPC, and other remote access tools, employees can work easily from their home, a remote location, a remote site, or from a vacation home. In turn, this does make the employee more productive, less time staring out of a train window or out a windshield. Small businesses need to make sure their employees are productive in and out of the office and today’s technology allows them that flexibility.
Improved Customer Relations
How many times have we said to ourselves, “I need to make sure I do that tomorrow?” Hopefully, we all find a way to note that somewhere to remind us. There are so many tools that we can utilize to help us improve relationships with customers.
- First – there note-taking tools like Evernote and OneNote to ensure we write down our notes from meetings or just brainstorming.
- Second – There are so many tasking tools out there. I particularly love Microsoft’s To-do. It has a desktop and a mobile app, and it integrates with Outlook and other O365 tools.
- Thirdly – many good CRM tools that are proactively reminding us to touch base with a customer. These tools when the setup can automatically send out reminders to your customers. Tools such as Salesforce, SugarCRM, and Microsoft Dynamics all have these functionalities.
The bottom line is that is only such much time in the day. We need to make sure we prioritize family and personal time so therefore these technology tools become critical when running our small business. We need to use them effectively to manage our business, keep our employees productive and keep our customers happy.