It’s important to ensure that your small business moves with the times.
Russ Fujioka, President for Xero U.S., discusses three ways to run a modern small business.
We have so much technology at our disposal nowadays. From email to Slack, excel to the cloud, it’s easy to become bogged down. But, it’s important to remember that this technology is available to help you to develop your business in such a way that it’s easier to grow and communicate with your employees and your customers. In “What makes a business modern?”. Fujioka makes the following three important observations:
1. Make sure that you are filing cabinet free
According to Alexandra Heber, Global storyteller for Xero, “Filing cabinets are a liability for any small business owner.” The more physical documents you store, the more you increase your workload. Put simply, filing cabinets waste your time because you have to wade through masses of important documents. Not only that, it’s also a security risk for your business. By storing information on site, you are putting yourself and your clients at risk and the consequences could be devastating.
“Cloud alternatives like Google Drive not only ensure your important documents are secure, they make the whole world your office; giving you the ability to access your documents anywhere, anytime,” says Heber. There are also incredible apps, like ‘Receipt Bank’, that help you store important financial records, such as receipts. Receipt Bank creates expense records for you, all you have to do is snap a picture of the receipt, and Receipt Bank takes care of the rest for you. There is no longer a need to clutter your office with unnecessary boxes of documents.
Moreover, you can implement systems that work hand-in-hand with each other, such as Xero cloud accounting software and Receipt Bank. As soon as you load the picture of your receipt onto the Receipt Bank App, the data gets extracted automatically and sent to Xero for collation. “This means you can make smart choices about how to grow your business, and be confident that the information you’re basing that decision on is accurate and up to date, says Heber.
2. Get rid of the landline phone
While we all appreciate Alexander Graham Bell’s crowning glory, it is probably best housed in a history museum. With countless instant messaging apps available these days, it’s easy to handle customer service enquires virtually. Customers are able to send through their queries 24/7, and get responses in a timely fashion. It is important to make sure that you are available to your customers on these platforms. No one wants to waste hours on the phone, or wait around for his or her query to be addressed. The world expects timeous responses to their queries, so make sure that you are available to your customers on various social media platforms, online chat and text. This approach should not only extend to your customers, but to your employees as well. As Fujioka says, “The need for modern businesses to communicate digitally also encompasses internal communication” because this ensures that all of your employees are on board with each other at all times.
Apps, like Slack, are great tools for online communication as they offer “private, direct messaging and open conversations,” says Fajioka.
3. Allow your employees flexibility
By making use of the various technological resources available to you, you are ensuring that you and your employees can work from anywhere at any time; thus, you should extend this opportunity to your employees where and whenever possible. Not only will this widen the pool of talent available to you, but it will also encourage your employees to stay. “A business that offers modern benefits to its employees sets itself apart as an innovator,” says Fajioka.
By setting your business up in these three ways, you are showing your employees and clients that you are dynamic enough to fit into the modern world.