Technology is continuously revolutionizing the way we conduct business, but most small businesses are only doing a fraction of what they could be. Here are five general strategies
By using e-commerce to streamline your online business, it can end up saving money, increasing sales, providing better customer service, and enhancing cash flow. E-commerce does not just mean a shopping cart feature on a website it can also include:
- Automated billing systems
- Electronic content delivery
- Online registration
- Booking engine which integrates online payment processing
- a combination of open source, commercial and proprietary modules
Automatization helps to Streamline by Saving Time
Pay attention to menial repetitive tasks that are being performed by your staff – they can often be at least partially automated. For instance, if you currently have a manager or an assistant manager spending hours at a time making employee schedules, and updating the business calendar by hand; this time sink can be easily resolved by scheduling software which would provide the manager with a tool to easily update and manage an employee’s schedule. By automating a variety of tasks such as printing logos and addresses on shipment boxes/containers, you could save yourself hours of labour, money, and headaches.
Reduce Reliance on Inefficient Methods
Have a growing pile of paperwork? Then, it’s time to ask yourself, if there is any way that you can systematically manage these documents and files? Fortunately, there is still hope! With some of the emerging web based applications, you can now transform your old-fashioned ways of doing things and “green-up” your workplace by eliminating your dependence and consumption of paper. For instance, nowadays you can purchase electronic document management systems and web based applications, that will enable you to electronically archive paperwork for long term storage and retrieval; while simplifying and streamlining your business. While this is only one example of how paperless can help your business, there are many more methods this move can streamline you operations.
If you are currently using multiple applications for each of your needs and paying an employee to key in data in each system at a time, then this is another area you can change in order to streamline your business processes. Try to avoid having to enter the same thing multiple times, look for applications that are capable of integrating with each other. This eliminates error-prone and inefficient double data entry, and will save your business both time and money.
Move it Online
Your company’s website can serve as a central point for customers who are seeking common, and even, more detailed information about your products and services. So instead of spending most of your time cold calling clients, a well designed website can attract business, freeing you up to perform other much needed tasks. These are only a few of the possible benefits moving online can have on streamlining your day-to-day operations
The list above is intended to get you to start thinking about the different areas of your workplace you can improve. In our following posts, we will provide you with more concrete examples of how you can go about to implement these recommendations. Keep Posted!