Technology drives business and confers a huge competitive edge. Businesses that have invested in technological systems and innovations invariably have a huge advantage over competitors that haven’t. But small businesses are also limited in terms of the depth and scale of technologies that they can implement either due to lack of scale, lack of sophistication in processes or lack of resources. Still, there are various simple, easy to integrate and affordable technologies that small businesses can embrace in order to strengthen their processes, boost the business bottom line and give themselves a significant edge.
Digital Payment Technologies
Do you still rely on the good old invoicing, bank transfer or cheques? You could be missing out on a small segment of consumers who prefer to make purchases via their credit cards, PayPal or cryptocurrencies. In China, some 85% of small businesses earn more than 10% of their revenues via digital payment tools.
More businesses are adopting these payment options and for many consumers, there is already an expectation that a merchant will at least offer some digital payment options on their portals for goods or services rendered. Online payment systems are also advantageous because they allow you to receive instant payments.
Social Media Marketing
Embracing social media for your business is probably the easiest leap into technological “sophistication”. Today, more than 90% of Australian businesses use social media as part of their marketing arsenal so if you are missing a social media profile, you are obviously leaving customers and a branding opportunity on the table. Put up an engaging and valuable presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, LinkedIn and any online networking portal that could add value to your business.
Small Business IT Security
Cybersecurity threats have multiplied over the years and Aussie businesses are hot targets of cybercriminals based in South East Asia, Eastern Europe and West Africa. If you are not taking measures to build firewalls and fortify your data or information, you are likely to grapple with much costlier consequences should you fall victim to a breach.
Accounting and Bookkeeping Automation
One of the biggest challenges for small businesses is keeping track of revenues and expenses. If you do not invest in the right accountant or an accounting automation tool, you are unlikely to keep a good lid on your finances.
The right accounting automation tool will bring all your accounting essentials under one roof. It creates a simple user-friendly interface where you can handle all matters accounting including payroll processing with single touch payroll (STP) integration. As a small business, you can choose to go with a cloud-based solution that allows for easy integration with other workplace tools. An accounting tool will easily manage your balances, receipts, bank statements and invoice processing thereby taking the headache out of having to do these manually. You can use online accounting tools such as MYOB and XERO that offer small business plans for as low as $25 per month.
If you are employing a few people in your small business, you may also simplify things further by investing in a payroll automation system. An all-in-one payroll solution can be superbly time-efficient, giving you an automated and paperless HR and employment management solution. A payroll solution can handle some of the most mundane payroll tasks such as Tax File declarations, superannuation forms and employment contracts with electronic signatures. There are a host of these solutions that are available in the market and which can suit your small business needs.
Sales and Marketing Automation
Automation drives the business bottom line. There are simple small business platforms that you can deploy to take care of the client relationships while providing a wide array of automation features such as time tracking, sales pipeline, analytics and contact management and project management among others. Automating your sales and marketing is the perfect way to take your business to the next level, helping you save more time and resources while optimizing every sale opportunity.
One of the pitfalls of running a small business is that you may always find yourself under-resourced. In many cases, the efficiency of the business hinges on your productivity as the founder or manager. With the right productivity tools, you can easily stay on top of all the moving parts in the enterprise by keeping track of all the projects, workflow and clients. One of the best productivity tools for small Australian businesses is Trello though there is a vast array of tools available in the marketplace that you can leverage for your business productivity. Talk to an accountant Melbourne expert to offer you expert advice on some of the best and affordable productivity tools that will serve your needs in your unique niche.
These are some of the tools that you will need to give your business a technology transformation into more automation. When investing in these tools, it is also important to factor in their compatibility so as to ensure the integration of all the moving parts into a smooth running engine that powers your business.