There are lots of great technologies that you can purchase for your business. Your job as the business owner is to decide what tech is right for your business. What tech is the just the right fit, what tech is decidedly the wrong fit, and what tech will end up simply being an expensive toy? How do you address this issue, or set of issues, in a world where every year there are new technologies, faster solutions, and potentially more profitable tools to help your business succeed?
It can be too easy to view technology as a broad-based solution to all of the issues facing your business. A better way to look a tech is as a set of keys that will open different doors. In other words, you can buy a great tech product that soaks up your investment capital, takes up your time, and does nothing to help your business. And, you can find just the right tech for a nagging problem in your business, watch costs go down, your business expand, and profits soar. Deciding what tech is right for your business starts with looking at your business before you start looking at tech solutions.
When you have an idea of what your business needs, you can start looking at intelligent business software, cloud-based solutions, IT services, data management, and even artificial intelligence. Then, you should be getting advice from someone who has a broad-based understanding of the tech products available for your size and type of business and experience in their application in the real world. At Exigo Business Solutions, we are not only the top accounting firm in the Kansas City area, but also familiar with a wide range of tech products and their applications to businesses small and large.
At Exigo Business Solutions we commonly recommend that our clients use the best small and medium-sized business software, QuickBooks or QuickBooks Online. A valuable feature of this bookkeeping and accounting software is the ability to generate custom reports that highlight the most important aspects of your finances. This is a good place to start when you are wondering what tech is right for your business. First of all, if your bookkeeping is not giving you any useful information about your business, you should consider a new bookkeeping program or outsourcing your bookkeeping to a professional with the expertise to help you see where your business is doing well and where it needs to change.
The hidden costs of a business, in retrospect, are right in front of you but hidden in the hustle and bustle of the business day. What jobs are taking too long to complete? What tasks require too many employees? What do you do when you have employees working out of the office and they need to access office-based data? Or, for that matter, can your employees collaborate on projects when they are in different buildings, different cities, or different parts of the planet? And, do you have issues with data backup? Here we start getting a hint about what tech is right for your business. It is the tech that will address the issues in your business, the tech that will be scalable as your business grows, and it is the tech that fits like a key in a lock to address the concerns of your business.
There are some basic types of tech that you can apply to your business right away. And, there are specific kinds of tech that you will use when they fit the needs of your business. First, here are three basic tech issues you should address.
If you have not already upgraded your phone system, you should be using VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol. Because calls go over the internet, you will find substantial savings on international, national, and even local calls. Modern systems allow for the sort of conferencing, call forwarding, call holding, and other features that make any upgrade worth it. And, if you upgrade your business software to Office 365 in the cloud, you can enjoy the many features of Skype for Business, Skype Meetings, and more.
As your business expands, you need an email address that is not “your business”@yahoo.com. A business account will have more storage capacity and a whole host of features that make it an integral part of your business and not just a way to send and receive messages. Again, Office 365 is a good way to go as it includes Office 2016 which integrates seamlessly with your other business software.
The third leg of your communications upgrades should be a business class internet such as T1, T3, or Ethernet. Talk to several internet providers, shop around, and you will find something that fits your needs and is scalable as your communication needs grow. This will be especially important as you take advantage of business software that works in the cloud (remote servers) both for information processing and storage of your business information.
There are many, many new software programs for business. Here are several that we at Exigo Business Solutions have found useful and affordable for ourselves and our clients.
Use this tool to digitalize paper receipts. It is quicker and cheaper than manual data entry for getting info into your bookkeeping software. When the records are in QuickBooks, you can dump all of those old stored receipts.
Many of our clients use this method for automating and streamlining bill payments. It should save you time and money.
This is a system that lets you pay contractors anywhere on earth. Within the USA, payments occur without banking fees. And, there are no international to local currency fees. The system is based on blockchain technology as is very simple to use.
This is a platform that lets multiple users store and share secure documents. You can make changes and they are automatically updated for all persons who have access. This is a great way to share documents, collaborate, and have access to your data from any place with an internet connection.
SmartVault is cloud-based storage that integrates nicely with a whole host of business tech tools including QuickBooks, Outlook, Intuit Lacerte, Drake Software, DocuSign, Hubdoc, Xero, and FreshBooks. For managing customer relations, SmartVault integrates with Skyline Cloud Services, Swizznet, Salesforce, Method: CRM, Cloud Nine, and Right Networks.
We mentioned Office 365 for a couple of specific uses, but many businesses find that Office 365 is the comprehensive business software that makes them more efficient and more profitable. Talk to us about Office 365 and what this advanced tech product can do for your business.
We use QuickBooks Online with the vast majority of our clients. This cloud-based bookkeeping system is the best in class for small and medium-sized business. Not only does QuickBooks Online work in the cloud but it backs up your information in a separate and secure online location.
Companies that lose their data due to natural disasters or malicious acts tend to go out of business (70% by the end of the year). Even systems like Office 365 and Gmail need extra backup protection. We suggest looking into Datto, SkyKick, or DropSuite for backing up your data online and having systems that allow you to search and retrieve data most efficiently.
The point of choosing tech is that it needs to serve the needs of your business and no the other way around. One good approach to tech these days is to lease instead of buying. For example, when you use Office 365 you are using software that is online and paying as you go. The software you use is always the most updated version. For any questions about what tech will help your business and how to apply, please contact us at Exigo Business Solutions in the Kansas City area.