Running a business is now easier than ever thanks to countless programs and software designed to boost business performance. Although secretaries haven’t been entirely replaced, they may be on their way out. Available technologies can do most of the things that secretaries can and more. However, they don’t have that same human charisma yet. Whether you want to simply streamline your business or are looking for ways to cut costs, more technology is probably your best option.
1. Schedule Appointments
Scheduling appointments over the phone can be a major deterrent for some clients and customers. Popular examples include Schedulicity or Flexbooker. If you have few clients and want a free program, you can create a Google form and include a link on your website. This isn’t recommended if you would prefer not to check your Google form every day for new entries, and your clients would not be able to cancel appointments through Google forms. Make sure and do your research while picking a program for scheduling appointments because there are many options available. Find a scheduling program appropriate for your client load and weekly hours.
2. Organize Your Documents
Most startups work with a lot of documents. Forms, emails, and other fillable documents are all processed daily. While secretaries traditionally have to sort through and compile these documents, document management software helps streamline the process. Using document management software will require that you go paperless as well, so be willing to spend some time scanning and uploading older documents if you need them. Going paperless will reduce clutter and allow easier sharing of documents. Create privacy procedures and protocol in order to ensure that your documents stored in the cloud are safe.
3. Track Employee Hours
If you’re still using paper forms or punch cards to track hours, stop. Various programs are available to track hours. Tracking hours digitally can cut costs by reducing the amount of time to clock in. You can select programs that will only allow employees to clock in at a specific location or can request a map of where your employees are clocking in from if you’re concerned about whether or not your employees will clock in when they’re not actually on the job. Employers who enable clock-ins from mobile phones reduce employee costs because employees clock in from exactly where they’re supposed to work.
4. Manage Your Online Store
Various apps and programs are available to help manage online stores. Rather than working through eBay or Amazon, consider adding programs to your website. Programs such as Beeketing and Shopify can track how many available items your business has in the shop and notify customers when their order has been shipped. You’ll be able to automate any communication that should happen with the customers after they make a purchase. If you’re not already communicating frequently with customers, find a program because customer communication is key to boosting your reviews. If you’d prefer not to email customers every time they make a purchase, when the order has shipped, and when the order has been delivered, there are plenty of programs that will do it for you.
5. Analyze Your Data
Business performance relies heavily upon the collection and interpretation of data. You need to know the ins and outs of your business and of your customers’ preferences. Good businesses require anticipation and informed decisions based on research and evaluation. You can either run your own research and evaluation, hire someone else to do it for you, or hire a company that specializes in research. If collecting research on your own, consider creating forms.
Hopefully, these ideas have helped spark some ideas on how you can implement technology in your business. Among the benefits are reduced costs, increased efficiency, and greater customer satisfaction. While not all of these technologies may work for you, some of them will, and a quick internet search will reveal many more technology options for your business.