3 Budget-Friendly Options To Use Technology To Improve Your Business Operations
Think back to a time when you held onto a cell phone, computer, or car for too long. After a while, you likely ran into problems that led to regular frustration. Yet, you figured that updating it would cost too much money or be too much of a hassle.
Eventually, once you’d accepted the device no longer worked, you gave in and got the upgrade. That’s when you realized how much time you had wasted struggling with outdated tools that ended up costing more time and money than updating earlier on would have.
We get it — after a while, it’s easy to get comfortable with the status quo. After all, isn’t it easier to simply deal with things as they are than to search for alternatives? Why fix what’s not broken?
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Change can be hard. But updating the systems that your business relies on is critical if you want to improve your bottom line and make things more efficient.
Improving operations saves time and money, and doesn’t have to be hard to do. Here are three easy and budget-friendly ways to improve your business processes.
1) Upgrade Your Systems
You know that feeling when nothing works like it used to? That’s probably because the systems you set in place years ago no longer mesh with the way you do business today.
Set aside time every year to investigate alternative business solutions that may save you time and money. Here are just a few examples of simple places to look for opportunities:
- Project management software
- Accounting software
- Tracking technology for things like inventory or shipping
- Energy efficiency improvements
As you think about ways to improve, also consider things that might be holding you back. You can do this by performing an audit of your subscription services and other ongoing costs to make sure you’re only paying for things you still need.
2) Set Goals & Track the Important Things
Setting goals is a great way to get motivated to make improvements, and it’s also the most effective way to track your progress, find out what’s working for you, and identify areas that you definitely need to improve.
Learn how to set S.M.A.R.T. goals and track against them using technology that gives you clear insight into what’s going on inside your business.
S.M.A.R.T. goals are those that are:
- Specific — What exactly are you trying to accomplish?
- Measurable — What specific parameters or indicators are you using to determine whether you’ve achieved your goal?
- Attainable — Is it realistic for you to complete your goals?
- Relevant — Are these goals leading you to solutions in the most critical areas of your business?
- Timely — Can you achieve these goals within a reasonable time frame?
Look for ways to organize and track your goals using technology. Whether you choose to track goals with your team using project management software, or a simple, free phone app, there are lots of tools out there to help keep you focused and informed about your progress.
3) Leverage Video Analytics
One of the most powerful tools for improving your business comes from a surprising source, your surveillance cameras. Today’s cameras incorporate integrated analytic tools that provide business owners with invaluable data. Here are just a few examples.
Heat mapping uses infrared technology to track people inside your business. The information is essential for business owners who want to know which physical location on their property has the most activity.
“Heat mapping can help a business owner decide where to place certain advertisements, relocate products that need to be sold quicker, and indicate where employees spend most of their time.” — Daniel Martinez, Director of Business Development at AVS.
Learn how many people are entering your property at any given time, and on any given day. You can use this data to inform staffing requirements, adjust operating hours, and to help determine key customer demographics.
Facial recognition can inform you when a specific client arrives or automatically clock-in employees when they arrive or leave their posts.
Powerful surveillance cameras with integrated analytics don’t just improve business operations, they’re also a key component in the most effective and affordable form of security: remote guarding.
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