Small Business Owners: Utilizing Technology to Improve Profits
If you really want to become more profitable and improve operations in your company, you have to shift your focus from the following limiting thoughts about technology.
- If I buy the latest production software we will be in good shape
- We don’t do that here
- We are unique, we don’t have competition that use technology to help them generate profits
- The plan is in my head, people will steal it off the computer
- All I need is more sales to make more profits
You’ve got to get the right mindset by eliminating restricting thoughts, and then you’ll be ready to improve people, processes and profitability.
Do you ever wonder how a company can start out with just one idea, a passion and a vision, then 10 to 20 years later have thousands of employees and millions in sales?
- What did these companies do to become so successful
- Are the owners smarter than you?
- Do they work harder than you?
- Did they have better equipment or people than you?
No. But they do use better technology tools to drive operation (the people and the process). Operations represent about 60% or 80% of all your overhead costs but they’re the least understood by US businesses.
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For decades, the Japanese have focused on operations that have driven innovation and a culture of continuous improvement. In the right small business owner hands, operations and technology can be a competitive weapon.
Now, ask yourself how can your small company— with just a handful of employees and limited resources — turn operations and technology applications into a powerful weapon to beat competition and learn to grow and thrive!
Why invest in technology / What are the benefits
The bottom line is, if you’re suffering from tight cash flow, exhausted lines of credit and top-line growth, then you have weak operations and have underutilized the technology applications onsite or off-the-shelf that can help you.
First step to rapid profit improvement is to start by questioning your employees. They usually know where costly blocks and bottlenecks are hidden.
Technology can store employee survey results that help you to plan profitability.
- Are your interests and ambitions being challenged
- Does each department in this company have measurable standard designed to increase profitability? Does each area have documentation of process flows and procedures of how it should work?
- Does everyone in this company share the goal of improving the company profits? Does the CEO hold town hall meetings about ‘planned profits’?
- Are you regularly told when you do good work?
- Do you get the help you need to do a good job?
- As an employee, do you feel you can trust your direct supervisor/manager?
- Are owner/managers open and honest with employees?
- Does the company provide you with continual training in areas that will make you a better employee? Has it trained you on how to cut operating expenses or increase revenue to improve profits in your area?
- Are your responsibilities generally explained, well planned and organized?
- Is poor performance tolerated by management? i.e., worker performance, operations bottlenecks and customer relations.
The following are other ways business productivity software drives business processes more efficiently to gain optimal results:
Create an open and communicative environment.
By storing appraisal information within a formal database, managers can more easily communicate business strategy and create measurable goals for their employees that will support overall company objectives. In allowing employees to see the whole picture and understand better how individual goals fit into the company’s business objectives. This can create a energized and engaged employees, thereby raising the business productivity of the company.
Motivate your employees using technology.
Based upon the information gathered in an online performance evaluation, managers can compare current skills with those required for advancement or other recognition or reward opportunities that present themselves as the manager tracks progress on employee goals throughout the year. You may also find you need to redirect employees to different departments if you feel their business productivity could increase elsewhere. If there are impediments to better performance, the company should review why it is happening and try to eliminate these through better allocation of resources or additional training.
Monitor business productivity and employee progress on goals.
Business productivity software solutions enable managers to more easily track progress during every phase of goal completion and offer immediate reinforcement or coaching to keep performance and deadlines on track in daily operations, and utilize performance measurements for strategic planning.
There are many business applications related to e-commerce, from setting up your online storefront to managing your supply chain to marketing your products and services. These technologies fall into three main categories:
Business to Business(B2B)
- Purchasing indirect supplies
- Look for catalogue-based websites offered by suppliers for corporate purchases, similar to business-to-customer websites, for purchasing indirect supplies such as office furniture, pens, paper, and general office equipment.
- Leveraging your existing Web presence
- Improve your existing business-to-customer e-commerce website. Greater sophistication can be added into your online store to target your business clientele.
Business to Customer(B2C)
The global reach of the Internet has allowed many businesses to sell their products and services online, both at home and abroad. An electronic storefront is a website with many pre-built e-commerce components like electronic shopping carts and secure payment gateways that you can use to set up an online store.