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StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

Unlocking the Full Potential of Your Business Software

When it comes to building up a business, there are many different factors that will determine your overall success. However, one of the least considered points that many business owners overlook is the way they utilise technology. In particular, one problem area that they fail to notice is the use of software. Now, it’s not to say that companies don’t use software. In fact, it’s clear that in order to survive in the current business landscape, the use of software is paramount. However, there’s a clear divide between companies that understand how to make the most of their software and companies that barely use 10% of the features.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article
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Common Examples of Underutilisation

Let’s take the common word processing software packages that companies use. The three most common applications (as of writing) are Microsoft Office, OpenOffice and Google Docs. We could write an entire article comparing the three and what type of businesses they cater towards, but that wouldn’t be the point of this article. Instead, we’re going to show how businesses fail to utilise their full list of features and how it’s both costing them money and time.

Collaborative Features

Despite Google Docs being a free-to-use cloud application, many people fail to realise the full potential of a cloud-based office productivity suite: collaboration. Google Docs offers one of the simplest ways for multiple people to collaborate on a single document. Whether it’s a technical document that is being written by several authors or a project document that has to be edited by several people, Google Docs offers the necessary tools to take advantage of it. Sadly, far too many people use Google Docs as a simple word processing tool and nothing more. This can, of course, be done with other office programs, but it’s a good example of how even a free piece of software contains unique features that are often underutilised.

Remote Working

A great feature that has been enabled by cloud services is the ability to work from almost anywhere. There are still people that save their work to flimsy USB flash drives and pass them around between the office. Those days are over (for the tech-savvy, at least) and it’s now possible to not only use the cloud to transfer files across greater distances and keep team members updated, but you can also access and edit files from virtually any piece of hardware. You can edit it on your Mac laptop, Windows desktop, Android smartphone or even iOS tablet. No matter what operating system or type of device you use, there’s a good chance that the software you use can actually be used across multiple different platforms. The industry calls this cross-platform compatibility and it’s something that far too many companies forget about.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article
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Finding Problem Areas to Fix

Now that you understand the effect of software and how it can optimise your business, let’s take a look at ways that you can actually find problematic areas to fix.

For starters, always start from your workflow. From start to finish, your workflow should be seamless and without any hitches. You can’t just take a look at your workers and just guess if something is going right or wrong, however. The key here is to use analytics in order to get a better idea of what your business is up to or capable of. For example, keep track of where the bottlenecks in your business are. If a certain department or employee is constantly causing the rest of your company to halt, then it might not be their fault. It could be the fault of a piece of software or it could be that their job is just so tedious they can’t finish it on time. It might not be a case of getting an extra employee either—they could just need some new software

Realising What Software Can Do

At the end of the day, computers are dumb, Without input from somewhere, they don’t know what to do because they don’t serve a purpose. A computer that calculates numbers has a purpose, but even then, it needs input in order to function. You should think of software in the same way—it needs to serve a purpose and it’s often to make something easier.

Let’s say your financial department is having issues with calculating your incoming and outgoing money. As a result, it’s causing delays in paying and receiving invoices and you’ve even had a couple of complaints from the rest of your staff because they aren’t getting paid on time. You might think about hiring a new employee because it seems like your finance department isn’t being productive enough. However, there’s a better way to solve that issue.

Fixing the Issue With Software

Take note of how much it costs to hire an employee and keep it aside. Next, take a look at what the financial department’s workflow is like. If you find that they’re having troubles calculating numbers and filling out spreadsheets because they’re doing it manually, then it’s possible that a piece of cloud accounting software could fix the issue. If it’s a specific problem, such as payroll management or asset management, then things like fixed asset management software or a dedicated program to manage staff wages could be a great alternative. In other words, software is fantastic for fixing things or improving productivity as long as you’re willing to research the possible solutions and consult a tech-savvy employee for assistance.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article
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Some Final Words

This article has been brief, but it should have given you some insight into how you can unlock the full potential of your business software. It’s an expensive investment, which is why you need to make the most of your software. Read guides, learn if you find that you’re not utilising more than half of the tools available to you, then you might want to consider downgrading to another piece of software that will help reduce your business expenses.

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article

The Secrets Of A Productive Business

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article
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In terms of time that you need to organise yourself, your staff and a successful business, it can seem like you barely have any to work with at all. The saying goes that we’ve got the same amount of time in the day as (insert extremely successful person here), yet surely we cannot be doing everything ourselves in order to propel ourselves forwards. So what are the secrets of those who are managing to get everything done? Don’t panic – it’s not all as mysterious and time-consuming as it may seem.

Pssttt … It’s Not Just Them.

There are people in this world who are super-productive. But to truly succeed, they need a firm foundation of people who are willing to help them achieve what they want and need to achieve. It’s a case that is first rooted in education. Those who are given the privilege of succeeding are more likely to go further than those who put the work in. It’s unfair, but unfortunately a fact of life. To truly succeed in the business world, you need to be able to pass your work over to those who are more able.

How Do I Find The More Able?

You think outside of the box. Don’t just look towards humans – look towards technology, too. The computers that are able to process things a thousand times faster than we ourselves are able to. The apps that can help us out with simple things that take way longer for humans to complete. For example, investing in real-time ID scanning and ID authentication rather than having clients visit you or having to take time out of their schedule to go one step further in validating their existence will save not just you the hassle, but your customers too. This is beneficial to the both of you. It’ll keep your customers coming back.

So What Happens After That?

Keep the simplicity coming. Delegate the jobs that need delegating, whether to human or computer. Focus on your own management issues and stylings and think about whether these need working on. This is something that technology definitely can’t help out with. There are resources online to let you know what you should be doing to keep your team happy, if you have one, or what you need to do to increase productivity/effectiveness of your staff, but it’s more a case of trying and testing these theories. Everybody is different, and that goes for not just you but your staff as well.  Especially in terms of project management, certain tactics work well in some situations but not so much in others. It’s a way of being able to move forward and get more stuff done in the time that you have given to it. Setting yourself limits on the time that you have can definitely aid you in regards to getting a set amount of work done in a set amount of time, but it’s more about recognising the impact of said work and how much it positively impacts your business.