Most adults have a preference for hot beverages. Depending on where you hail from and your palate, there's a high likelihood you'd choose either tea or coffee. Many of us are so habituated to our morning cuppa that we cannot even imagine beginning the day without a few sips of caffeine. Caffeine, found in tea and coffee, increases concentration, improves mental functioning, decreases fatigue, speeds up your metabolism, alleviates fatigue, and gives you an instant influx of energy. Sure, we don’t ruminate about why we're so attached to our choice of brew. But admit it, that hug-in-a-mug makes your day brighter! Likewise, for an entrepreneur, a concoction of expedient technology can really stimulate your business. Just like your morning chai or coffee injects vigor into your day, a good blend of the right technology has the capacity to improve your TATs, enhance efficiency, and reduce costs exponentially. Let's look at the tech tools that can fuel your efforts. Since every business is unique, the ones listed below are rudimentary tools you just cannot afford to ignore. Depending on the variables of your operations, you can expand your portfolio.
1. Social Media:
With billions of active social media users worldwide, social media is first on our list of tech toys. Within seconds of publishing something, you can reach a massive audience. You can create and increase brand awareness, interact with potential clients, sift your target market, generate more leads, convert them into sales, conduct transactions, connect with loyal customers, and increase business goodwill all on the same platform. If harnessed properly, clever use of social media can take your business to astronomical heights. And, much of it is free! Make sure your company has active accounts on all current social media handles. Businesses today cannot afford to neglect this potent tool.
2. Company E-mail:
This is a vital tool in the present day, especially since many workflows have moved towards location-agnostic workflows. It's best to sign up for a professional e-mail account that comprises your company name or a custom domain. When potential clients and customers encounter an e-mail address that is not registered to your domain, they may doubt the authenticity of your business. Invest a little in a corporate e-mail service that serves as a brand reminder and a source of identification. Ensure you have some basic firewalls to protect the information exchanged therein. It would be great to have an in-built planner with reminders and push notifications for assigned and saved tasks.
3. Communication and Meetings:
Face-to-face meetings and conferences have been on the decline since the onset of COVID. Even with many states easing out norms, the preference still lies in online video calls and conferences. Organizations have realized businesses can be conducted more swiftly and economically by eliminating travel, accommodation, and planning costs from in-person meetings. Several free applications are readily available and very user-friendly too. Free versions usually limit the number of participants up to a hundred or so. Try a paid version if you aim to get a large team together for conferences. These platforms bridge gaps by allowing the hosts to deliver presentations and share a view of their screen as participants can join in and collaborate from the convenience of their location. Many of these apps permit recording of the session with a ready transcript so you can easily access the matter discussed. Some of these have limitations on duration or data, so check the specifications before zeroing in on one. (can be used for Webex/GTM later)
4. E-signature Platform:
Electronic signatures permit users to sign documents online as if they were handwritten signatures that are legally binding on all consenting parties as per the terms in the document. This alternative is highly cost-effective when considering all the resources saved in the bargain. It expedites the signing process by eliminating the need to seek appointments, engage in follow-up reminders, and mail documents. And all this efficiency comes along with enhanced security. It is, therefore, no longer a privilege accessible only by the technologically savvy sectors but a necessity for businesses of this era. Encrypted digital signature technology provides the security, stability, and flexibility that the ongoing crisis demands. Most companies have adapted and shifted to digital workflows and automation, but they take a beating at the final stage when it comes down to sealing the deal with an attestation. Team up with a reliable e-signature platform such as DrySign, and you'll never have to wait for signatures again!
5. File Transfer, Sharing, and Storage:
With staff working from home these days, you can no longer walk from one desk to another to share documents. And sometimes, large documents do not fit the size limitations set up by e-mail service providers. Hence, you may require a file transfer application, preferably one that stores information on a cloud so authorized users can access it from multiple locations. If you already have a cloud-based e-signature partner like DrySign, you can share and store signed documents digitally and access them as required, eliminating the need for additional apps.
6. Travel and Expense Management System:
Finance teams are constantly attempting to curb the phenomenal costs arising from corporate travel and associated expenses. Business trips and face-to-face meetings add value to certain propositions, but one must be able to justify the cost. Investing in a good travel and expense management system such as PERI ensures budgets are maintained. Some of these applications allow users to scan their invoices in multiple formats as AI extracts all the necessary information from these bills. You can incorporate your company's travel policies and entitlement benefits so your employees stay aware of these while on the move. If they are in danger of going overboard, the system warns them and does not permit such transactions. If your employees are assigned travel or corporate expense cards, these can be integrated with your travel management system while it auto-tracks expense records. Some advanced software permits advance cash and trip requests, so employees don't have to wait in anxiety for reimbursements while they maintain the approved budget.
7. Learning Management System:
Employees need to stay abreast of product updates. Their skills also need to be synced as per market preferences and the shape of the economy. You may have hired a competent workforce, but ensuring they remain proficient is equally crucial. That is why you need a good LMS such as Lynx, which, unlike other platforms, allows you to create customized course content in various formats. This way, you ensure your team is always ahead of the game, armed with knowledge and skills to conquer. Look for applications with gamification features that can make corporate L&D (learning and development) fun and interactive, which improves recall and implementation of those skills. Companies with a plan to scale must invest in an LMS.
8. HR Solutions:
Having an in-house HR can be a burden in many ways. One of the biggest reasons many startups are outsourcing this function is that it is not cost-effective. As a startup, many of your tasks can be outsourced and automated. This move can save you time and money. It is easier to partner with a good HR Service provider like Exela's HR Solutions. You can outsource as many functions as you deem fit. From talent acquisition and payroll processing to employee life cycle management, outsourcing HR can take the burden off your chest, leaving you ample time to focus on your core functions instead. The mantra here is simple – do what you're best at and outsource the rest!
Some prefer their coffee with milk, cream, soy milk, almond milk, or low-fat dairy, while others like it black. They may add a sweetener, maybe cane sugar, beet sugar, sucralose, aspartame, jaggery, honey, or even stevia. Some like it hot; others want it cold. You may enjoy your cappuccino while someone else relishes an espresso. The same goes with tea; chamomile, green, ginger, lemon, spiced, CTC, dust; the market is flooded with variants! Likewise, technology is constantly evolving. There are many exceptional tools available today. Surely, you could over-indulge and overburden your staff into adapting to modern techniques and swanky automation. But, it's wise to abide by this list and prudently incorporate technology as the need arises.
Numerous mechanisms can digitize every aspect of your business. It is easy to get enchanted by the several features and benefits of available technology in the pursuit of streamlining tasks. But, the fact remains: tools are just instruments or a means to a solution; they're not solutions. If used appropriately, they can transform your business, company image, and even help scale your firm. But their value depends on your application and specific use cases.
Do not spend money or even time on free software that may over-complicate your business. The motive is to accomplish and strike off those mundane or time-consuming tasks with minimal intervention. This gives you and your workforce time to concentrate on your core functions. So, select software and services that aid or completely takeover organizing functions.
With streamlined processes and seasoned staff adept at handling HR functions, Exela HR Solutions efficiently manages all your HR needs. Whether you have contractual, part-time, or full-time employees, irrespective of the industry or field, Exela excavates, develops, and maintains the most productive talent for your business! Exela is a market leader in BPA (Business Process Automation) and digital transformation. With end-to-end solutions and customized plans available, Exela’s HR Solutions is a must-have on your tray of paraphernalia for a perfect business brew!
DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is for general information purposes only and is not intended to serve as legal advice. Laws governing the subject matter may change quickly, and Exela cannot guarantee that all the information on this site is current or correct. Should you have specific legal questions about any of the information on this site, you should consult with a licensed attorney in your area.