Take a walk down Memory Lane with me for a moment. Pretend you’re a business owner in 1995 (or recall it, if you were running your business back then). Consider how different your company would look then:
- You advertise in the YellowPages and on billboards. There’s no drive to have a website.
- You receive faxes. No one’s using email quite yet.
- You handwrite your employee schedules, and constantly have to tweak them to satisfy your staff.
- You print every document and mail it to clients.
We tend to take for granted how technology has boosted our productivity and contributed to the growth of our businesses. But for a moment, consider how lucky we are to live in what I call a “Technological Renaissance.” Just about any process you’ve got as a business owner can be made easier through software and applications.
We Can Track Results
Back before analytics dashboards, we’d buy advertising or offer a promotion and just pray it worked. The concept of analyzing results was foreign. After all, how can you measure how many people saw your newspaper ad and then came in, if they don’t tell you?
Now we can measure every single move a customer or lead makes. We know when they click on our Tweets. When they visit our websites. When they click an ad on another site, and then buy on ours. This makes us smarter with our marketing and promotion dollars. If it’s not driving traffic or sales, we can cut it out from the marketing plan.
We Can Save Time
The reason I founded my company was to eliminate much of the time business owners waste on scheduling staff. There’s the fact that many employees, when they see the schedule, complain about the days they’re scheduled. “But I’ve got class on Wednesday night!” Then they call, taking you away from your busy day, to see when they’re working. So my team came up with a solution: employee scheduling software.
Consider where you’re wasting time. It might not be on scheduling. It might be in posting to social media. That can be a time suck, can’t it? But if you use a tool like Hootsuite, you can schedule posts in advance, spend a few minutes each day responding to Tweets, and get back to your day.
Wherever you’re leaking time, there’s an app (or software) for that.
We Can Save Money
Another benefit of living in this era is that technology gives us a better handle on our spending. Those analytics tools and time-saving apps contribute to this: if we know what’s working for us and what’s not, we can put more focus on what’s helping us grow and cut the cord on the rest. We can track our employees’ hours more carefully and determine when we need to add staff and when we can cut back.
Data is power. If we know every result of where we’re spending money, for better or worse, we can better adjust our strategy to spend more smartly.
There’s no denying it: technology attributes to our success as business owners. Every day, more resources are being invented: resources that you rely on to run your business more smartly. Take advantage of them.