As a small business, one must do everything they can to maximize their efficiency – doing so will mean the business has more time at their disposal and perhaps even a larger portion of their budget available. Small businesses can implement all kinds of highly innovative solutions internally. We spoke to TechQuarters, a managed service & IT support provider, Microsoft partner, and long-term service provider for small businesses. As a tech company and SMB themselves, they gave us their rundown on some of the most valuable solutions that small businesses should be looking at.
Most small businesses operate under the impression that they need to hire in-house staff for everything. However, many small businesses may find that they can make significant cost savings in the long term if they elect to outsource certain areas of their organization. One great example of outsourcing for a small business would be IT support. London IT support company TechQuarters has worked with small and medium-sized businesses for over a decade. They have provided outsourced IT support and managed services to businesses of different types, sizes, and sectors. They consistently observed that businesses are more efficient and better equipped to handle diverse situations when they outsource their IT support.
The benefits of outsourcing include getting access to more expertise; the company you outsource to will have invested much more time and money into building their resources, and training their staff, specifically for the services you need, and will definitely be better at fulfilling those services than a department that a small business could afford to build. With this heightened expertise and resources, you will also find that your outsourced service provider probably gets things done much quicker and may be available more often if they offer 24-hour services.
Move to Cloud
With the business world becoming more dynamic, it is important for every business – especially small businesses – to be agile and flexible to changes coming from any direction, whether they are in the market, internally, or in their customer base, etc. Most business leaders and tech experts agree that this can be achieved most effectively with a move to the Cloud.
The Cloud has been a highly disruptive innovation over the last decade. It has enabled businesses to be freed from the reliance on on-site hardware and physical technology in favor of virtualized servers, applications, data storage, and much more. TechQuarters made a move to the Cloud many years ago. Consequently, they were able to get rid of their offices during COVID-19 and go completely remote without any technical or logistical problems – they also saved money from going remote!
Of course, a move to the Cloud will involve significant solutions architecture. A company will have to assess its current IT infrastructure, figure out how to virtualize it, and then build its Cloud environment with a reliable provider (such as Microsoft Azure or Citrix). There may also be some modernization of IT, such as new laptops or perhaps 2-in-1 devices designed for Cloud-integrated work (such as Microsoft Surfaces or Chromebooks).
When a small business moves to the Cloud, they will be much more agile in the face of changes and pressures in their line of work, which can go a long way to saving both time and money.
Reduce Team Sizes
This may seem like a counter-intuitive step for a business to take – after all, surely fewer people working on a job will mean a bigger workload for the participants. While this is technically true, several arguments exist for splitting up teams. To begin with, smaller teams mean that communication is easier – when you have just one or two other colleagues in your team, it’s easier to keep everyone in the loop and ensure you are all on the same page. Communication is perhaps the most important aspect of collaboration – a larger team with poor communication will perform much less efficiently than a small, core team with tight and consistent communication.
There is also an argument stating that smaller teams will perform better because they are given more trust and autonomy. It is much easier to build trust between managers and workers in a small business, and very few people enjoy being micro-managed. Autonomy in a team means participants have the freedom to design their workflow in whatever way works best for them.
Time is certainly a highly valuable – if not the most valuable – resource in business. For a small business, it can be frustrating when too much of it is wasted on repetitive, low-value tasks. Unfortunately, these tasks are also important for the operation of a company – they might be admin jobs like updating information on a CRM, data backups, or customer service correspondence. As frustrating as it can be to dedicate so much time to tasks that seem insignificant or low-value, if they aren’t completed, they will simply pile up and create problems further down the line.
Small businesses can ensure that the low-value, repetitive tasks are performed promptly while freeing up workers’ time and implementing task automation. Task automation is using software or machines to complete repetitive tasks. Tasks can be automated to perform on a routine basis or in response to a digital trigger.
Task automation has several benefits. To start with, it can force a business to access their workflows and streamline them ahead of the automation; this in itself can save time. By automating those tasks and workflows, a business is freeing up the time of their staff work on higher-value work.
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