Adapt Early to Get Ahead
One of the best ways we can learn about technology is to become early adapters. We all have our ways of doing things and sometimes we’re reluctant to change. But with technology changing the way we do business at a rapid pace, we can’t afford to stick with the old ways just because they’ve worked in the past.
If you have any doubt about how quickly things are changing, just talk to a teenager for five minutes. The next generation of entrepreneurs is going to be extremely familiar with the tools that are out there and how to use them. Just because what you’re doing is working today doesn’t mean it will tomorrow, and you don’t want to be passed by.
Here are four ways you can increase the efficiency of your business that are easier to adopt than you might think.
- Customer Relationship Management – Tools like Salesforce.com can make managing your customer base much more organized. You’ll have a complete record of the customer’s cycle with your business, as well as any issues they’ve had, so you’re not digging through files when something comes up.
- Contracts – With a service such as Sertifi, you can handle the sending and signing of your contracts automatically. The days of waiting for them in the mail or faxing them back and forth should be over.
- Storage – It’s become easier and easier to store things in the Cloud with free services like Google Drive and Dropbox. These are great tools for sharing large files such as video or design projects. It’s also an excellent way to backup important documents should anything happen to your office (though we certainly hope not).
- Payroll – Having an online payroll service can save you time, money and hassles when it comes to the complicated process of taking care of payroll and more specifically, payroll taxes. Regulations for compliance are constantly changing and you should have a service that not only allows you to pay your employees quickly and online. It should also pay and file all your federal, state and local payroll taxes automatically.
These are just a few of the ways you can improve your business’ efficiency through technology. There are more popping up all the time. Adapt early and you’ll be ahead later.
Michael Alter, payroll expert with an MBA from Harvard Business School, is a nationally recognized spokesperson providing thought-leadership and sensible advice to help accounting and payroll professionals build deeper more profitable relationships with clients. Alter, President of SurePayroll, writes the Managing People column on INC.com and is frequently published in Bloomberg TV, the Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur Magazine.