End of financial year isn’t just an excuse for a stock-take sale, it’s also time to take stock of how your business is performing and where technology can help improve your bottom line.
Your first financial new year’s tech resolution should be to ensure that you’re making the most of the internet and social media. You probably have a website along with a Facebook page and Twitter presence, but it’s easy to let them stagnate.
It’s important to coordinate your online efforts and integrate them into your wider marketing strategy to ensure you’re making the most of your online investment. Managed wisely, the internet is a powerful and cost effective way to engage with your existing customers as well as reach new customers and expand into new markets.
A great business website is dynamic, regularly updated with new content and offering ways for potential customers to engage with your business. Meanwhile social media offers a chance to drive special offers and promotions, but remember it’s also about building an online community. It’s the chance to form a relationship as a ‘trusted advisor’ so don’t just bombard them, engage them.
While technology can help bring new customers through the door, it can also ensure that you’re making the most of your existing customers by improving your cashflow. If you feel like you’re working harder than ever yet still struggling to pay the bills then it’s time for a change.
If you’re still stuck in the days of shoebox accounting, or struggling with spreadsheets, then you should look to the new generation of cloud-based finance packages which put powerful tools within reach of even the smallest of businesses.
If you’re lax with your accounts then it takes longer to spot unpaid invoices, which in turn means it takes longer for you to get paid even though your bills keep rolling in. A great cloud-based finance package lets you quickly generate invoices, issue purchase orders, reconcile payments, manage expenses and balance the books – even from mobile devices rather than waiting until you get back to your desk.
Of course all this is for naught if your business is wiped out by a tech disaster, which is why your final financial new year’s tech resolution should be to revise and enhance your backup strategy.
Some businesses never get back on their feet after catastrophic data loss, whether it be fire, flood, theft or simple hardware failure. Even if you could recover, how much would you lose in lost productivity and perhaps even lost customers? If you can’t afford such a hit then you can afford to invest in a robust backup regime to ensure that your important data is stored away safe and sound should disaster strike. It’s the only insurance option for irreplaceable data.
As you look back over the financial year that was, also stop to think about ways that technology can help your business thrive in the year ahead.
Anthony Hill is the Head of Technology at Geeks2U, a national on-site computer repair and tech support company.
You can help keep SmartCompany free for everyone to read
Small and medium businesses and startups have never needed credible, independent journalism and information more than now.
That’s our job at SmartCompany: to keep you informed with the news, interviews and analysis you need to manage your way through this unprecedented crisis.
Now, there’s a way you can help us keep doing this: by becoming a SmartCompany Supporter.
Even a small contribution will help us to keep doing the journalism that keeps Australia’s entrepreneurs informed.
And it’s not all one-way traffic either. SmartCompany Super Supporters get to dial into our monthly editor’s meeting and attend a monthly, invite-only webinar with a big-name entrepreneur.