How long will this recession last? Is inflation going to keep rising? Are customers going to keep cutting back? The truth is that we don’t know all the answers to these questions, and there are a lot of unknowns ahead.
Help is at hand, though. In 2020, companies turned to technology to find their way through a difficult time – and the same is happening today.
Using the right technology for your business can help cut costs while improving how you work, and you don’t have to invest in the latest and shiniest tech tools to do this.
So, let's look at five ways different technologies could help.
Automation has been around for years, and it’s easy to see why companies big and small are using it. It simplifies how your business is run by automatically carrying out tasks that an employee would otherwise have to do. Not only does it help reduce human error, but it can help your team spend less time on daily jobs.
You don’t have to look much further than your email provider for examples of how this works. From free vouchers you receive on your birthday to early access links to new products from a brand you shop at, automation’s everywhere – even in the reminder that you added something to your shopping basket but didn’t check out.
It can achieve so much in so little time. Better yet, it can help you bring in new customers and keep the ones you already have coming back for more.
Essentially, the ‘cloud’ refers to internet-based software and services, which work as an alternative to ‘traditional’ programmes that run only on physical computers.
Shared workspaces such as Google Drive, Microsoft 365 and Slack can help your team work from anywhere – as employees don’t need to be linked to a physical office space. This has the potential to not only reduce rental costs but improve the work-life balance of your staff too as they won’t feel obliged to come into the office every day.
Want to explore your options? You can start your cloud journey immediately by moving documents onto digital platforms and using collaboration services from the likes of Asana, Google, Dropbox, Evernote, and Microsoft 365. Even better, these solutions usually offer a free trial, then only need a small monthly or yearly subscription fee to unlock the full services available.
Time is money and managing HR processes can be time-consuming, especially since most businesses don’t have a HR team or someone dedicated to the role. In reality, many business owners, like you, end up dealing with time-intensive administrative tasks and spending too much time on repetitive work. This then turns into time not spent developing your business.
With HR tech like HiBob or Sage HR, you can make it easier to process holiday requests and payroll, ultimately saving both time and money. For example, where you might spend minutes, hours or even days answering questions about holidays or processing payments, HR platforms will do this automatically.
If you want to grow your team to offer more to customers but aren’t ready to commit to the expenses that come with having full-time employees, hiring freelancers might be a more cost-effective solution. As more people are looking to work on their own terms, using tech to connect quickly to freelancers is a sure-fire way of accessing a talented workforce when you need it, without breaking the bank.
For both businesses and freelancers, there are a wide range of apps out there. For example, if you’re looking for someone to help manage your social media accounts, take on admin-based work, or if you need a tech specialist, websites like Fiverr, Upwork, 99designs and Guru can help you find the right people.
Before committing to expensive business platforms or software, do your research. From accounting and payroll to social media and marketing, there’s an app that can help you with just about everything. The trick is making sure you only invest in technology that will make a difference in your business. This means you should try what’s out there before you commit, especially since almost every software comes with a free trial period or offers limited functionality for free.
After all, taking steps to reduce costs and save time comes down to choosing the right tools – especially since investing in apps, software and new ways of working can be pricey. So, take one step at a time to make sure any new technology you introduce will soon pay for itself.
We hope these tips result in savings in the long run. . For more on the different tech you should prioritise during the cost-of-living crisis, read on here.