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Get With The Times: Is Your Business Up To Modern Standards?

Technology moves quickly, which means as businesses we need to either keep up or get left behind. This day in age it’s easy to become obsolete or risk failure if you don’t keep up with the times. This can make technology sound like more of a hindrance than a help, however there are so many ways that modern tech can make your life easier as a company owner. It makes jobs quicker and more efficient, you don’t need to hire as many staff members for the jobs you have (and the workers you do have can be used to their best potential, instead of being stuck on tedious manual tasks). It can help to automate systems, make everything much more accurate and generally improve your life and business in so many ways as an entrepreneur. If you’re worried about being left in the dark ages while your competitors race ahead, here are a few ideas of areas to look into in your business.

Cloud Based Data Storage

As a business, you absolutely have to keep perfect records. Bank statements, invoices, customer orders and so much more. For tax purposes alone, these kinds of records need to be kept for a minimum of five years, and so you can end up with a lot of important information on your hands. Backing up to a hard drive might seem like a sensible option, but if something happens to your office computers chances are your hard drives will be sabotages in the same way. It could be an office fire or flood or other natural disaster, or it could be a case of theft. Either way, using hard drives to backup on isn’t recommended. Instead, cloud based systems are much more effective. Here your information is stored ‘in the cloud’ on servers away from your office. It means that if you need them, they can be securely accessed from any computer and if anything happens to your workplace your information is safe. As all files are encrypted its a safe and efficient way to keep your records and data.

Business Software

Business software can make light work of what would otherwise be tedious and time consuming tasks. It can automate lots of tasks and generally make everything quicker and easier. Take rota planning software for example, unlike manual methods there’s no risk of double booking anyone or getting it wrong. Accounting software can ensure your records are kept accurately making it much quicker and easier (and therefore cheaper for you) for your accountant to your tax return at the end of the year. You can get legal software to bind up legally binding contracts instead of having to speak to a solicitor every time, and so much more. There are all kinds of programs out there, so have a look and see what would work best for your business.

Go Contactless

Contactless is the future. Swiping your card, or using Apple or Android Pay to make smaller payments is incredibly convenient. It helps prevent queues from forming and is all round an efficient method for payments. If you’re the kind of business that takes payments from customers, then you absolutely need to get on board with contactless payments. Very few people carry cash these days, so a chip and pin device along with the ability to take contactless payments could be the difference between success and failure. Companies like NFC direct can even allow you to showcase your products and contact details amongst other via an instant smartphone transfer as well as contactless payments. It’s certainly something to look into when it comes to getting your business up to modern standards.

An App

Having your own website is something that’s not just an added bonus in the modern day, but vital to your success as a business. But as well as a website, having an app created can be seriously beneficial. When a customer downloads your app, you’re essentially climbing into their pocket which is a great place to be as a business! Your details, products or services are only ever a click away. It makes you look reliable and trustworthy, and since now more sales are made on tablets and phones than computers and laptops, this is something you can’t afford to ignore. Speak to an app designer and have them create you something custom and beautiful.

Video Marketing and Social Media Marketing

Marketing is of course nothing new, and for as long as there have been businesses we’ve needed ways of getting our name out there to the right customers. However marketing techniques have moved on, no longer are flyers, posters and billboards the preferred methods for most businesses now that being able to sell globally is an option. Even affiliate marketing and other older methods aren’t considered to be as effective. Two modern marketing techniques which are shown to work well and lead to more leads and sales are social media marketing and video marketing. Unless you’re an expert, it’s often work hiring a professional company to deal with the marketing side of your business for you, since they will know all about modern techniques. Due to changes with Google and other search engines, some forms of marketing can actually harm your position, and so it’s better to leave it in the hands of those who know what they’re doing.

A Modern Office

Finally, not technology but a modern office can certainly help your business. A space that’s pleasant can make workers more productive, plus, psychologists have found a number of things about workplace habits that you can utilise. Natural light is a mood booster, it can make workers happier and therefore more productive. If your office is dingy with lots of artificial light, you could consider making an upgrade and moving somewhere else, or re-jigging the layout. Moving desks closer to windows for example means you can make the most of the natural light. Plants have been shown to have a similar effect, so decorate your office with living plants. Good quality furniture and equipment will make the office far nicer for workers and make it easier for them to get on with their job.