How Cloud Technology Can Help Your Business Navigate Darkness
Why Change is Important in Small Business
Like Halloween, change is often scary, but it is important in small businesses. While it may feel like walking alone through a dark woodland, potential improvements live among the trees. Like a trusty flashlight in a foggy forest, technology can help shed light on business opportunities.
All business owners are faced with two choices: change and reap the benefits, or fall behind and risk becoming obsolete.
The biggest lesson from COVID is that we have to be able to adapt to change. Business opportunities are hiding in the darkness. How many face mask or hand sanitizer companies had you heard of before the pandemic? Now, hundreds of online sellers and other businesses are providing various solutions. One of our customers, Fresh Start Environments, pivoted to help fulfill the needs of the sanitizer market and has been growing as a direct result.
Cloud Technology Helps Small Businesses Embrace Change
Even in the most traditional businesses, new technologies can open new doors. Small businesses that embrace change create efficiencies, increase productivity, communicate better, and work happier. Happy people lead to happy customers and good relationships, which lights up the dark forest surrounding your business.
Why Should I Embrace Cloud Technology?
Have you ever been sitting at your worksite and wished you didn’t have a long commute home? Did you miss your daughter’s soccer game because you had to stay fifteen minutes late and missed your train? Have you ever wanted to be at your family cottage but arrived after dark because someone had to work late? With technology, you can work from almost anywhere you have the internet.
Recently, one of our teammates worked abroad for three months and provided her children with amazing opportunities. And she could take time off to enjoy herself with her extended family while working.
Earlier this month, I worked briefly from Mexico. I also met with people from the UK, Mexico and the US. These would have been impossible without technology.
Technology must improve life – nobody spends money on something that doesn’t work.
Isn’t Cloud Technology for Small Businesses Expensive?
Although cloud technology does cost money, it can create additional savings opportunities that often outweigh the cost.
How much is your office rent? How necessary is it in the grand scheme of things?
In my experience, requiring staff to be at the office is more a function of satisfying egos than being productive. That kind of environment can also create resentment and cultures of blame that damage the company culture.
Don’t get me wrong; real-world person-to-person interaction is often more enjoyable than meeting virtually. Meeting in person creates serendipitous events (like amazing conversations while waiting in line for coffee at a conference). However, for the day-to-day operation of an office, changing your thinking may result in a smaller office or no office at all.
What Can My Small Business do with Money Saved Through Embracing Change?
Your team can do higher-value work with the time saved from automation. For instance, customers can fill online forms to save staff administrative tasks. The software can even sort the forms to tell you who are the best potential customers. In the end, you have all the data you need in seconds without administrative costs.
How much time did you invest in administration in the past? This is exactly how much time and money cloud technology could save your business.
Connectivity and business communication can (but doesn’t always, subscribe for future blog posts on that!) improve by leveraging technological tools. For instance, there is a lot of time and error when software transcribes customer voicemails. And you can’t go back once the message is gone. With an email, there is a written, searchable record. How much time was spent in the first scenario versus the second?
The biggest savings opportunity cloud technology presents is time – the one currency we all don’t have enough of.
How Can I Embrace Cloud Technology?
Embracing technology begins with small changes in habits. For most people, it started with the adoption of smartphone technologies. Having a phone, camera and PDA (Personal Data Assistant) in your pocket has added a lot of convenience and connectivity for individuals. How much did social media platform engagement grow when the smartphone became prevalent?
Why Should I Embrace Cloud Technology?
The root of any technology decision should be Why. Implementing every new app is frustrating and can result in disruptions if the app goes out of business. We recommend picking proven technologies that work well and will be there for decades.
Which Cloud Technology Should I Use?
The first step to deciding which technologies to explore is to map out and understand your business processes (or funnels). The next is to discuss with everyone the daily frustrations and challenges they have. From there, you have a good starting point on where to spend time investigating new tools. Empowering your team to do the research builds buy-in ahead of implementation and means the business owner doesn’t have to do all the legwork themselves.
Why Should My Business be Paperless?
Before starting KATA Accounting Solutions Professional Corporation, I did some investigating to answer a lot of Why questions. Luckily, several firm owners were willing to speak with me. One was paying over $20,000 per month for office space used to store paper! They even had to shore up the supporting structures to handle the weight. Another one I met with had a house – literally, a house – that was over 80% paper storage. How wasteful is that?
Managing paper has a lot of associated costs that often go overlooked – mainly in time spent sorting and finding things. A good cloud storage account from a reputable company will help you find the files needed quickly and easily. (To actually be able to find what you’re looking for when you need it, use good naming conventions for files.) We do NOT recommend using a free cloud storage solution as if the product is free; you are the product.
The real business case for being paperless is saving time and money, not saving trees.
What’s Next for Change in Business?
Keeping your eyes and ears open to opportunity is a big part of being an entrepreneur. Technology presents fortuity, but not every bright dragonfly in a dark forest is there to help light the way. The ability to discern and decide will be key to successfully adopting a new tool.
At KATA, we constantly learn about new cloud technology for bookkeeping and tax. Although our needs are likely different from your business, let us know if we can help answer any questions. And share this blog post on your socials so others can seize the opportunity for change. Happy Halloween to all from KATA and our team!