The ways in which businesses operate have changed forever. The 9 to 5 standard working day is largely a thing of the past. More employees are working flexibly and remotely and customers’ expectations have also changed. They are increasingly demanding real-time conversations through multiple channels and genuine collaboration with their favourite brands. What’s an SME business owner to do? How can you meet the challenges of the new ways of working? Well, help is at hand with technology. So read on for a look at the best productivity enhancing solutions for SMEs.
The increasing use of cloud platforms has had a major impact on the way SMEs do business. The open all hours, accessible from anywhere nature of the cloud means that you and your employees can continue to be productive and optimise customer service at any time and any location. It’s an incredibly powerful tool, especially for SMEs, as it enables them to remain competitive. And cloud technologies are also cost-effective. Usually they are available on a subscription basis which means there’s no significant initial investment and there is greater cost certainty.
Mobile technologies in the shape of tablets, smartphones and laptops are supporting increased collaboration and productivity while out and about. It means that your field service personnel, sales people or any staff members that are on the road a lot can provide a much more responsive service to customers. It also means that staff remain productive even when they’re away from the main office. And so whether it’s to check up on some data prior to a client meeting, or to catch up on the latest company news while commuting to work, mobile technologies mean that staff can remain connected and productive wherever they are.
In addition, some SMEs have found Bluetooth headsets to be a good idea so that staff members can be taking calls while on the go.
Many SMEs are using video conferencing technology, whether it’s Skype, Facetime or Google Hangouts, to keep in touch with customers, suppliers or employees who may be located in different towns or cities. Video conferencing means that you’ll stay connected while minimising the travel time and expenses associated with visiting contacts and attending meetings.
In a world full of noise and distractions, some SMEs have gone down the route of introducing noise-cancelling technology and stereo headsets. And so whether you’re working in the office or from the local café, this technology allows for improved concentration and will help you to stay focused on the task at hand.
Rise to the challenge
There’s no doubt that the business landscape has changed dramatically. Give your SME the best chance by rising to the challenge and embracing these new technologies. And see your business increase its competitiveness and productivity as a result.