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With rising inflation driving up the price of fuel, energy, and other everyday essentials, it’s never been more important for small businesses to find ways to cut costs and increase efficiency. And tech could be the answer!
Here are four key areas where technology could help generate cost-savings and efficiency wins for your small business, while supporting your long-term growth ambitions:
Ultimately, one of the most efficient and cost-effective set-ups any small business can have is to move to cloud-based working. Not only does this give businesses the flexibility they need to adjust their IT systems as they grow, but it’s a scalable solution that can expand with the evolving needs of the business.
Supporting team members to be able to work from anywhere, with access to the same tools and assets they would have in the office, and in a safe and secure way, is another huge advantage. For any business thinking of switching to fully remote working, this will be essential.
In the same way, switching to a cloud-based phone system can also benefit SMEs by ensuring no enquiries are ever missed and every call is handled professionally, with ease. It means that wherever staff members may be, they can answer and manage a call with access to all the functionality you might except from a traditional office-base phone system – and more!
For expert advice on making the move to the cloud, or enhancing your current IT system, speak to our team here at Dragon IS. You can also find out more about the benefits in our blog: Is it time you adopted a cloud-first strategy?
One way to get ahead when costs are spiraling is to ensure you’re making the most of every minute. That doesn’t mean working faster or harder – quite the opposite in fact – the key is to maximise your efficiency and productivity. The use of project management tools is one way you can streamline your workflow.
Trello is a great example. Visa, and Zoom may be among the 2 million-plus global businesses using Trello but it’s not just a tool for huge multinationals. The beauty of Trello is that it’s scalable to businesses of any size. In fact, you only need two employees to start reaping the benefits of its intuitive productivity-boosting capabilities.
What’s great about Trello versus some other workflow management tools on the market is that it offers you the ability to streamline multiple aspects of your business – and not just a portal to track projects. You can also collaborate with colleagues on events, goal setting, and even meetings. It allows you to assign tasks and deadlines and integrates seamlessly with other collaboration tools, such as Microsoft Teams, slack, Jira, Dropbox and even email.
Trello goes a step further in that it also allows you to automate tasks using its integrated AI function, Butler. In fact, almost any action in Trello can be automated, which frees up your team to focus entirely on the work at hand while the everyday admin of managing your workflows essentially takes care of itself. As efficiency and streamlining goes, it doesn’t get better than that.
When budgets are being squeezed, one area that can often suffer is marketing – despite the need to drive new business to increase revenue being stronger than ever. One way to lower costs without slowing down on your marketing, is to make use of tools such as Mailchimp, which can support you to move some of your marketing capabilities inhouse.
Mailchimp empowers you to do two things that are fundamental in the face of rising inflation: 1. grow your audience and 2. increase your revenue.
In its most basic form, Mailchimp is an email marketing tool that allows you to build and distribute professional looking branded emails to mailing lists you host in its platform. But it’s so much more than just an email template builder. As well as helping you to create and deliver high-quality content with absolutely no design expertise, Mailchimp also offers the added benefit of intuitively learning what works best with your customers.
Armed with these insights, Mailchimp then offers you suggestions for your content and layout based on what’s delivered the best engagement and click-throughs in the past. This enables you to constantly refine and improve your communications around your customers’ behaviour, increasing your open-rates and conversions.
The platform also contains an automation feature that allows you to develop pre-built personalised emails in response to things such as basket abandonment, which it claims has resulted in 4x more orders for its users. This means you can pre-populate emails in your customer journey to be sent out automatically at key times, saving you from having to log-in and issue these manually on a case-by-case basis — a perfect means of automating a time-intensive task.
Knowing how you and your team are spending your time and ensuring it’s being used in all the right places, is key to a lean operation. And if there’s one app that can help you to take back control of your time, it’s RescueTime.
Developed to help you keep tabs on how long you’re spending on the tasks you take on each day, RescueTime’s software can quickly identify where you’re funneling most of your resources and energy. With motivation front of mind, RescueTime allows you to set a daily focused work goal, and then gets to work in the background tracking what you’re doing as you go about your usual working day. If the app notices that you’re getting distracted, it’ll send you a friendly nudge so you can get back to completing the goal you set yourself.
This clever piece of tech also identifies the best times for you to get your head down, while blocking the things it knows diverts your attention the most. The result is a clear picture of your working day broken down into an easy reference report so you’re in no doubt about what you’ve spent your time doing.
Using these insights RescueTime helps you to cultivate better habits by engaging you to work on the most pressing tasks when you’re at your most productive and closing down distractions so you can focus on the job at hand.
For more tips on how technology can help you to ride out rising inflation, check out our article: How technology is helping small businesses to level-up.
To ensure your IT and telephone systems are as efficient, robust and secure as they need to be, give us a call on 0330 363 0055 or email email@example.com to arrange a free assessment.