As the saying goes, time is money. And while it’s impractical to worry about if every single second of every single day is spent in a productive manner by every single person in your company, there are definitely some sweeping changes you can make to improve the efficiency of your business.
Technological advances make it easier than ever to find (or design) tools that suit your specific needs. Technology has also given us the ability to conduct business from virtually anywhere, so long as we have our trusty Smartphones, tablets or laptops with us.
Take a look at some of the best ways you can increase your business’ productivity with the help of just a few gadgets or apps.
Accept Mobile Payments
Also known as contactless payments or mobile wallets, mobile payments are the latest trend in financial technology. While it may take consumers a little time to warm up to the idea of tapping their phone to a device in order to make a secure payment, you should be ready with a “near field communication” reader just in case.
In fact, if you run a retail store and have ever had disgruntled customers complain about long lines, mobile payments can speed up transactions quite a bit. Whether you need to smoothly handle the daily morning rush at your coffee shop or the seasonal holiday rush at your storefront, mobile payments are the perfect way to keep those lines moving.
And if your business is still stuck in the “no credit cards accepted” dark ages, you can modernize your company and never miss another sale with mobile apps like PayPal. A tablet equipped with a credit card swiper or chip reader is another handy way to accept mobile payments when your business is on the move.
Upgrade Your Phone System for Easier Customization and Access
As our technology becomes more mobile, we become more mobile too. Instead of being stuck in the office all day, it’s easier to spend a day working from home or even taking your work with you down to your favorite café for lunch.
Yet many of us still have an office landline. You might have installed this thinking it was a good way to keep work at work, but now that you’ve tossed that idea straight out the window, it’s time to upgrade your phone.
Digital phone providers offer business solutions that allow you to take your work voicemail with you wherever you go. You can even make calls from your work number by using your personal phone, all without ever having to give out your personal information. Setting up custom phone menus is easy too, allowing calls to be rerouted to your colleagues when necessary or your company’s 1-800 numbers to be managed by department leaders with ease.
Send Your Sales Team Forth With Tablets
Brochures and handouts may still have their place in the sales world, but tablets can provide your sales team with a host of apps and tools to really knock the socks off of prospects. Sales personnel rely on images, videos and presentations to convince clients that your brand is the best. Put all of these resources at their fingertips with a lightweight yet powerful tablet.
Tablets are also useful for communicating between colleagues while out on the job. There are dozens upon dozens of project management tools on the market; all you have to do is decide which one best meets the needs of your team.
Apps can also provide calendars for scheduling, video conferencing capabilities, file sharing, and so much more. With tablets and cloud sharing, it’s possible to stay up-to-date with everyone on your team. Furthermore, you can also reduce overhead costs and clunky file storage cabinets by switching to a virtually paperless office, which is only possible thanks to the functionality of tablets. If you haven’t invested in this truly mobile technology for your business, you have yet to experience true efficiency.
Automate and Streamline Your Social Media Presence
Everyone has their favorite social media platform, but when you run a business, it’s important to maintain a presence on all relevant channels. Take advantage of tools and schedulers that save you from the tedious chore of logging in and out of half a dozen accounts every time you want to share an update.
In fact, you can automate the core social media posts that you’ll make every few days or so, which frees up an enormous amount of time for other pursuits. For example, a tool like Edgar will recycle evergreen social media content so that your channels are always full of stories and information for your readers, even if you fall behind. Of course, there are other prominent tools like Hootsuite and Buffer that allow you to schedule posts in advance across multiple platforms.
Once the automation has been taken care of, let your sales or marketing teams have free reign within each social media account to respond to comments and messages. There is no way to automate true, genuine engagement and interaction, but you can ensure that more time can be devoted to it by automating what you can. The motto “work smarter, not harder” definitely applies here.
If you’ve already enjoyed a boost in productivity and efficiency thanks to mobile technology, clue us into the secret of your success in the comments below.
by Cathy Habas