The nature of your product or the potential hurdles that you see should not stand in the way of integrating new solutions that could have a significant impact on your business. Operating two different types of businesses simultaneously has allowed me to focus on implementing varied technology types for different situations. This has proven to have a strong impact on efficiency, staff mobility and operating costs.
The first transition that I suggest any business makes is to start with their most common day-to-day tasks and identify opportunities to improve upon them. Don’t head straight for the most complicated solutions. Start small and work on simple integrations with a forward thinking approach that ensures long term flexibility for growth. You should consider the following to begin with:
E-mail and calendar
Using services like Google Apps for Work allows full control of employees. Being cloud-based means instant synchronisation between devices and maximum flexibility for a mobile team.
Utilise cloud-based accounting software such as Xero, which allows easy access for your advisors and access from any location while also providing a large range of integrations with other third party software solutions for improved business intelligence.
CRM and project management
Good CRM and project management tools can have a large improvement on productivity, visibility and most importantly, business intelligence. We have utilised the Zoho suite of tools and can integrate this directly with our email client, accounting software and other third party applications which allow us to develop strong insights for more accurate decision making.
There are a few key areas that should be considered throughout your decision making process for new technologies:
- Flexibility for growth: Your business could grow faster than predicted, so it’s important that the solutions you implement have long-term flexibility as your business grows.
- Cost: Identifying flexibility for growth should also constitute cost. What might be a small expense for five users could quickly become a large expense when your team expands. Keep this in mind when planning.
- Cross-platform integration: When selecting the technology platforms you wish to integrate, pay close attention to the integration options between each piece of software you are using. Most cloud-based solutions have third party integrations and if selected appropriately, could have your entire software suite passing data between each other, providing valuable business intelligence.
Finally, it doesn’t all have to be about business intelligence. We have also developed a “Spotify for Staff” program that provides free premium Spotify accounts for our full-time team. Music is something that connects people, can lift you up when you’re feeling down, improve your boring commute to work and also your productivity while you’re there. There’s numerous technologies that can improve the wellbeing of your team and that’s something I would also encourage business owners to invest in. A strong culture and happy people can contribute significantly to the success of your business.