Are you the kind of business that sees IT as an expense? Or do you view it as an investment?
It’s true that most businesses would struggle to run without their IT infrastructure, but many are not using technology to help business growth.
If you simply use IT for emails and admin tasks this lead of the 3 ways technology can help business growth might well help you to get more from your systems.
Lower your costs
One of the things we are passionate about here at Your IT is getting more from things you’re already paying for.
Microsoft 365 is a perfect example of this.
So many businesses pay Microsoft each month for their 365 package and use Outlook, Word, Excel and occasionally PowerPoint. Teams use has increased massively due to the pandemic. But even then, it’s used mainly as a simple chat tool by most.
Some simple costs savings you can make if you’re an M365 subscriber:
- If you’re paying for Zoom, use Teams instead
- Paying for Trello – use Planner
- Subscription to Evernote? Why? You’ve already got OneNote
- Paying for Dropbox, use One Drive
- SurveyMonkey? Microsoft Forms
- Drop Calendly and use Bookings
- Any to do list app (todoist, TickTick etc.) can be swapped to Microsoft To Do and/or Tasks
Then you’ve got things like Power BI for business analytics, Staff Hub a frontline employee hub and scheduler, Power Apps for code free mobile apps, and many, many more.
Not every subscriber has every app so look at your subscription to see what you can get. However even an increase to your M365 licencing could save you money if you can cut other subscriptions.
This periodic table of Office 365 is a little out of date but gives you an idea of the number of apps included in 365 and the myriad of tasks they can do.
Increase Productivity and Collaboration
You’ve saved some money, which is great so what’s next on the list of 3 ways technology can help business growth. Efficiency.
If you can do more then you can make more money.
The best way to do this is to use technology to do what it does best, the boring stuff!
Think about the way small business accounting has changed. From handwritten ledgers to pretty much fully automated systems that drag information directly from the business bank account and send it to the accountant.
Some of our hot tips for improving productivity include:
Did you know you can talk to Microsoft Word? You can dictate anything into Word. In fact quite a lot of this article was dictated. You can even give commands like ‘full stop’ and it will insert a full stop. You may not want to do all of your writing this way, but it can certainly save time.
Video can be another time saver. We use this a lot when developing processes and procedures. You can record yourself doing a task and then share the video with your colleagues. If you need a written process too, then you can combine play the video to Word and it will use dictation to type out your words!
Stepping up a level you can use things like Zapier and Power Automate to create workflows. These can even link together different apps. So, you can create a new prospect in your CRM and it will automatically schedule a call in your diary. Think about any tasks you repeat and perform manually. There will probably be a way to automate or streamline the process.
Build Your Digital Presence through digital marketing
The last of our 3 ways technology can help business growth is digital marketing. We are not a digital marketing agency and this is not strictly our area of expertise. However if you’re reading this you’ve probably found it via a Google Search, clicking on a link from Social Media or from some email marketing we’ve sent you. That means we’re doing something right so we feel we can offer some insights!!
There are numerous ways to build your digital presence. From your website, through a myriad of social media platforms and paid advertising. There’s video, email marketing, affiliate marketing, influencer marketing and content marketing and more. It’s hard to keep on top of everything!
Choosing the right technology can really help.
WordPress would be our choice for your website. We’d suggest using Elementor as a page builder if you are going to design it yourself. Once you’ve had a go with Elementor you’ll find it pretty much drag and drop for a simple site.
Other tools we find useful for websites are Ubersuggest for keyword research, SEOSurfer for SEO focused content writing and SERPFox for tracking your pages rankings. The tools from Google such as Search Console and Google Analytics should also be part of your toolbox.
Make Social Simpler
We’d suggest you don’t try and build a presence on every social media platform. Pick the most relevant one or two and focus on doing them consistently and well. LinkedIn would be the first choice for B2B companies, Facebook probably the one if you’re B2C.
Scheduling tools can be really useful. You can schedule regular posts which gives you that consistency. This can also can save time by working on several posts all at the same time. But be careful. It can become obvious you’re just putting out scheduled posts. Take the time to post about things in the news concerning your industry or specific meetings or events too. We use Publer, Hootsuite has long been a marketing leader but has got expensive, Buffer is another alternative.
Other tools we like; Loom for Videos, ClickCease for blocking money wasting clicks on paid Ads, LeadFeeder for tracking who visits your website and good old Mailchimp for Email marketing.
We’ve only scratched the surface of the ways technology can help business growth. There will be many industry specific examples but broadly the headings will be the same. If you can reduce costs, improve efficiency and sell more you’re heading for growth!
As a leading Managed Service Provider we focus on these areas for our clients providing them with an IT Roadmap and IT Consultancy as a part of our support services. If you’d like to find out more about how we could help your business grow then please get in touch.