It goes without saying that technology has improved our lives substantially. Not only does it make our lives at home more enjoyable, it makes communicating with loved ones around the world more accessible and it makes businesses thrive.
With the right technology, software and employees, you could essentially manage your business from the comfort of your own home. It’s a dream that many budding business owners want to achieve: a self-sufficient business with minimal maintenance that makes money for you. However, it’s an incredibly lengthy journey that can only be shortened with luck and a bit of clever planning.
Whatever business you plan to start up, here are some tips to get you off to a good start. Technology cannot be ignored, so we’ll be exploring the different types of tech and hardware that you need to thrive in whatever industry you decide to tackle. Take notes and do ample research, and you’ll soon find yourself sitting at home with a cup of coffee in your hands watching television while your bank balance increases.
Customer Service and Communication Features
Regardless of what type of business you run, it’s essential that you don’t ignore the power of customer relations. If you’ve ever had a tech problem or needed to contact a business for whatever reason, you’ll understand the frustration of waiting in a phone queue or being shrugged off because you connected with a disgruntled employee that’s having a bad day—it’s not a fun experience.
One of the most popular customer service features that most businesses employ is email. Set up a business email and hire someone to read and respond to emails. Alternatively, you can handle the emails yourself. There’s something special about receiving a handwritten apology or response from the head of a company instead of being referred to customer service specialists that don’t know what they are doing, or that have heard your problem hundreds of times before and as a result, give you the most generic response you could dream of.
Another way to keep in touch with your clients and customers is with web conferencing. With a simple webcam and a microphone (they are usually built into your webcam or laptop) you can speak face-to-face with your business partners, clients and customers should they need to contact you for something urgent or important.
Live chat features are also extremely popular. They usually have faster response times than emails which means you absolutely need a dedicated person to handle live chat support, but it adds a new level of customer interaction that you can’t get from using email or phone. You can use specialised customer relations software, or you can use social media such as Facebook and Twitter to respond to queries. Train your staff to be polite and knowledgeable, and you’ll be surprised at how many good reviews you get for having top-notch support services.
Cloud Software and Services
The amount of businesses around the world that still haven’t embraced the power and convenience of cloud technology is shocking. If you’re starting up a business and you’re browsing server hardware and contacting businesses to set up a network for your office, then drop those calls immediately. You can save an incredible amount of money by using cloud services instead of expensive traditional server storage mediums. With a service like www.delta-comtech.co.uk, they can also be extremely easy to setup.
The only network your office needs is a simple home network that allows everyone in your office to connect to the internet. Don’t worry about a NAS or other network features, only worry about security such as a hardware firewall. Many people are worried about the security concerns when using cloud software, but many reputable sources have proven that it can be safer than most hardware solutions.
Cloud software such as Google’s suite of office applications works as free and effective replacements for software like Microsoft Office. Office has, without a doubt, more features than Google Docs, but it’s arguable whether those features are worth the price premium as opposed to a simple and functional online alternative that allows for collaboration between people regardless of their physical location.
In addition to office software, the cloud also has bookkeeping and accounting software that is cheap and simple to use, removing the need to hire a dedicated accountant. You’ll need to hire an accountant at some point, but you could save a lot of money by doing your own finances with the help of cloud software until it becomes too much to handle.