There has never been an easier time to start and run a small or medium-sized business (SME). Now you have access to services that were previously unavailable only to the giants. Sophisticated management and collaboration tools are just a click away. And in this post, you will find tips for valuable companies!
In a business ecosystem that increasingly favors the small and agile over the big and slow, many of these cost-saving solutions take advantage of scale. This is an exciting time to be an SME!
The real challenge in a world where anyone with a laptop can start a business isn’t access or infrastructure: it’s knowing how to transform vast knowledge and save resources and make them work for you.
To help you out, here are five tips for companies, like your SME, to save time, money, and leverage their business size.
LIST: Tips for companies to save time and money
1. Use Cloud Computing
Computers used to occupy huge rooms. Today’s lean servers still take up valuable space, require maintenance, and quickly become obsolete. They are never as safe as you think and they are vulnerable to physical harm. In other words, servers are a pain.
Cloud computing or Cloud computing allows someone else to worry about the hardware. Moving to a cloud-based server doesn’t just alleviate or eliminate the problems mentioned above. It also allows your team to access their work and collaborate anywhere, as long as they have an internet connection.
This paves the way for other ways to save money in the company, for example, remote work arrangements and the use of outsourced workers and freelancers.
In the event of a business catastrophe, such as lost or destroyed computers, all your data will be securely stored on remote servers and ready for you the next time you log on.
Even if a disaster happens to the main cloud server, your data will still be safe because these primary servers are regularly backed up to servers in other locations. Your business – and all your data – remains uninterrupted.
Plus, with cloud computing, you only pay for the space you need. As your needs grow, you simply buy more and as much as you need. Granting cloud access is as simple as sending an email or setting up a new account. You can implement this change in less time than it takes to read this article.
Cloud computing eliminates the need to pay for physical server space and can completely eliminate your SMB’s need for office space. The number of completely remote companies is increasing every year and cloud computing is helping to drive this revolution.
Companies like Find a Nerd specialize in supporting IT and managing networks and cloud computing systems for businesses. This type of service requires knowledge to be set up and managed safely, and having professional advice makes the difference.
2. Focus on online safety right from the start
The costs of a security breach can be immense in terms of time, money, and even reputation. So the second item on our list of business tips is to spend the money now to protect your SME and save time later.
According to SmallBusiness.co.uk, “In the early stages of business, you simply cannot afford to compromise your security”.
Even so, some UK companies are operating with an “it won’t happen to me” attitude when it comes to online security. In fact, 38% of companies surveyed have no security to protect their network and email, with an additional 11% unsure of their security measures.
Here are seven benefits businesses with enhanced security can enjoy:
- Valuable information is protected;
- Stay ahead of your competitors;
- Helps expand into new markets such as government contracts;
- It proves you care about your customers;
- Reduce development costs by integrating security early and not adding it after the fact;
- Increases software interoperability;
- Avoid fines, lost business and downtime by meeting today’s standards.
Act now to protect your data: Update your IT security measures and use a cloud-based CRM to never lose access to your data and create the possible offline measures needed so your business is always available to your customers.
3. Motivate employees and give them control of tasks and ideas
Distracted and checked-out workers cost the US economy $7.4 billion a day. The survey by economists Michael Burda, Kaie Genadek, and Daniel Hamermesh, sponsored by the NGO National Bureau of Economic Research, reached an average of 34 minutes of distraction per day.
Encourage productivity improvement and friendly competition using metrics from your CRM.
- Who closed the most deals this week?
- Which customer service representative answered the most calls?
Use your software to collect data on relevant metrics (eg team leaderboards) to reward winners.
Your employees are ready to have more autonomy and responsibility beyond what you hired them to do. And they can handle it. Giving more responsibility works. If you increase team participation, you will increase productivity. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, the team will rise to the challenge.
Another way to increase autonomy is to encourage your employees, at all levels, to think and propose ideas for the company.
You can learn more about the psychology behind motivation in a now-famous RSA animation by career analyst Dan Pink. His research shows that money is a good motivator for strictly physical tasks. If you want a ditch, pay someone else and they’ll dig a bigger ditch.
When it comes to complex tasks like sales and design, however, increasing pay doesn’t equate to increasing performance. If you want your people to do meaningful work, it’s essential that you help them make their work meaningful.
That’s the motivation strategy companies like Google and Salesforce use to win. But if your company doesn’t have the in-house resources to create and manage these incentive programs, you can outsource them.
Online platforms like oHub offer a bank of professional service providers from various fields, including Human Resources, that you’ll need to put this idea into practice.
The WeDoLogos is another crowdsourcing platform where you find professional design freelancers, ready to perform services. Thus, it is possible to dynamically outsource the creation of visual identity, banners, posters, hot sites, and everything else you need to internally and externally publicize your incentive actions for the team.
4. Offer mentoring opportunities
Small and medium companies do not exist in a bubble: they represent 70% of employers in Brazil, according to a survey by Sebrae. This is a huge base of knowledge and experience from which an intelligent leader can learn.
Mentors are readily available, both inside and outside your organization. For example, you probably have an accountant who can serve as a financial advisor. You can also learn in parallel by meeting with other SME founders and owners. Weak leadership skills are an important barrier to productivity. Mentoring is one of the best ways to train good leaders and help them train their people. Support is critical to success.
5. Invest in online tools and automate to track tasks
There’s an app for just about everything these days, and digital tools are extremely beneficial. For example, there are several services that help budget-conscious SMBs create professional websites.
In addition to getting great value from a custom website, you get the benefits of having a functional and good-looking website, which is often a decisive factor in the customer experience.
Collaboration tools, especially customer relationship management platforms – CRM software – are indispensable for managers. These programs keep your staff on the same page, in and out of the office.
Many of these tools come with a time management feature that provides the accountability benefits discussed earlier. These platforms are even more effective when combined with cloud computing.
These tools are what military strategists call a force multiplier: a small element that gives you a disproportionate advantage over cost and risk.
Does your SME need to save time and money to stay successful? These five business tips will help you get started. If you implement these business tips, talk about them publicly on your blog, newsletters, or on social media.
Do you need to hire a company to outsource some service? You can find providers for all the services your business needs in one place with oHub. Save time and money and receive multiple quotes with a single order, straight to your email.