Guest Blog by Matt Loxley – Your productivity depends on your efficiency. It’s that simple. Businesses simply must utilise the right software to meet the evolving demands of the modern workplace. Sceptical? Think about it this way, if you’re not utilising software to optimise performance, your competitors will be. Entrepreneurs need to be ahead of the game.
We live in a world rich in innovation. From self-driving cars to video conferencing apps, SaaS (software-as-service) technology to intuitive chatbots and programs that automatically calculate GST and other compliance requirements in the blink of an eye, innovation has fundamentally changed the way we live and work.
Smart businesses have always kept one eye on the future to see what innovations are coming down the line and then, wherever possible, implement them into their models.
This is nothing new. Henry Ford invented the Ford Model T, the first affordable automobile, and with it came assembly lines. Now, this innovation maybe 112 years old, but automobile manufacturers the world over build cars using assembly lines to this day.
Innovation drives businesses forward. In 2020, the digital and tech sectors drive such innovation. Think artificial intelligence, augmented reality, IoT (Internet of Things) and blockchain. Savvy entrepreneurs know this.
Now as much as AI, AR, IoT and blockchain tend to grab the headlines, software innovation is at the forefront of driving business operations forward, allowing companies to streamline processes, free-up time value resources like time and expenditure, and improve client offerings across every sector.
Interested in learning how you, as an entrepreneur, can utilise software to optimise performance? Keep reading.
Streamline Your Business Model
If you’re an entrepreneur and want to gain the edge on your competitors, you need to continually look for ways to improve business efficiencies and reduce operational costs… in other words, streamline your business model.
People buy into people that they like, they can trust, and who will do what they promise. Now, this may sound generic, but it’s all part of creating a brand tone that doesn’t just provide a service or supply a product but create an experience. To do this, entrepreneurs must make sure that all aspects of their business are streamlined. When businesses provide stellar services, customers like them.
Today, entrepreneurs can benefit from rich innovation to improve their business offerings. From utilising receipt scanning software that allows you to better track your expenses to cloud technology for multiple user access and secure storage, streamlining business processes with software innovation is one of the best ways to improve your business model. The best part? Vital business resources can be better spent elsewhere in the business.
No business is immune from disruption. Whether this is changes in a commercial marketplace, a focus on new and emerging technology, or large-scale societal upheaval caused by completely unforeseen circumstances, disruption is inevitable. But the disruption itself isn’t important. How businesses react to it is.
The great benefit of the software is that it can cushion the blow of commercial disruption. Think about our digital infrastructure. Platforms like Slack, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams have never been more crucial to business operations. Could we say the same at the start of 2020?
Entrepreneurs can utilise software to ensure a seamless transition in times of change. From data processing to communication, customer feedback, even sales can be easily managed, allowing business operations to run smoothly, whatever the circumstances.
Rise Above the Competition
Let us ask you a question, do you think that businesses should be content with being, well, fine. Do you think that Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, or Mark Zuckerberg were content to have products or services that were… okay? Of course not.
As any entrepreneur will tell you, complacency is the enemy of progression. Some businesses reach a product offering or market share equilibrium and then don’t push on. Believe us, it’s more common than you may think!
If you want your business to evolve, grow, and have long-term sustainability, you cannot stand still. If there’s software out there that allows you to expand, why aren’t you using it? Thankfully, tailored software can give business entrepreneurs the platform they need to achieve just this! All you need to do is to identify the right one.
Speed Up Reporting
No matter what your business, you can’t get away from reporting. Data gives you insights that allow you to identify what works and what doesn’t, make necessary changes, tweak offerings, even identify consumer behaviour.
You don’t have to spend hours digging through Excel sheets or hunting for those elusive Word files, get the right software and it will do all this for you.
Take receipt scanning software. Nowadays, you can install an app on your laptop or mobile phone that automatically scans paper receipts using OCR (optical character recognition) technology and pulls the data into a digital format. You can then export expense reports to gain essential insight into how much you’re spending and what you’re spending money on… and that’s just one example. Speed your reporting and you’ll gain greater commercial insights and optimise performance.
Ask any business today and they’ll tell you that the security of their assets is top of the list of priorities. The external threat of unscrupulous hackers snooping around their private information or, even worse, stealing information or their hard-earned dollars is something that they want to insulate themselves from.
Now, despite off-the-shelf software promising users the world, telling them that their product will keep them protected, determined hackers can still find ways to penetrate firewalls and wreak havoc.
Advanced security software is the best way to protect your data from any malicious threat. Now, sure you can encrypt files uploaded to the cloud, but is this enough protection? A quick look online and you’ll discover dynamic software that will insulate your business from any threats… in real-time!
Securing your applications, network and infrastructure with intuitive end-to-end security that includes protocol levels will give entrepreneurs that peace of mind… and optimise performance.
Regardless of whether you’re running a multinational corporation or a regional SME with clients in Sydney or Melbourne, operational costs must be considered. Software development and maintenance comes at a price. Costs don’t stay on the ground level. In the worst cases, they can skyrocket to a point that they eat up a big chunk of a company’s profit.
However, savvy entrepreneurs know how to leverage software cost to optimise performance, without it costing them a fortune. How? By taking an agile approach.
Now, this does require the corporation of stakeholders and the feedback of consumers, but trust us, it’s worth it. This allows businesses to make any required changes during the development phase. Rolling out versions to customers as beta testers might sound risky, but how else are you going to get feedback for improvements?
The real benefit? Getting vital feedback in the beta stage and making any required adjustments will save entrepreneurs money in the long run. Why? They won’t need to invest more money to further develop software to optimise performance months and years from now!
Open Dialogues with Employees
Every business is a team, a unit, a group of people working together to achieve a common goal. This is true whether you’re selling FMCG online or running a bed and breakfast. However, it’s not uncommon for communication between employees, especially those in different departments, to be fleeting. The software solves this problem.
Take Microsoft Dynamics, for instance. An enterprise resource (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) platform, Microsoft Dynamics software has a range of functions that allow colleagues and customers to communicate effectively.
What does this mean? Simple. So, if you want to check on the status of a customer’s account, a quick search and you’ll discover if their account is dormant or active. Want to learn if they’re up to date with their invoices, a quick search and, you guessed it, you can find out. Want to see an audit trail of correspondences between customers and the business, bingo! Microsoft Dynamics has if for you.
Then there’s performance management software. If managers want to check on an employee’s performance, see if they are hitting their targets, and are meeting objectives that align with the company’s goals then performance management software is very handy!
This degree of flexibility, fluidity, and transparency can be scaled and even evolve as the business evolves and individual employee’s roles within that company evolve. What does this mean? Well, open, honest dialogues between colleagues can easily be had!
Optimise Performance with Software
It’s pretty cut and dry that entrepreneurs can optimise performance with the right software solutions. The good news is that no matter what aspect of your business you’re looking to improve, there’s a software solution for you!
About our Guest Blogger
Matt Loxley is an experienced content writer, strategist and marketer having held senior positions at digital marketing agencies and in-house for the largest oil, gas, and infrastructure recruiter in the world.
Over the last nine years’ Matt has been involved in award-winning campaigns, writing affecting content for businesses in the UK, USA, UAE, and Australia.
Able to influence audiences through a passion for writing and commitment to inspiring real people, Matt has written content for a wide range of sectors, including finance, technology, pharmaceutical, and soft services. https://www.linkedin.com/in/matthew-loxley-287b30b9/