Effective time management is a crucial component of any business, but when employees aren’t maximizing their productivity, businesses with fewer employees suffer greatly. While automation and digital technology sometimes get a bad rap for displacing workers, it is a huge equalizing force in terms of time management and increases in efficiency. This enables managers to make smarter hiring choices and to potentially provide jobs that are more enjoyable and interesting rather than dull or repetitive.
Does your business have customers?
Another problem that disproportionately affects small business owners is the loss of employee time due to illness or vacation. Employees who wear multiple hats or who provide vital customer service roles your company cannot do without for a day or even a few moments, it can present a significant hardship to lose them. You may have to spend time vetting and training temporary replacements to handle the workload, all while continuing to provide the customer service duties typically completed by the absent employee.
If your business had a recent increase in sales, an increase in customer service activity could likely be the first pain point in your front office. It may seem to necessitate the hiring of an additional person to handle inquiries, which naturally means more expenses from payroll and benefits standpoint as well as logistics. You may have to create another desk space, install another phone extension, or expand your server system to accommodate another customer service employee.
Switching to a cloud call center is a crucial way to improve your company’s scalability and customer service reliability, enabling your hiring efforts to focus on more company-specific roles like sales or management. To determine which system might offer the best range of services at the most economical price, do a cloud call center software comparison and think about what features your business absolutely cannot do without.
Many modern systems can provide answers to your customers’ most common questions using AI and predictive technology as well as omnichannel features that integrate customer inquiries from multiple social media platforms. Moving to an online customer service platform also allows your existing employees to focus more on delivering quality rather than coping with quantity.
Does your business have payables and receivables?
Online accounting services are another way businesses are outsourcing routine tasks. You can outsource things like check writing, sales tax payments, and invoice generation, as well as payroll and benefits management. This can help your company stay lean and efficient, reducing the need for multiple administrative employees or a large HR or accounting department.
Remember that the money you save in outsourcing is not just in salaries and benefits, but also in space and location logistics, equipment, and supplies, so factor these costs in when doing a cost-benefit analysis. Consider indirect consequences like parking issues, utility costs, and bathroom congestion as you weigh additional hiring decisions at your physical location.
Does your business have short-term projects?
Another aspect of the rise in small business technology is the development of the “Gig” economy. Your small business may require the services of a web developer, but you may not have the resources to hire one full-time. You may need to have marketing materials designed, though it isn’t feasible for you to hire a marketing specialist. Gig sites like Fiverr and Topwork can connect you to experts who can function as independent contractors, completing temporary assignments while you focus on the things you do best.
Technology is rapidly adapting to the needs of business owners, helping employers reduce burnout and the need for overtime and businesses scale up more rapidly with sales. This enables employees to focus on higher-level tasks and duties instead of time-wasting repetitive activities. If your business isn’t employing online technology today, it’s worth your time to investigate the many ways you can do more with less by going digital.