Make Your Business More Efficient With These Tips
As a small business in a competitive economy, your success will rest in part on your ability to run a cost-effective, streamlined operation. Many small businesses, having developed their processes on the fly, will have adopted inefficient ways of doing things. As the business grows, these inefficiencies become ingrained in the organization’s culture, hampering future success.
Fortunately, there are easy steps you can take today to streamline your business processes. Here’s a quick guide to six of them:
- Set Up a Virtual Receptionist or Auto Attendant Phone ServiceDoes your business spend too much time fielding incoming calls? A virtual receptionist can direct callers where they need to go and automate tasks such as noting appointment changes, providing your address or fax number, and more. These services are easy to customize based on your needs. As a bonus, your clients will spend less time on hold and have easier access to information. Your business will also appear more professional.
- Take Advantage of Message-to-Text or Message-to-Email FunctionalityDo you find yourself frequently missing calls or wasting time checking your voicemail? Message-to-text and message-to-email services will instantly alert you when you receive a voicemail — no calling in or wading through a long phone prompt. For busy businesses, this is a time-saving feature that will make your staff more available to customers. Your business’ phone system may already have this functionality. If it doesn’t, adding it is easy with AccessDirect.
- Move Your Data and Applications to the CloudThe cloud is one of the most useful tools for small businesses. If you’re frequently on the go, it makes your files and applications accessible from anywhere. If you collaborate remotely, it helps maintain document integrity and reduces the security risks associated with email and USB keys. From a financial standpoint, cloud-based storage is more affordable and scalable than hard drives and physical media, making it easier to add new team members without a significant investment in additional infrastructure.
- Implement Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) PoliciesBring your own device policies allow your employees to use their personal computer or mobile device for work in exchange for a small stipend. Combined with VoIP phone services, BYOD policies make staff more productive, reduce technology costs, and make it easier to onboard new team members.BYOD can streamline your small business, but it isn’t the right choice for every organization. Check out our handy guide to the pros and cons of BYOD policies elsewhere in our blog.
- Use a Social Media AggregatorIf social media is part of your marketing strategy, cross-platform aggregators are a great way to update your accounts and view all your virtual conversations in a single stream. They also improve the consistency of your messaging and make it easier to stay on top of communicating with the public. Several different services are available, many of which are low-cost or offered on a free trial basis.
- Go PaperlessIn a small office, the term “paperwork” isn’t a misnomer. Many businesses spend countless hours sorting through physical documents that would be easier to search, access, and edit if they were stored electronically. If you have a high level of comfort with your billing, inventory management, and other software, you can further reduce your paper use by taking advantage of email receipts, fax-from-computer services, and more.
Technology and Efficiency
Each of the above examples shows how technology can streamline your processes and make your business more efficient. However, not all technology is created equal. It’s essential to work with partners who will take the time to understand your business and recommend products that offer the greatest benefit. To learn how AccessDirect can make your phone service smarter, contact us today.