Technology and small business

In an ever-evolving technological age, it’s vital that businesses embrace the technology around them and use it as effectively as possible. The world of business is a highly competitive one, so it’s one of your responsibilities as a business owner to educate yourself about the latest technologies and to integrate them into your business as much as possible.  

 

This will enable you not only to remain competitive, but also to meet the expectations of your customers, reduce costs and stay ahead of regulatory demands. Utilising the right technologies can also help a business to improve its relationships with its clients, enter new markets, as well as to increase efficiency and revenue – something that can ultimately lead to the impressive expansion of business operations.

 

With the introduction of cloud computing, businesses have multiple options when it comes to business management solutions. From digital platforms, to business applications and reporting tools, it’s now possible for businesses to have access to a range of solutions that are not only effective and reliable, but most importantly, affordable. The cloud offers simplicity and flexibility, and you’re able to access all your data from wherever you are, any time. Plus, all the information stored on the cloud is safe and secure, so you never have to worry about backing up data or losing it. What follows is five ways your business should be using technology to its advantage.

 

Accounting and Payroll Software

 

Online accounting and payroll software, such as that available from Sage One, means that those days of thumbing through file drawers and battling with complicated, inefficient systems are behind you. Sage One allows you to see your profits and losses at a glance as well as manage all your accounts, payroll and budgets quickly and easily. The best part is that you can do this where ever, whenever, all you need is an internet connection.

 

Automated Marketing

 

One of the common reasons for businesses failing within the first two years is a lack of marketing savvy. If your small business makes it past the two-year mark, then it’s up to you to find effective yet affordable methods to market the business and what it offers. There are many cloud-based marketing applications available that provide the perfect solution when it comes to marketing technology. Small businesses don’t have to rely on sophisticated and expensive technology to do a great job when it comes to marketing, and when used correctly, the cloud-based marketing applications available can achieve the same results to that of larger companies.

 

Social Media

 

Social media is one of the most powerful technological tools available and when used to its full potential, can help a small business grow in the best possible ways. A strong social media presence allows a business to interact with customers regularly, something that helps build brand loyalty, but also extends the business’s reach. For example, having a simple blog on your website that is updated regularly with relevant content will increase customer engagement and hopefully attract new business through it being shared across social platforms.

 

Planning Software

 

Every business should have a calendar system or some kind of planning resource in place. This will help you to be more organised as a business, meet deadlines and run daily processes more efficiently. With so many demands needing to be met on a day-to-day basis, business owners and their employees will benefit from a system that helps them manage their time effectively, because at the end of the day, time is money.

 

Mobile Technology

 

This is something that has become a “must” for all businesses. People are able to do more and more on their phones/tablets, and so it’s not surprising that they expect to be able to do everything via their mobile device. It’s in the best interests of a business to ride the mobile wave, both in terms of its utilisation of mobile applications as well as ensuring that its customers are able to connect with the business via their mobile devices.

 

When it comes to technology, it’s important that small businesses use it in a lean and smart way. It’s become a huge part of the business world and the reality is that it needs to be embraced in as any ways as possible, so keep up with the times and make technology your friend – it’s sure to serve you and your business well.

 

 

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Cloud Accounting is the key to taking your business to the next level

Talk to any small business owner and they’re bound to tell you how cloud accounting has helped to change their business… and their lives. When people mention “the Cloud”, they are almost always referring to using the Internet as a means of storing, managing and processing data. 

 

Cloud accounting will completely transform how you do business and once you experience how revolutionary it can be, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been using it all along. Read on to discover the reasons why cloud accounting is the way forward and what it has to offer that is sure to take your business from good to great.

 

Real time, all the time

 

With cloud accounting, as long as you have Internet access, you are able to see all your data at any time and in real time. Any changes you make are automatically saved meaning that you and others are always working with the latest versions of information. Also, more than one person can work on a single file at the same time, facilitating better communication between you and your financial expert (aka, your accountant) as queries can be answered and issues can be resolved there and then.

 

Manual data entry is a thing of the past

 

Gone are the days of having to manually re-enter relevant transaction data from your banking system into your accounting software. Live feeds from your accounts can now be linked to your cloud-based accounting system so that you not only have access to up-to-date, live data, but you also get to say goodbye to lengthy data entry time and slow downloads. In a nutshell: cloud accounting saves you time making it easier for you to focus on the aspects of your business that matter most.

 

Effective business decisions are made faster

 

Being able to access real-time information anywhere using a mobile device means that your business is no longer at a disadvantage because of its accounting data lagging behind reality. When it comes to making important and effective business decisions, it certainly helps to have immediate access to the up-to-date data that is needed to make the best possible decisions. Cloud accounting does just this – it assists business owners with making more informed business decisions more smoothly, and in the fast-paced business industry, this is hugely beneficial.

 

Flexibility with peace of mind

 

The Cloud is able to adapt as your business changes and grows, remaining a valuable business tool that supports the running of your business, rather than restricting it. In this way it allows you to have a great amount of flexibility when it comes to conducting business, something valuable in a world in which the business landscape is continually changing. The necessary security measures are also taken to ensure that all your data remains safe and protected in the Cloud so that you can proceed on a day to day basis without having to worry about the security of your business’s sensitive information. The added bonus is that you never have to be concerned about losing your data due to theft,disaster (such as fire) or even load shedding because the Cloud is not a physical thing. With cloud accounting you have peace of mind so that you can focus on the important things.

 

Cloud accounting software, such as that offered by Sage One, helps you maintain a bird’s-eye view of your business wherever you are, helping you to revolutionise the way you do business. It’s simple to use, hassle free and safe – what more could an on-the-go business person ask for?

 

 

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