Between managing tasks and taking care of mundane activities, owners rarely get time to think about their customers. Which is a pity, really, because customers should be their main concern. After all, customers contribute to the small business bottomline and not manual and time-consuming tasks. In the long run, the cost-ratio benefit for such tasks is negative.
What small businesses need is a simple and effective way to automate or delegate these tasks.
This is where Software-as-a-Service solutions come in. They streamline, automate and reduce costs your administrative task overhead, making such tasks cost-effective.
However, you must identify areas of your business that can be automated (or streamlined) before investing in cloud-based solutions.
In this post, we have shortlisted four areas of your business that can be outsourced to cloud based applications with minimal costs and maximum efficiency.
At first blush, hiring might seem an odd choice. After all, how can you automate face-to-face interaction and assessment of cultural fit in an employee? But, there are certain areas of the hiring process can be automated without problems.
For example, you can use applicant tracking applications to pre-screen candidates. Using such solutions offers the dual benefit of saving time and costs. Because solutions like Avancert are predicated on organizing interviews at leisure, they take the stress out of exchanging endless scheduling emails to organize interviews. In addition, you can move suitable candidates quickly through the pipeline and eliminate expensive recruiting agent costs. Similarly, solutions such as Unrabble enable you to post jobs and verify candidate credentials respectively.
Training enables succession planning and knowledge transfer. What’s more, it helps your team to remain up to speed with latest technology, trends and processes in your business. Unfortunately, organizing training also takes time and resources. You can simplify the training process by opting for cloud-based training software such as Knoodle or Mindflash. Most online training apps deliver instructions and material through video formats, enabling you to conduct and schedule training at your leisure. Finally, video-based training also takes physical constraints and infrastructure out of the equation, enabling you to do more with less.
Although it may seem boring, repetitive, and lugubrious, finance and accounting is the raison d’etre of your business. You can cut accounting costs and time spent grappling with and learning complicated accounting software by investing in cloud-based accounting and finance solutions. For example, you can track your billing and collection efforts using online solutions such as BillQuick. Similarly, you can get a consolidated view of your accounting processes and modules using solutions such as FreeAgent or Intacct.
A good small business is a productive small business. For most small businesses, personal productivity is an aggregate of multiple proprietary old-world applications such as the Microsoft Office suite. In addition to being expensive, such applications can often cause problems during upgrades and support.
Software-as-a-service productivity applications offer flexibility and customization that is not available in proprietary applications. For example, you can use the Google Apps productivity suite or other suite of productivity apps such as Huddle or HyperOffice, to manage team productivity. If you thought cloud-based applications were mostly team-based, think again. Applications such as Sandglaz help you manage personal and team productivity in an innovative way.
These are just some areas in which you can streamline your business. I am sure you can find out many areas of your small business that could do with some efficiencies brought by the cloud.
Feel free to go through our cloud business apps ecosystem to find the best fit for your small business.