Your business probably relies on more aspects of technology than you realise. From the daily emails you send and receive, to automated software, to working remotely during the pandemic, your company would likely be lost without its technology. We rely on these tools to stay afloat nowadays; they are the most valuable asset we have in any company, big or small, around the world.
But despite us all using technology to help our businesses run smoothly, there are big blind spots that most business owners have when it comes to innovating the efficiency of their business using tech. This might be because you have created a system that works, and you now rely on that system without thinking about how it could be improved or changed for the better. This is a routine that most people fall into, but unfortunately, it limits their growth and impedes a business’ ability to expand for the better.
If you are searching for new ways to innovate your business’ efficiency models using tech, look no further! In this blog we will break down exactly what you can do to implement this positive change without breaking the bank.
Let’s get started!
1. Efficient Communication
The cornerstone of any good business is communication. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, in which most companies were unable to work in their office spaces due to closures of public spaces, communication has become an even more crucial conversation than before. For the structural integrity of your business alone, communication is the most vital cog in the machine. In addition to this, keeping your employees, and of course your customers, on-message and happy can only be achieved through effective communication.
We all communicate using technology every day, don’t we? Don’t worry, we aren’t going to explain to you how to send an email or use Whatsapp in this blog! There are fantastic new modes of communication that many larger companies are using, however, that can be adopted to increase communicative capabilities, particularly during this time of physical separation.
Here are just a few ways you can use tech to make your communications more efficient.
“A meeting that could have been an email…”
We’ve all heard this phrase before, right? We have all sat through lengthy meetings that could have been broken down, simply, in writing for all to read in their spare time? It can be frustrating when individuals communicate in the most roundabout way possible, rather than being efficient with their use of tech. Make sure you are utilizing the technology you have at your fingertips to reduce time wasting and innovate your communication style.
If your company isn’t yet on Slack, you need to be. Slack is an efficient way of communicating because it allows companies to message, innovate, create and make decisions all on one virtual platform that is secure and easy to use. Plus, using Slack API Integrations, your company can build and run workflows using code in no time at all, allowing you to have control over the way you work. Perfection, right?
Documenting meetings and conversations
In the “old days” it was pretty normal to take minutes during a meeting, to ensure that everything discussed can be wrapped up in a concise way to be recapped later on. Nowadays, during the times of video chat meetings on Zoom and Microsoft Teams, you can record these meetings (of course, with everybody’s permission), in order to be able to recap the subjects covered without the unnecessary minute-taking exercise. This simple way of using technology can revolutionise your operations and make your communication much more efficient.
Reducing Waste and Emissions
Sustainability is the name of the game right now, and technology can be your guiding light for achieving it. Reducing waste and emissions should be high on the priority list, no matter what industry you are in, or the state of your carbon footprint at present. Every company can do their part in treating the planet with more respect – and by using all the technology available to you, your business can achieve this too.
Let’s break down a few ways that tech can efficiently help businesses to reduce waste and emissions.
Using what we have learned during COVID-19 to help the environment
Many international business events had to be held online this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. While this was a sad occurrence for organisers and attendees, on a larger scale, we can take this as a lesson in helping to reduce emissions and restore the planet.
The worldwide reduction of emissions during the first half of 2020 was an example to us all about how much we travel unnecessarily. Using virtual platforms to host events, we can now enter a hybrid way of working; it doesn’t mean we should cancel all events and make them online, but perhaps businesses should consider the amount of travel that is necessary and adapt accordingly.
Becoming carbon-neutral can be a tricky feat for companies, particularly companies that trade in international industries or manufacturing. However, for smaller businesses and office-based companies, it is now easier than ever to become carbon neutral if you take advantage of the tech that surrounds you.
Here are a few ways to become carbon neutral – or at least take steps towards this goal – in your business.
- Using technological developments such as solar panels;
- More remote working to reduce travel emissions and office space usage;
- Establishing a paperless office space, digitising all documents and reducing paper waste;
- Setting up a foundation or program whereby the company plants trees or volunteers for environmental charities throughout the year;
- Using electric vehicles for transportation of goods.
Using these simple yet effective technological advancements, your business could implement positive, sustainable changes that set an example to others in your industry.
3. Making Budget Cuts Using Tech
Lastly, let’s discuss making budget cuts using tech. Technology can be expensive to buy and install, but once it is up and running, it can reduce your corporate costs in a drastic way. We have all struggled to get through the coronavirus pandemic financially, and many businesses have been forced to close. If your business is feeling the burn, it’s time to make some changes – and technology, once again, is leading the charge in this regard.
Like we said before, tech can be expensive. Equipping your whole team with work devices, installing and managing IT systems, and of course manufacturing or developing your products, all costs money.
However, with the right innovations, tech can save you far more money than it will cost. Let’s take a look at how this can be achieved.
Reducing office space by introducing hybrid working.
Hybrid working is predicted to be the next big thing for companies to adopt post-pandemic. While working entirely from home has presented many challenges during this time, it has also shown us that productivity can be increased, and expenses slashed, too. The technology available to us has made it easy to work from home or from the office – or, ideally, a mix of both.
Once it is safe to return to our offices, introducing hybrid working means you will only need a smaller office space to accommodate everybody. Office rentals take up a huge chunk of company budgets, particularly for small and medium sized businesses, so adopting this approach can truly be game-changing.
Automated back office
Every business needs an accountant, but it might be the case that you are paying too much for accountancy when software can do most of the work. Hiring freelance accountants periodically through the fiscal year, to check and oversee your operations, is very useful; keeping accountants on staff full time, however, might be unnecessary.
Using automated back office programs, your company can pay their employees on time and correctly using software – no human work required! This reduces your salary costs by a great deal, while also eliminating human error and making your accounting more accurate.
Reducing travel expenditure.
Just like the sustainability section of this blog spoke about, you can reduce your travel as a company by moving some of your meetings and events to the online sphere. By doing this, you are not only increasing sustainability, but also slashing your travel expenditure too.
If you are looking for ways to cut costs, review how much your business spent on travel and travel expenses before the pandemic. You will be amazed at how much of your budget was taken up with this, and will therefore be incentivised to use technology to cut down on these costs.
Using technology is something we are all used to by now, in all areas of industry. Using these innovative next steps, you can make your business more efficient in its financial, communicative and sustainability goals. By finding ways to make positive changes, you can shore your company up against what might be to come in the global economy, while also paving the way for others to do the same.