3 Tips for Business Owners at the start of 2021

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2020 is now behind us and what a year it was.

We saw the upgrades we had been expecting to take 5 years completed within a year. But what does that mean now? 

I personally think the most successful businesses this year, of any industry, are going to be the ones who make themselves as efficient as possible. Whether that is through technology and processes or other aspects of their business. 

Those businesses who continue with ‘business as usual’ I think will find it harder.

When it comes to business owners and technology these are our top 3 tips for 2021:

1.       Audit your Hardware

Get the right tools to do the job.  Hardware, like laptops and phones are tools.  They are an asset in our businesses and they should be paying for themselves.  That doesn’t mean you go for the most expensive machine all the time but it is a tool that should be relatable to the person using it.

Start by looking at what you have, how long you have had it and then is it actually doing the job.  I have seen too many times where people have kept on to older machines that are costing businesses money because they are disrupting users from working. We recommend that companies refresh their machines every 3 years, so if you split the cost of a machine up, how many hours of disruption is it worth?

£600 spent on a machine every 3 years is about 70p per day. For someone on a salary of £25,000 a year, that’s less than 4 minutes a day you would need to save to make it pay for itself.

Our recommended best practice for most businesses is to use laptops plus docking stations and provide docking stations at work and if room then at home. You should not be expecting staff to use a laptop constantly without a bigger screen, keyboard and mouse.  More to come in future articles, do be sure to sign up for these in our monthly e-newsletter here.

Capital costs can be challenging at the moment and there are several options out there to split the cost of machines over several years making this something that is achievable right now.

2.       Audit your Software and Web Services

This has the same purpose as tip one. Get the right tools for the job! This might be new tools to manage files or to-do lists or even how you manage emails. It could be you have the right tools but don’t know how to use them.

Where you used to have all your software on a computer we now find that companies are increasingly using services in the cloud. Quite often we find that there are services being used which haven’t made it on to your GDPR documentation.

We recommend asking everyone to make a note for a few days of every piece that they use. The compile this into a list and find out what it is all being used for.  We regularly find that organisations are paying for similar functions on one or two platforms or spending time duplicating information between them. Either way there are plenty of improvements to be made.

Once you have the audit consult with suppliers or someone who knows how these platforms work to find out what else it can do and how you might use it to be more efficient.

3.       Look at your most time consuming 3 procedures

Look at your most time consuming 3 procedures and then work with someone to talk through the processes and look at whether there are alternatives. Quite often tasks and procedures evolve over time and actually they can be outdated or incorporated into other processes.

When we do this work with clients we regularly find that either some work  is doubled up or that actually making use of some existing services in a different way they can save time.  For example we have helped a successful businesses in the financial services industry save themselves over 30 hours a week by implementing templates and styles properly inside Microsoft Word.  A feature that few people know about but has been available for over 20 years.

What Next?

I like to feel that Heliocentrix is different to so many local IT providers out there. We are able to help with the technology but also help with making that technology pay for itself. Our client reviews speak for themself. This is experience which has come from doing this as an owner of multiple businesses for over ten years, growing a team from one to several and on behalf of many clients.

If you want to find out more than contact me and arrange a short meeting to discuss how we can help.

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