From XU Magazine, 
Issue 20

How technology can help scale your business

Technology is changing how businesses can operate today with a variety of different applications offering innovative solutions that can help businesses provide better products to their clients. Identifying tools that can help scale your business is essential in an era where a strong digital presence is vital in giving your business a competitive edge.

In today’s economy, companies are looking for every opportunity and tool to help them grow. The answer for many is technology.

Irrespective of which industry you are in, for businesses to thrive in todayís climate, technology and its associated benefits should not be ignored. Tech has become an intrinsic part of our everyday lives. The key for business lies in choosing what to harness within your company to enable growth.

Innovate

Technology is all about innovation. Innovation in business is about doing things differently to provide better products, solutions and improved services to clients. As technology becomes more powerful and less expensive, the potential for start-ups to operate more efficiently is exponential. As well as this, taking advantage of new technological advances is one of the best ways to improve productivity, staff wellbeing and customer service.

Not only is technology essential for day-to-day business functions, but when effectively utilised can help them achieve successful growth. Technology is used to open up new ways of doing business – this article will explore the ways in which technology helps facilitate business growth, as long as it has been correctly implemented.

Virtual connections

Historically, businesses have used programs and applications through software that had to be downloaded onto a computer or server to carry out a task. Introduction of cloud technology has revolutionised the way businesses operate. The benefit of this, is that it allows you to manage operations from anywhere, anytime on any device. Using the cloud eases daily tasks, reduces costs, increases productivity and boosts mobility. It’s also a fantastic way of backing information up and making sure your files are secure. For example, if you’re using the cloud and happen to lose your laptop, you can still access data through the cloud. Additionally, using cloud technology means the servers are off premises. This means your supplier is responsible for managing software updates allowing you to focus your time on the growth of your business. Cloud-based applications are often ideal for small to medium sized businesses because they tend to carry lower upfront costs and alleviate some of the in-house management.

Thanks to new technologies like cloud collaborations, apps and the internet of things, initial costs of starting a business have plummeted from £3.3m (at the turn of the century) to around £3,200 this decade. The report by CB Insights also found that companies founded in 2009 or later grew far faster, trading internationally in 22 months on average.

For many, the key to this rapid growth is cheap cloud technologies like Google Drive and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Benefits of using cloud technology allow companies to move quickly and save money.

Enhance your marketing

Businesses are competing and operating in an era in which a strong digital presence is essential. A lack of this presence is known to be a contributing factor in the failure of many small businesses. The key to developing a clearly defined digital strategy is having clear aims, methods and strong analytics. Many companies are digitally active but are yet to carve out a clear strategy, leading to wasted resources and missed opportunities.

A strong website is essential for any business. Aside from aesthetics, an effective website should be user friendly, mobile responsive and optimised for search engines. Search engine optimisation in particular, requires ongoing attention. Alongside a good website are the use of social media marketing channels. E-mail marketing and pay-per-click advertising can also be extremely effective, but come at a cost. Digital technologies help accelerate business growth – they allow companies to reach wider audiences helping develop lasting relationships whilst promoting brand loyalty.

Avoid common mistakes

During early stages of development for smarter internet searches and artificial intelligence, businesses were clamouring to invest in tech that had promised to catapult their venture into another dimension. Smaller businesses can often buy into this technology without a plan or the understanding on how this technology works. Purchasing tech solutions can often come with underlying pressure to immediately start using it, as opposed to letting unfulfilled potential linger in your business. The important step some miss, is to have a specific plan in place before you make the purchase.

Install…?

More than just installing a tech solution, it is important to implement it. As opposed to thinking of the most obvious solutions, it works well to imagine yourself as a potential client browsing through your own website, delving further into the problems that might already exist, or aspects that could be improved. This is the gap in which you should apply your tech fix. Taking this nuanced stance, you will develop a real understanding of how a typical client will be affected.

How you use technology to improve the growth of your business depends on what problem you are trying to resolve. The more you refine your business ‘hurdles’, the better the position you will be in finding a tool that works for you.

Parting thoughts

Technology is a powerful tool for deploying business growth strategies. However, the reality remains that the process of digitization is not always straightforward. It takes time and involves learning about your internal processes to find ways in which technology can streamline your operations. This should be treated as a strategic resource rather than an operational cost.

Identifying tools that will benefit you come from listening to customer feedback and knowing essential in-house needs. Technology can help businesses achieve a myriad of aims. Increasing productivity and efficiency is pivotal in reducing costs and maximising revenue which can then be invested into growing the business.

Arthur Online is one such tool that has been developed to streamline property management processes. Alongside a variety of functionality tools and third-party integrations to aid property managers, Arthur integrates with Xero. The integration means that multiple entry is a thing of the past. The two systems work in tandem, with Arthur sending invoices one way and Xero sending receipts the other, making the transfer of information seamless. Simply put, all you have to do is match the payments. The integration provides users with access to a powerful combination of comprehensive accounting and property management functions. It is perfect for property professionals looking for a simple, effective way to save time, money and better track their portfolio financials.

Why leave it there?

Find more about how Arthur can help you gain more property clients

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