Small Business Owners: Utilizing Technology to Improve Profits

If you really want to become more profitable and improve operations in your company, you have to shift your focus from the following limiting thoughts about technology.

  1. If I buy the latest production software we will be in good shape
  2. We don’t do that here
  3. We are unique, we don’t have competition that use technology to help them generate profits
  4. The plan is in my head, people will steal it off the computer
  5. All I need is more sales to make more profits

You’ve got to get the right mindset by eliminating restricting thoughts, and then you’ll be ready to improve people, processes and profitability.

Do you ever wonder how a company can start out with just one idea, a passion and a vision, then 10 to 20 years later have thousands of employees and millions in sales?

  1. What did these companies do to become so successful
  2. Are the owners smarter than you?
  3. Do they work harder than you?
  4. Did they have better equipment or people than you?

No. But they do use better technology tools to drive operation (the people and the process). Operations represent about 60% or 80% of all your overhead costs but they’re the least understood by US businesses.

For decades, the Japanese have focused on operations that have driven innovation and a culture of continuous improvement. In the right small business owner hands, operations and technology can be a competitive weapon.

Now, ask yourself how can your small company— with just a handful of employees and limited resources — turn operations and technology applications into a powerful weapon to beat competition and learn to grow and thrive!

Why invest in technology / What are the benefits

The bottom line is, if you’re suffering from tight cash flow, exhausted lines of credit and top-line growth, then you have weak operations and have underutilized the technology applications onsite or off-the-shelf that can help you.

First step to rapid profit improvement is to start by questioning your employees. They usually know where costly blocks and bottlenecks are hidden.

Technology can store employee survey results that help you to plan profitability.

Employee Questionnaire(sample)

  1. Are your interests and ambitions being challenged
  2. Does each department in this company have measurable standard designed to increase profitability? Does each area have documentation of process flows and procedures of how it should work?
  3. Does everyone in this company share the goal of improving the company profits? Does the CEO hold town hall meetings about ‘planned profits’?
  4. Are you regularly told when you do good work?
  5. Do you get the help you need to do a good job?
  6. As an employee, do you feel you can trust your direct supervisor/manager?
  7. Are owner/managers open and honest with employees?
  8. Does the company provide you with continual training in areas that will make you a better employee? Has it trained you on how to cut operating expenses or increase revenue to improve profits in your area?
  9. Are your responsibilities generally explained, well planned and organized?
  10. Is poor performance tolerated by management? i.e., worker performance, operations bottlenecks and customer relations.

The following are other ways business productivity software drives business processes more efficiently to gain optimal results:

Create an open and communicative environment.

By storing appraisal information within a formal database, managers can more easily communicate business strategy and create measurable goals for their employees that will support overall company objectives. In allowing employees to see the whole picture and understand better how individual goals fit into the company’s business objectives. This can create a energized and engaged employees, thereby raising the business productivity of the company.

Motivate your employees using technology.

Based upon the information gathered in an online performance evaluation, managers can compare current skills with those required for advancement or other recognition or reward opportunities that present themselves as the manager tracks progress on employee goals throughout the year. You may also find you need to redirect employees to different departments if you feel their business productivity could increase elsewhere. If there are impediments to better performance, the company should review why it is happening and try to eliminate these through better allocation of resources or additional training.

Monitor business productivity and employee progress on goals.

Business productivity software solutions enable managers to more easily track progress during every phase of goal completion and offer immediate reinforcement or coaching to keep performance and deadlines on track in daily operations, and utilize performance measurements for strategic planning.

Electronic Commerce

There are many business applications related to e-commerce, from setting up your online storefront to managing your supply chain to marketing your products and services. These technologies fall into three main categories:

Business to Business(B2B)

  • Purchasing indirect supplies
  • Look for catalogue-based websites offered by suppliers for corporate purchases, similar to business-to-customer websites, for purchasing indirect supplies such as office furniture, pens, paper, and general office equipment.
  • Leveraging your existing Web presence
  • Improve your existing business-to-customer e-commerce website. Greater sophistication can be added into your online store to target your business clientele.

Business to Customer(B2C)

The global reach of the Internet has allowed many businesses to sell their products and services online, both at home and abroad. An electronic storefront is a website with many pre-built e-commerce components like electronic shopping carts and secure payment gateways that you can use to set up an online store.

Internet Marketing

Everything you do to promote your business online is Internet marketing. For example, Internet marketing strategies include (but are not limited to) website design and content, search engine optimization, directory submissions, reciprocal linking strategies, online advertising, and email marketing.

How to Implement Technology to increase profits

IT implementation can be a valuable tool for increasing workplace productivity, but without a careful selection of the right technologies for your specific industry and comprehensive employee training, it can also serve to reduce productivity, profitability and employee satisfaction. The return on investment will depend on whether the technologies implemented are right for a given business’ needs and how prepared employees are to use them.

Step 1

Brainstorm a list of business process improvements you may be able to realize from a technological implementation. Your list should include three categories: improvements that you know to be possible, and which are core requirements for your expense; a wish list of things you would like to have, but which may be future development efforts; and a list of things which would transform the way you do business, but which may not be possible. These three targets provide you with a present-day implementation goal, as well as a future development target–and it may be that your transformational goals could be far easier to reach than you expect.

Step 2

Determine whether you intend to develop these technologies using in-house resources, or through outside consultancies. Nearly every major workflow technology requires extensive customization, implementation procedures and training. Small businesses can sometimes get by cheaply using staff members technologically proficient–but mistakes made at the beginning of the process can ramp up costs later on when you turn to professional outside support.

Step 3

Avoid specifying particular technologies if you do not have the technical expertise to evaluate them properly. The purpose of the managerial process at this stage is to define goals and budgetary constraints; non-technical managers who wed themselves to specific technologies too early can miss out on substantial cost savings, and choose a technology not the best suited for the work.

Step 4

Circulate your request for proposals among outside consultants and implementors, or establish an internal process for doing the same among your staff if you are keeping the work in-house. Major technological implementations will not succeed if they are added to the existing workload of an employee. Proper technological implementations can be more than a full-time job in and of themselves. Staff members shifted to technology implementation should have their existing duties moved to other staff resources.

Step 5

Negotiate a time frame, budget and implementation benchmarks with your external or internal staff resources. If you are working with an outside consultant, your contract should include protections against running over budget and over schedule. Likewise, the consultant will protect his own firm by setting specific terms of the work to be completed, and charging you extra if you change them over the course of the contract.

Step 6

Develop an implementation timetable, including the following steps: test deployment to review the work; training, if necessary; a transition phase from the current workflow to the new technology; and production deployment of the completed technology. This last phase is typically followed by an iterative process, in which improvements to the technology are collected from the staff who have direct experience working with it. When budget and time allow for it, apply a new cycle of upgrades to your technology to ensure that you are getting the most out of it.

Innovative Solutions for Business Transformation With Inshore Technology

With a turnaround in the employment policies the US businesses are facing considerable challenges in implementing a structured framework that is in tandem with the business goals, and that which encourages new business processes for optimum service delivery without raising the costs. Today businesses require a management system that can leverage technology applications providing unquestionably efficient solutions to carve a niche in the complex and competitive race.

With the winding up of the offshore operations the US organizations need to gear up with solutions that can yield highly productive results without adding to the expenses. The cleverly crafted inshore plan has been designed with the aim of reducing the risks apparent during the transition of projects and applications. The model deploys strategies for handling integration amongst the teams and aligns them according to the business requirements for advanced progress.

Handling Technology Efficacies

The gargantuan presence of technology for business proliferation is evident from the way it is shaping the market trends. Technology innovation marks the up-gradation and maintenance of quality standards and metrics that drive the business processes. The inshore model provides flexible architectures that can incorporate new technologies without upsetting the budgetary balance. It also helps to develop methods directed at concentrating on the core needs of your business. It provides you with expert solutions that encompass every aspect of the technology domain such as digital media, social networking, SaaS and cloud solutions that facilitate smooth transition of your legacy systems onto these newer models.

Business Operations Management

The fulfillment of IT operations to the hilt is fundamentally decisive for a capable business process management. The inshore technology employs the best development and maintenance processes for IT governance and compliance modeled on the standardized industry frameworks such as CMM, ITIL and Six Sigma. The management operational excellence consulting solutions provided by the inshoring model are key factors that provide value-added strategic initiatives for your business.

A Cohesive Strategy for Developing, Integrating and Managing Business Applications

Most of the US organizations fail to strike a balance between creating an efficient service delivery team and optimizing the costs of the application infrastructure. The inshore module handles the application monitoring, support, tuning and other minor additions that help you to achieve higher levels of integration and control thus reducing the risks. It provides agile methodologies and developmental plans with a focus on the customer’s needs.

The inshore strategy with competent technology transformation solutions releases you from the burden of maintaining the legacy systems and prevents a shortage in your finances. It facilitates administration through the web and simplifies the configuring process through a system comprising of a set of services. Its adaptive nature is thoroughly pliant with the core requirements of your business. It enforces a system that tends to the IT operational needs and gives your business a boost with promising business application management solution.

Personal Spy Technology Applications – Various Spy Equipments and Surveillance Products!

Night vision is one of the most underused and misunderstood products on the market. Its applications are far reaching and can be used for many private home security solutions.

There are two different types of night vision available from spy equipment vendors, and four different types overall. They are 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Generation. Only the 1st and 2nd generation are available to the general public. The main difference between 1st and 2nd generation is that 1st generation is a lower quality of picture, while the 3nd generation though anywhere between 500$-1000$ more expensive, has a much improved picture and sharper image that makes it worth the investment.

Computer Software is another area that spy equipment vendors provide items in. Everything ranging from key logging software to parental controls, to things like remote PC viewing. This viewing software allows the user to remotely view everything going on in the target PC. Things like websites visited, time spent on the computer and various other activities while on the PC. When purchasing these items you need to keep the legal ramifications on your mind. Consult with the vendor for advice or with your local law enforcement to know your local laws before you engage in the use of this software.

DVR Stand alone kit with 4 cameras is another good item to protect your household or business. You can place the 4 cameras in very well hidden areas that provide cover for the camera but a clear view for the camera to record the area and ensure the safety. You can receive remote notifications by email to alert you if an alarm has been triggered. They come with 4 different sensitivity settings that can allow for a tailored fit to your personal or business needs.

Again with all of these products and the ones not mentioned, you have to beware of how you plan on using them and ensure not only that they are used properly and maintained properly, but you need to ensure they are used legally. Also consider that although some people may understand their usage and applications, others may be offended and you may cause issues should they ever discover their usage. If you are unsure of the legality of the usage, look up online the local laws for your area, or even send some requests out to your local police station or city hall. It’s always better to be safe then sorry!