Small to Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) businesses form 95% of companies globally – yet running an SME firm is often a constant juggling act trying to find ways to improve efficiency on a limited budget while still offering the best product to your clients.
If you’re looking for ways to streamline your operations without sacrificing quality or employee satisfaction, below are a few ways technology could increase your efficiency while also saving your company money.
Move your digital services to the cloud
In recent years, one of the fastest-growing sectors of the entire IT and computing industry has been in cloud services provision. Moving your firm’s digital requirements to the cloud has several advantages, including (but not limited to):
- Access to the latest, fastest tech that is typically far beyond the budget of most SMEs
- Leveling the playing field with your bigger rivals by being able to take advantage of cutting-edge IT services
- Reduced overhead and better Return on Investment (ROI)
- 24/7/365 support and help
- Bulletproof security from industry-leading cybersecurity experts
- The peace of mind that comes from round-the-clock monitoring and regular data backups
- A truly mobile workforce equipped with the tools they need to embrace the new trend for remote working
Replace time-consuming operations with automation
Today’s business software has come a very long way in a very short time and with the advent of capable Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems and increasingly sophisticated Machine Learning (ML), it’s now possible to automate many of the more time-consuming and repetitive tasks that were previously a constant headache for companies.
As a rule, any task that features repeated, simple actions is ripe for the move to automation – anything from employee payroll processing to invoicing and Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
Consider outsourcing anything that isn’t core to your business
Thanks mostly to improved networking, faster connection speeds, and cloud technologies, the world of freelancing and outsourcing has grown exponentially in recent years. These days, there is a vast pool of talented freelancers offering everything from design and marketing services to web production and accounting.
Taking on freelancers has considerable advantages compared to hiring full-time employees – not least of which is the reduced overhead plus minimal responsibilities involved in working with third parties. Also, it’s very common for firms to find that freelancers often bring extra skills or knowledge that can see them branching into different areas and offering expanded services.
For example, a web development firm might employ a designer that also has knowledge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – all linked services under the broad umbrella of website development but skills that perhaps the in-house programming team lack.
Also, because freelancers are typically paid on a per-project basis, they are more inclined to work quickly and productively – yet without risking poor performance. After all, a freelancer is only as good as his or her last job.
Freelancers bring all of the gains, without the pain, so take a look at your firm and see if any non-essential duties might be better outsourced so you can re-channel your internal resources.