In this modern era, running a small business or even a medium sized business takes a lot more strategy than it used to. The market is flooded with competitors, large and small, and networking goes far beyond your local boys club. There are so many factors that go into starting and maintaining that business, that it can become easily overwhelming for a small team to handle. Through our experience here at Cima and some advice of others that have gone before, this article contains some tricks to keep the chaos under control to help maximize efficiency while cutting down costs.
Where to Start
The first part of a well run business is organization! Have you looked through your files on your computer to make sure they are organized in a way that anyone could find it? Electronic file organization can be difficult for some people; but inside of shared filing system, it is crucial that it is well planned. If you wouldn’t name something on paper what you call it electronically, don’t do it! Simple, to the point names help everyone know exactly what they are looking at. Best practice is to put dates on the files that are time sensitive as well.
Come up with a system for dating, and stick with it. For example, some popular dating styles are as follows: MM-DD-YY or MM.DD.YY. Using either of these ensure that the file name can be used across different interfaces from Google Drive to Microsoft Office. If the files are named in different formats, it will be that much harder to find what you need when it comes time. When thinking of folder names, picture your online filing system just as you would a traditional cabinet. Would you organize by category, alphabetical, time based? Those are some popular organization headings to keep everyone on track.
Take the Company's Message Anywhere
When those files are organized, it becomes easier for employees to venture outside the office and work. With remote sessions becoming more popular, it means your company can go anywhere that your employees may go. Not only can this improve the companies flexibility, but can also improve the morale of employees as they have the flexibility to work from home if life gets in the way.
Cloud storage solutions make this even easier, as the entire company can be located under one giant umbrella. The access to certain folders can even be restricted so that confidentiality is kept intact. Even the office phone network most people are used to is transitioning to apps on everyone’s cell phones. This means you can check voicemail and even take calls from literally anywhere you have cell service. If you haven’t yet considered what infrastructure best suits your company, you could be missing out.
Any episode of Shark Tank can show you the creativity and passion that small business owners carry into their work every single day. With all that passion, people still have to protect what they have built. Phishing scams and other cybersecurity breaches are a menace to all companies, large and small. Whether you business centers around a unique product or a secret family recipe, leaks could be the one thing to take down what makes your business special. Having someone monitoring your cybersecurity is critical to preventing unwanted leaks of information or funds. These leaks can spring from emails, weak passwords, networks, and more; but with someone like Cima Solutions Group keeping an eye out for you, there is never a need to fear.
Getting to the Nitty Gritty
Necessity also includes money. As the starter of a company, many business owners know just how important it is to keep a close eye on their expenses and cut out unnecessary costs whenever possible. Getting a bit creative can save the business lots of money in the long run. Here are just a few ways that could end up saving thousands at the end of the year taken from Entreprenuer:
- Avoid printing if you can. All that paper, ink, and toner can really add up.
- Avoid traveling for meetings with web based meeting software like Zoom or GoTo Meetings.
- Check out your fellow small businesses for deals on things you usually buy from big box stores.
- Shop around every year for big things like insurance to see if there is a better deal.
- Look into freelancers to do what a hired hand would do through sites like Fivver and Upworks.
- Do not hold a balance on the company credit card.
- Save energy and save money with greener office supplies.
- Look into gently used equipment. Often, it can be just as good as brand new.
- Consider whether you need a client facing office or can look for lower cost alternatives.
All of these little things could add up to massive savings in the long run that can be used to save your customer money or expand the business further. Afterall, the customer is the lifeline of business. If the client ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.
Engaging with social media is the next big development to hit the world of commerce since the internet was invented. People now have a direct line to hear from customers, interact with vendors, and push their vision forward to the greater community. Using as many platforms as makes sense for your business can be helpful in growing your brand as well as your client base. Investors and potential clients look at things like how active social media accounts are as well as who the person behind the business is. Companies are much more than the products that they are selling. It is a relationship between the company, the client, vendors, and the community.
Most small businesses are not just about making money, but are started with a vision in mind. A better life, helping neighbors, a future for their children are all reasons why people start companies. From O365 password assistance to backup and disaster recovery, having a partner to help run the technical side of your business will help with the flow of business and save you money and time in the long run.
If your business is small to medium sized, Cima Solutions Group could be that partner! Consider outsourcing to us for all of your managed IT service needs.