Slack, Square, Trello, Tableau And Dropbox. We take a look at five useful tech tools to increase agility that will help SMBs grow revenue.
Technological innovation has rapidly changed the nature of work and the ways in which teams collaborate. SMBs, in particular, now have to balance day-to-day operations with the continuous task of identifying growth opportunities and threats in a marketplace that is more volatile than ever before.
Minimising the lengthy processes and procedures to execute activity is the core of being agile in business – as is being flexible with both your approach to how you work and the products and services that you provide.
The ability to be agile is crucial for SMBs, it can be the difference between success and failure – and technology is fast becoming the key to unlocking this. Therefore it is no surprise that recent research from Commonwealth Bank reveals that small businesses adopting new technology are more likely to expect revenue growth.
Adaptive planning and growth strategies take time to collate, time that many small businesses may feel they don’t have as they are more concerned with the daily tasks of running a business. Eliminating inefficient processes and procedures will provide more time for looking ahead rather than what’s right in front of you.
Agility and mobility come hand in hand and platforms like Square have enabled even the smallest of businesses to grow and prosper on the move. The ability to accept payments anywhere in Australia has opened up new revenue streams for small businesses fueling growth.
As well as its card reader, Square boasts in-built reporting functionalities, such as sales figures, customer information and inventory lists. This means that business owners with little background in these areas can make educated decisions quickly and affordably without the need to outsource. The simplicity of this system, and a vast array of supported partners means that often outsourced tasks such as bookkeeping and administration can now be done internally.
In years gone by, companies would have to wait to get information that they needed in real time: whether this was marketing metrics, such as customer engagement, or financial information like sales forecasts. Now, through data visualisation platforms such as Tableau – critical information that was was once retrospective – can now be gathered, interpreted, and acted upon in a matter of minutes.
Tableau has recently added a feature that uses machine learning to combine data sources to provide real-time reporting alerts that get sent immediately to the user, making sure decisions are being made faster than ever before.
In this day and age you need to collaborate efficiently with colleagues and partners – and with businesses and workforces becoming increasingly mobile, technology needs to be implemented to make this work. Whether this is through file sharing or real-time content collaboration, services such as Dropbox Business are excellent ways to work together with others to execute tasks quickly and efficiently.
Its newest feature, Dropbox Paper, which enables you to collaborate on documents in real-time – has really changed the game for anyone wanting to create visually appealing work.
A recent study of 4000 Australian professionals into workplace productivity found that they’re spending more time in meetings than ever and 66% of those meetings are of no value. Time wasted in unnecessary meetings is a killer for small businesses. The instant messaging service, Slack, brings all businesses’ communication together in one place, providing real-time messaging, archiving and search for modern teams.As 32% of meetings are now ad-hoc, before scheduling a company wide meeting ask yourself, can this be discussed over Slack? The ability to separate conversations in channels will mean that only relevant personnel will be notified on specific tasks. Slack is a great tool to ensure that productivity is maximised by avoiding time wasted in unnecessary meetings.
Project management is something that is paramount to the efficiency of any business, whether that’s a global corporation or a small business of ten people. Trello’s boards, lists, and cards enable you to organise and prioritise your projects in a fun, flexible and rewarding way. Like all of the services previously mentioned, Trello has democratised its field. It has given anyone the opportunity to become efficient project managers and run their teams and businesses with flair and precision.