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StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

3 Innovative Ways You Can Move Your Business Online

When you first start your business, a lot of it boils down to trial and error – especially if you have never done it before. You could follow another person’s business hints down to a tee, under the impression that whatever worked for them will surely work for you too. But as every company is so different, you will stand a much better chance of success if you take the plunge and carve out your path. That said, there are always certain things that successful businesses have in common, and one such example is having efficient operational systems in place. There are so many different components required to keep a business ticking over on a daily, monthly, and annual basis. Using multiple systems, or a poor one, won’t hold you in very good stead against your competition. Manual systems, in particular, are very outdated, and as the business world is all about efficiency, you may want to consider moving every aspect of your business online. This can be pretty intimidating if you are something of a technophobe, but it honestly isn’t as complicated as you may think. Here are a few examples of ways you can bring your business into the digital age, to create a more straightforward and streamlined company.

Employee training/monitoring

Depending on the size of your business, training and monitoring your staff can be a bit of a laborious ordeal. Sure, you want to invest time into your team so you can rest assured they know exactly what they are doing. But taking time off from your work to do so can potentially have a knock-on effect to the daily runnings of your business. With that in mind, moving your training online can save both you and your colleagues a lot of time. Plus, you can also invest in performance monitoring software so you can keep tabs on your team from anywhere in the world.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Accounting

Bookkeeping and accounting are often the banes of a business owner’s life. Keeping track of all your expenditure, as well as any profit you turn, can easily be confusing – especially if you are doing everything by hand. Inevitably, pieces of paper will get lost, and those finance notes you made at 3 am suddenly don’t look quite as coherent in the cold light of day. Using something like hnwi and online accounting software can help you keep all your financial information in one place. Just make sure you have plenty of security on your computer systems too, as obviously, this is some pretty sensitive data.

Cloud computing

The term ‘cloud computing’ is a bit of a strange one – it arrived a few years ago, but still, very few people know what it means! It is something, however, that can revolutionize the way you operate your business. The Cloud is fundamentally a network where you can store files and documents, which means they are not linked to a particular hard drive or desktop. Therefore, you and your colleagues can access your work from any location, at any time – perfect for a modern business which has to work around the clock.

How Project Management Apps Are Fostering Remote Working

The inclusion of remote workers into your team is as advantageous as it is challenging; perhaps what we can find particularly interesting is that this trend is not just restricted to successful conglomerates with international interests but early stage companies who are still trying to find their feet. The inter-connectivity of computers worldwide and the advent of project management apps and time-tracking software has made this possible.

It’s also pertinent to note that remote working not only solves the problem of access to highly skilled personnel but it has come to be seen as the perfect solution for employees who have to brave the long-hour drives to work, thereby reducing their stress levels. They are less exposed to the drama that comes with working in a “traditional” workspace, leading to greater productivity on the long run.

The benefits for telecommuters also include a significantly lower monthly gas bill, the opportunity to keep an eye on the kids, job satisfaction, peace of mind etc. To buttress this point, The New York Times, reports on an experiment carried out by a Stanford Economic Professor – Nicholas Bloom; with results that should not be ignored by the H.R department. The experiment showed that remote workers worked 9.5% longer than their office colleagues but that’s not all. There was also a 13% increase in productivity from the virtual team. As you can clearly see, it’s not just workers who get to enjoy the benefits, corporations have a lot to gain by instigating work-from-home policies.

The obvious benefit for companies would, of course, be the significantly reduced cost because they are no longer limited by distance in sourcing for skilled workers. The internet has made it possible for managers to recruit workers at an affordable rate. John Meyer, in a Forbes article, puts the total savings for companies at 30%.The job of the human resource manager becomes a lot easier as employee turnover rates are down and the constant battle with absentee employees becomes a non-issue.

As the years go by, the tradition of working from brick and mortar offices seems less and less attractive to millennials especially but like was stated in the opening paragraph, the remote-working trend also brings with it, its set of challenges.

Project managers want to be able to keep tabs on the progress of all team members, they want to know where everyone is at with respect to tasks assigned to them and if you are managing a team of 30-50 people, that’s no mean feat. They owe a depth of gratitude to apps that have made the process of managing virtual teams less complex. Project management software helps keep the entire process not just organized but ultimately promotes greater efficiency. What’s not to love about collaborative software that allows you send and receive documents from team members, or time tracking software that helps you stay on schedule?

Collaborative management tools have gone further to shorten the distance between virtual team members in addition to fostering productivity and efficiency.

Infographic courtesy of nutcache.com

7 Tips for Managing a Remote Team

Mobile, Native Apps and Project Management Software – What’s the Connection?

Remote work is seeing a steady rise, and key to making it possible is cloud computing and the continuously rising mobile usage rate. You’ve heard of the BYOD (bring your own device) revolution, and whichever side of the BYOD fence you’re on, there’s no denying that mobile devices are becoming more and more ubiquitous in the workplace.

Enterprises of all shapes and sizes have chosen to embrace the mobile landscape, taking advantage of enterprise-specific mobile apps to keep their employees productive even when outside the office.

In the project management arena, it’s been established that projects are better carried out by teams, and teams nowadays can be dispersed geographically, hence, the growing prevalence of cloud-based project management software to keep these teams connected. Cloud-based also means the ability to access the project management application via any device – PC, laptop, tablet and smartphone.

How’s your mobile experience?

Now, step back for a moment and recall how using your phone to browse a site not optimized for mobile makes you feel. Does adjusting the text to a size that’s easy on the eyes, then swiping horizontally and vertically to read an article in its entirety put you off? What about Flash or Java and their effect on load time? Or pop-up windows, perhaps? If they do, it most certainly is the same story for a lot of other users.


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About the Author

Maricel Rivera writes content for Comindware, a business solutions provider whose project management software offering, Comindware Project, provides a whole suite of project management capabilities and comes with native apps for both the iOS and Android platforms. You may connect with her on Twitter.

Managing Your Virtual Team

Management and Leadership – Managing Your Virtual Team

People used to think that “working from home” was code for “getting paid to eat Oreos in pajamas”, but with the recent recession, getting paid at all isn’t anything to take chances with. If you’re engaged in virtual project management you can’t physically just drop in to check on your workers – at least, not without a lot of gas, possibly a jet, and the risk of some extremely unpleasant surprises. But with the right web based project management software it’s entirely possible to keep tabs on your employees – without them setting their Twitter status message as 1984.

The main problem with online collaboration is that your staff, by definition, must have a reliable access to the Internet. Aka “The Infinite Distraction Engine.” Administering employees online can be like herding cats, except the cats are all in different countries, and invisible. The cats also have access to YouTube. How can you remotely manage them?


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Elmer Thomas blogs primarily at Thinking Serious which focuses on programming, design, business and productivity content for tech entrepreneurs living in a 2.0 world. That is, when he is not tickling his entrepreneur itch or consulting. To read Elmer’s complete biography, click here.