Small businesses operate in the same environment as bigger, more established companies. Although many Governments around the globe are churning out legislation that seek to encourage the operations of small businesses, these kinds of businesses are still subject to the shocks and tumbles that are a feature of financial and business climates from time to time.
That is why it is important for the small business to incorporate systems and practices that effectively make their bottom line more shock resistant to the unpredictable business climate. At a basic level, small businesses must find ways to balance the primary inputs available to them, which are manpower, time resource and capital (money).
In addition, the small business must also pay adequate attention to staying abreast of all the minor details that arise during the day-to-day running of the business. One way by which the small business can rein in these necessary factors is to deploy Technology tools.
Technology tools are set –up to help the small business achieve efficiency and effectiveness, thereby increasing profits and minimizing costs.
Technology tools help the small business see the larger picture of their operations, while they provide linkages that seamlessly bring into harmony, the various aspects of business enterprise, that impact the bottom line of the small business.
Technology tools for the small business key into three major areas which include:
Automation is now at the center of the business direction in the 21st Century. Activities like keeping in touch with individual customers by active engagement, digital/social media marketing activities, staff enrollment and scheduling as well as planning for growth and expansion are just a few of the things that small business owners grapple with on a daily basis.
Automation assists the small business put repetitive but essential tasks in a continuous loop, so that the small business owner can concentrate on other activities that require undivided attention.
Automation minimizes operating costs, enhances productivity and reduces or eliminates the incidence of human errors, that could negatively impact the bottom line of the business.
b. Inventory Control
Every small business grapples with the issue of ensuring that inputs/raw materials necessary for its operations are always available. Even a service- based small business concern will have daily inputs essential for the rendering of whatever service to the public.
Inventory control ranges from correctly predicting demand/supply levels, sourcing for reliable suppliers, minimizing wastage among others. Effective Inventory control for the small business helps to boosts profits as well as minimize costs.
The following technology tools can be deployed by the small business, in order to record big gains and to minimize costs in operations. These technology tools harness communication power and knowledge transfer, while helping small businesses to synergize both internal and external variables, in order to carry out important tasks seamlessly.
They are as follows:
Communifire is a virtual workplace platform that helps small businesses with various departments, projects and engagements to collaborate on work related issues. The major feature of Communifire is that this tech tool enables users to disable activities such as discussions and file-sharing, so that team members can get on with the core business of the day, on a daily basis.
This technology tool for the small business commands tremendous patronage in the business community. This is because HyperOffice permits the small business stage meetings by allowing both onsite and itinerant staff participate fully in group discussions. HyperOffice is a hosted Intranet solution, that can be accessed from any computer.
Interact is the go-to intuitive technology tool for the small business, that helps employees make meaningful contributions to group discussions, by analyzing key inputs, reviews and suggestions.
The small business can utilize this technology tool to organize and structure important files and documents, as well as control access to sensitive company material. Papyrs also has features that include tracking edits and reviews made on documents as well as email notification for team members on changes effected on documents.
Small businesses utilize this technology tool in order to share files and documents with partners and associates that not members of staff. Box provides multi- levels of security authentication and authorization, in order to ensure only designated personnel have access to files and documents.
This technology tool for the small business is popular not only because it permits the storage of company information in the Cloud at minimal fee but also because it intuitively helps the small business determine which information should be kept behind a firewall it helps to set-up for the small business.
7. Google Drive
This is arguably the most popular technology tool for the small business. Google Drive organizes files, documents and other relevant materials in an easy-to use and accessible manner, while offering unlimited storage space for small business staffed by at least five employees.