Take your Business to the Next Level: 5 Tech Tools
In today’s hyper-digitized business environment, success and failure are linked to the technology each company brings to the table to get things done- this is why Amazon was able to morph from a garage-based online bookstore into the ‘everything store’ (leading eCommerce store).
For the average small business, however, inventing a technology infrastructure isn’t just an option. Instead, they have to depend on more off-the-shelf solutions to keep their business or enterprise operations running at peak efficiency. Luckily, there’s no shortage of options to choose from. Advances in cloud computing solutions, SaaS solutions, and IoT technology are putting high-tech tools into the small business arsenal in a big way.
I have been on the front lines working with small businesses to improve their daily operations for over a decade. In that time, and especially lately, I have encountered some game-changing tech tools that can take any business to the next level. Here are five of the most useful tools I have found.
Tool #1 Workforce GPS Tracking
Today, one of the key factors that differentiate agencies from one another is in how well they manage their most valuable resource: time.
Some turn to productivity tools like Clockify and Slack to enhance internal communication and collaboration in an effort to control employees’ use of their time. Those solutions, though, rely on individuals to faithfully input data about what they’re doing and don’t work very well for a highly mobile workspace.
For such situations, adding an employee GPS tracking system can help increase productivity to new levels. Today, small business owners can also use GPS car tracking, mobile device tracking and even IoT GPS devices with minimal startup costs to gain unprecedented visibility into employee activity.
This provides real-time data tracking so that decision-makers can use to manage staffing levels, scheduling, and resource allocation. In short, it illuminates where inefficiencies lie, and where more help might be beneficial.
Tool #2 Flexible POS Systems
For many years, point-of-sale (POS) systems were expensive, required specialized hardware and were so complex to use and that they made training new employees a nightmare.
Those factors meant that retail businesses would frequently invest large sums into a platform and then get stuck with them even if they become outdated or no longer suited the business. These days, the advent of SaaS technology which doesn’t require specific platforms has changed all of that.
The best example is Poster, a POS system for iPad that allows small business owners to leverage low-cost hardware to handle all retail transactions.
For maximum flexibility, this POS system even works on Android and Windows-based devices, so it’s a drop-in solution for most businesses.
Tool #3 HR Management Software
One of the greatest challenges that small businesses face today is in finding ways to attract, recruit and retain top talented people.
Large companies can build big, well-funded HR departments to manage every aspect of their workforce needs, but small companies need to do more with less. That’s the main idea behind a whole new advanced generation of HR SaaS solutions that give a small business an edge in this critical area.
One of the best of the bunch is Zenefits, which becomes the go-to HR solution for countless small businesses in a short time.
Zenefits offers a comprehensive set of HR management tools ranging from administration to payroll management to employee benefits and everything in between. Best of all, this system integrated with existing business software like Google’s G-Suite, Microsoft Office 365 and QuickBooks.
Tool #4 Remote Employee Infrastructure
There was a time when only large enterprises had the technology required to support a mobile workforce.
Today, even small businesses or companies can do it with ease and without sacrificing security. That’s due to in large part to advances in remote access and virtualization techniques that can now turn every small business desktop into its own secure remote access server.
One of the best solutions to do this is to have well-known: NoMachine which can offer multiple solutions for remote desktop provisioning starting at a price any small business can afford: free.
Businesses regardless of its type can use to enable flexible-work arrangement, support traveling workers, and facilitate offsite collaboration with partners. It is fully secure and open-source, so it’s trustworthy at a time when businesses’ data protection is at a premium.
Tool #5 Employee Training Software
In order to achieve optimum performance, it’s vital for any company to make knowledge sharing a priority. For small businesses, this has traditionally been an issue, since employee skills and responsibilities rarely overlap. This leads to the risk of process disruption whenever there’s turnover among the staff.
To combat this problem, businesses need to make every effort to document workflows and procedures to ensure continuity and use that documentation as the foundation for the training of new employees.
That’s where Grovo software comes in. It is the best platform that allows employees to document processes and their evolution in real-time. New employees can access the lessons at any time during their onboarding process or while on the job, thus eliminating the ‘brain-drain’ that turnover would otherwise create.
A High-Tech Advantage
It’s now clear that business technology choices can make or break their chances of success in this modern economy. I have witnessed how the tech tools mentioned above in the blog post can provide substantial advantages to the businesses that deploy them.