Just as technology is pervading our personal lives, it’s now playing a more and more prominent role in how we run our businesses. These days, making technology a part of your business has become almost unavoidable, from your website to payroll and accounting software. Many SMBs, however, rule out most operational software as a tool only necessary for “enterprise-level” businesses.
According to Small Business Trends, more than half (69%) of small businesses still rely on spreadsheets to plan budgets and track spending, while another 49% still use handwritten processes. That said, businesses that rely on manual processes for tracking their spending, sales, or other aspects of their operations are losing out on the opportunity to do more with less.
From getting your hands on an all-encompassing document management system to a custom CRM, operational software can save you time and money, while increasing your revenue. Below we’ll cover four ways your SMB could benefit from bringing this software on board.
1. Automate those repetitive workflows.
Establishing a standardized workflow has the potential to increase productivity. And while managing your workflow with manual processes, or even spreadsheets, is better than doing nothing, your workflow won’t reach its full potential. With the help of workflow automation, however, you can take your team’s existing workflow to the next level.
When you have a small team, it’s even more critical that each team player uses their time as wisely as possible. In this way, by automating at least some aspects of your team’s workflow, you have the potential to increase your business’s revenue as much as 417%. As a result, workflow automation can increase both your SMB’s productivity and earnings.
2. Boost data organization & accessibility.
Maybe you already have established standardized business processes across your organization. Even so, if you still rely on paper-based documentation, your team could be losing up to 21.3% in productivity from printing, organizing, and retrieving documents. Not only that, but paper-based documentation may also be costing you 3% in revenue.
Rather than waste time with entirely paper-based processes, free up some of your team’s time (and space in your office) with a cloud-based document management system. Even with just some of your documents in the cloud, storing and organizing your most important data will become easier. In addition, you’ll also make it possible to access and collaborate on projects anytime and anywhere, thanks to cloud-based technology.
3. Improve customer management & relationships.
While running a business with manual processes and paper-based documentation is possible, there’s often a threshold at which it becomes too complicated. The moment your team struggles to keep track of your customers’ communications, orders, and other needs, it might be time for a change, or a customer relationship management system (CRM).
The greatest advantage of using a CRM is that it seamlessly ties together multiple facets of your business’s operations. Not only will you acquire more accurate insights and reports, but you can improve your communication and customer service efforts as well. With an average return of $8.71 for every dollar spent on your CRM, there’s a strong chance you’ll also receive a return on your investment.
4. Gain a competitive advantage.
According to CMS Wire, while 86% of SMB owners feel that technology plays a critical role in business, many have yet to adopt the latest tech. In fact, 36% of SMBs still manually collect and store content on their hard drives, while 26% still use paper-based processes. Similarly, a majority (60%) have yet to experience the benefits of cloud-based technologies.
With this in mind, if your SMB takes the leap and adopts the most advantageous operational software for your needs, you’ll be several steps ahead of many of your competitors. Rather than finding yourself “behind the times,” like the 50% of small businesses with no website, you’ll be ahead of the curve and able to offer more than many of your competitors.
While these are just a handful of the benefits of adopting operational software, there are many more you can uncover by adopting the software for yourself. If you decide to do so, the next step is to choose if an out-of-the-box system or custom-tailored system is best for you. Whichever you choose, expect your business to achieve more than it ever has before.
Candace Saunders-Grewe is a web content writer for ClikFocus and ClikGlobal. She writes tech-related content with the overarching goal of helping businesses to better themselves with better software. Learn more about getting started with custom software development at ClikFocus’ blog.