By Levi Lapp, founder and CEO of Atlantic in the open air, an outdoor living company that builds structures for your lifestyle.
Building a business in today’s environment can be overwhelming as you try to keep up with everything from expenses and new hires to closing deals and increasing your sales. Fortunately, there are many tools and apps available that can help.
When we started our business almost nine years ago, we thought we were on the cutting edge of technology with websites and email. Looking back, we took advantage of what we could at the time to automate our business. But the technology available in today’s world is exceptional. Today, you can find support in almost every aspect of a business, from hiring a new team to taking that team out to celebrate.
Here are some areas you can improve with a little help from outside resources:
Once your business takes off, you need to hire employees. But just placing an ad in the newspaper is no longer enough. Many online tools can help you post an open position, but what do you do when you have multiple candidates who interview well and have impressive resumes?
There are now online tools that can help you choose between good candidates and good candidates. For example, there are several online versions of the DiSC assessment that can help you assess people based on their personality. This knowledge can help you determine how someone would react and respond to unforeseen situations. This can be especially helpful when you already have a team and are looking for someone to complement the strengths and weaknesses of existing employees.
Just as you lock down your office to protect your computer, you should consider cyber security to protect everything you store online. It is critical to ensure that your employees’ social security numbers or customer information are protected. With proper data security, your technology tools and systems are more likely to be protected from digital attacks.
As our business grows and we’re hiring more people, it’s been critical for us to focus on some of the basics, such as including firewall security to protect our website, WiFi and internet connection . Another big one: maintaining control over any devices we provide to our employees.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
CRM tools have been around for a long time, but they have become increasingly essential. These tools allow members to securely share notes and ideas, as well as secure passwords and documents. For many businesses, it’s an essential way to track sales and leads.
CRMs serve as a database of customer contacts and can track all communications, including adding reminders about when to contact customers. With the right data, some can even offer potential results based on the information provided. These results can help your team determine if an advantage is worth the time and effort required.
Most CRMs also include calendar features that allow you to prioritize projects, schedule deadlines, and even account for personal time off and vacations. You can enter your events with reminder notifications to stay on top of meetings, appointments, and other important dates.
We use Monday as our CRM because we like how it allows us to collaborate within our office and also share projects with people outside our company. Now, our contacts are all in one place, and as the business owner, I can see what everyone, whether an employee or contractor, is working on and how projects are progressing. It really sets the tone to keep everyone on task and helps us meet deadlines.
If you need to get out of town for work, the high-tech world has come a long way for business travelers. For starters, many apps maintain your work-life balance, no matter what time zone you’re in. Some of those common travel stressors, like finding a place to exercise or a healthy place to eat lunch, can now be a thing of the past with informative information. apps powered by companies like ClassPass and TripAdvisor. And how about going back to the office with all those receipts from the road? Do not you worry. Apps like Expensify and TripIt can help you streamline your itinerary, expenses, miles, and more.
Running a business today can still have its challenges, but with these tools it’s much easier to take some of the burden off your shoulders.
Technology has become a driving force in the success of businesses, large and small. Ikaroa is leading the way with solutions designed to help businesses use technology to improve operations. Here are four tips to use technology to improve your business operations.
1. Automate Processes: Automation makes it easier and faster to do everyday tasks such as managing customer data, sales and inventory. Moreover, automated solutions allow businesses to track and analyze key performance indicators. When correctly implemented, automation reduces labor costs and delivers consistent results.
2. Streamline Communication: Technology has revolutionized how businesses communicate with customers, partners, and employees. A cloud-based communications platform like Slack or Zoom helps keep conversations organized and provides an easy way to respond quickly. This streamlining of communications can increase efficiency, flexible minutes and speed.
3. Enhance Collaboration: Technology can help businesses work together better by providing tools such as shared file storage, project management software, document collaboration, and more. This ensures that everyone in the business knows their role and tasks, making it easier to meet deadlines and collaborate with team members wherever they are.
4. Prepare for the Future: It is essential to keep your business up to date with the latest technology solutions. For example, artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions can help streamline processes, reduce manual labor, and decrease costs. Additionally, technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality are also becoming increasingly important for businesses.
Ikaroa is enabling businesses to leverage their data, develop solutions, and use technology to streamline operations for both cost-effectiveness and competitive advantage. Whether you’re automating processes, streamlining communication, enhancing collaboration, or preparing for the future, Ikaroa can guide you through the best technology solutions to use.