Running a small business during the COVID-19 crisis is a challenging task, and unfortunately, there are many companies around the world that will go under during this trying period. If you want to stay afloat and even continue to grow in the new normal, you need to start investing in digital transformation. One of your goals should be to facilitate remote working for you and your employees because remote work has become paramount to success.
By EMMA WORDEN
However, it’s not just about improving productivity internally, it’s also about integrating the tech solutions that will allow you to thrive in competitive industries like Ecommerce by improving customer satisfaction, branding, and more. That’s why today we are taking a look at the five essential tech solutions your small business needs to grow and thrive in the new normal.
Integrate a comprehensive PM tool
First things first, you need to provide your remote employees with the right collaboration tool to improve productivity in the digital workplace. Now that people are working remotely and are not sharing the same physical office space, maintaining productivity and output can be difficult. If you don’t have the right project management tool at your side, you can expect productivity levels to drop while collaboration and communication can quickly become isolated to small teams.
Needless to say, having a PM platform is essential for ensuring seamless cross-team collaboration, which is essential when working remotely. Ideally, you’d want your PM software to come equipped with all sorts of features, including:
— Time tracking for projects and tasks.
— Task delegation and visual boards.
— File management and sharing.
— A built-in communication tool.
— Performance analytics and reports.
— Project timelines and forecasts.
Move your operations to the cloud
Nowadays, more and more growth-oriented companies are migrating their operations to the cloud, and for a number of compelling reasons. For one, cloud technology allows you to minimize your IT expenses and consolidate your resources to create a more sustainable IT department and ensure financial stability. That said, one of the key benefits of the cloud is that it comes with a variety of features to boost productivity and provide your employees with a centralized collaboration platform.
Of course, migrating to the cloud can be a lengthy process depending on the size of your company, and you will need to prepare your staff to move to the cloud, which requires proper training and education. Make sure to work with a professional migration company to make this transition as seamless as possible.
Don’t settle for a subpar internet connection
One of the most important tech upgrades you need to invest in is a stellar internet connection. This one should be non-negotiable, because you can’t expect to run an efficient and effective operation with a sluggish internet connection that hinders productivity and communication, not to mention that it can significantly impact the overall customer experience.
Whether you are communicating and collaborating internally, or if you’re communicating with customers and managing projects online, you need to have a fast fiber internet connection that ensures lighting speeds and stability throughout the day. The last thing you want is for the internet to go down during peak work hours, so make sure to invest in a better internet package for your company, especially if your employees are still working from your main office.
Unify your communications under VoIP
Speaking of effective communication and collaboration, it’s also important to unify your communication system through a centralized platform like VoIP to improve data security as well as productivity across the board. If you are using a traditional phone system, you are missing out on a variety of digital features that VoIP brings to the table that help you boost the efficiency of your staff.
Being a cloud-based communication solution, VoIP allows you to make phone calls via your internet connection, which means that national and international calls are more affordable. The platform also comes with a mobile app for those employees on the go, as well as audio and video conferencing features. Some of the best VoIP plans even have call analytics and reporting tools to help you make the right decisions going forward.
Leverage the right reporting tools
Last but not least, always remember that now is not the time to be making spur-of-the-moment decisions. If you want your small business to reach new heights in the new normal, then you need to base all decisions on relevant and actionable data.
Be sure to leverage all analytics tools at your disposal, and integrate a smart reporting tool into your operation as well to collect and organize important information quickly. This will allow you to generate comprehensive reports for every department, which will then help you make the right decisions to improve productivity, customer experience, sales, marketing, your brand, and more.
Technology is rapidly transforming the modern business world. Companies big and small are increasingly investing in digital transformation to achieve their goals and ensure growth in the new normal. Be sure to invest in these solutions yourself in order to take your small business forward.
Emma is a digital marketer and blogger from Sydney. After getting a marketing degree she started working with Australian startups on business and marketing development. Emma writes for many relevant, industry related online publications and does a job of an Executive Editor at Bizzmark blog and a guest lecturer at Melbourne University. Interested in marketing, startups and latest business trends. Follow Emma on Twitter.