For some it’s as comfortable as a warm hug, for others it’s as cold and foreign as an ice storm in July. Whatever end of that spectrum you fall on the reality is that in the modern business environment, technology is increasingly less of an option and more of a given. If you are a business owner who still prefers the “old school” way of doing things, don’t fret- technology does not have to change the way you do business; used correctly it can help organize, economize, and amplify the way you do business.
That having been said, if tech isn’t your preferred playground, here are some tips to help make your transition to a cyber-workplace a little less stressful.
Start small before you think BIG
One of the reasons business-minded individuals who are uncomfortable with technology often give up on it is that they try to take on too much, too fast. Interjecting new technology into your business requires patience and constant learning. Taking on too much can quickly become overwhelming and demoralizing. Instead, we recommend you start with something as simple as mastering your email system. Before you roll your eyes and stop reading, ask yourself this question: how much of your email management system do you actually take advantage of?
In 2019, most people know how to open, read, and produce emails. However, if that is all you know how to do you are probably only taking advantage of 5% of your email platform’s capabilities. Take the time to learn how to create folders and how to create rules for emails so that they automatically disperse to the appropriate folders; learn how to utilize your electronic calendar to include all of your appointments, calls, and tasks; learn how to sync your smartphone or tablet so you have full access at home or on the road. All of these steps will help you get more organized and efficient right off the bat.
Consider amplifying your business with a CRM
CRM (Customer-Relationship Management) tools are all the rage in the modern digital workplace. Without getting into a tremendous amount of detail, a CRM is a way to add efficiency and organization to your business by taking all of your sales-related data and consolidating it under one streamlined platform. Imagine if everything about your business from customer contact information to customer purchase history, to sales data, to marketing material, to analytics were all accessible with a couple clicks; this is the advantage a CRM can provide. Programs like Infusionsoft, Salesforce and various others are helping small and large businesses alike to grow sales, project the future, and save endless hours of time and labor.
A jack of all trades is a master of none
A critical fact to remember when planning to make your business more technical is that you don’t have to be the lone expert on everything. As previously mentioned, incorporating advanced tools into your business requires time and a learning curve. Even then, managing some of these tools alone might require more time than you can comfortably give. This is a good indication that it’s time to solicit help. Perhaps promote an employee to manage your social media; maybe consider hiring a full-time assistant, or if your business is still in its early stages, a virtual assistant is a cost-effective way to get the help you need without putting someone on the payroll.