Business tech has come a long way in its short life span. It wasn’t too long ago that a less-grey Bill Gates was scoffed at when he said he’d put “a computer on every desk and in every home.”
Yet today, most of us can’t write half a page without getting hand cramp.
So, business tech. Lazy and distracting? Or beneficial and productive?
Pack your bags, the machines are taking over
One thing’s for sure. Tech can speed things up. A lot. Automation takes away the need to do monotonous manual tasks of a person in your business. And thank goodness for that. Plus you needn’t worry about a quality drop, some of it’s getting rather smart. Chatbots used in customer services, for example, are beginning to actually be helpful!
In terms of collaboration, the benefits of e.g. accounting software are undeniable. Messaging is faster, document sharing is easier, collaboration is simpler. You can say hello to someone halfway around the world face-to-face rather than waiting two days for a reply to an email.
The work-life (in)balance as a business owner
Staying plugged in is all fun and games - especially when we’re talking about a global scale. That is until you’re woken at 3 AM by a stream of *PING*s and start to curse the day Slack entered the world. Admittedly, work-life barriers are getting a little hazy. Making work inescapable is the best way to kill motivation and productivity in one hit.
Equally, having easy access to your personal life inside work hours isn’t great for productivity either. Is that guy working really hard, or just taking Candy Crush too seriously? You’ll never know.
In Futrli Platform, your action feed keeps you on top of everything happening in your business. Ordering your updates in terms of urgency, you’ll always know what should be on top of your to-do list. Equally, pin important notifications to your colleagues' feed, so you can delegate and keep everyone on the ball, at the click of a button.
Reduce, reuse, repurpose
How many birds can you hit with one stone? It’s almost too easy to clone your work, repurpose it and chuck it out again. Example: need emails for two events? Forget making two! Make one, switch out the logos and change a couple of dates - done.
Yes, it’s not that person, but it does save a lot of time. And there are better ways to spend your hours as a small business owner than coming up with personalized email intros. Most eyes will dart only to the titles to see if it’s worth their oh-so-precious time anyway.
Business tech to the rescue - using tech for small business
Who says you have to do anything as small business owners? Technology’s keeping up. With many email tools, for example, personalization fields are becoming more varied and easier to populate. Send 1,000 emails each with personalized first names and invites to different events, with no extra effort on your part.
With so many of these tools to make your work as a business owner that little bit more special, it’s causing a worldwide boom in creativity. Everyone’s desperate to come up with something new and eye-catching… because everything’s already so eye-catching. What you make has to do more than just shout to be heard. And that’s not a bad thing.
Inside Futrli Platform, your push bar arms you with all your favourite integrations. Whip up an invoice with Xero or Slack a colleague an important snapshot of data in just a few seconds. Quick, simple, efficient.
(Counter)Productivity (Software) tools
Productivity and project management tools can be either a huge asset or a huge waste of time.
For busy teams and small businesses, they have massive benefits. Plan out entire campaigns with due dates, to-dos, and delegated responsibilities. Lovely. They’re quick and easy for the higher-ups in a business to have eyes over and, if used correctly, can become the single source of information for an entire business.
For those stuck in their ways (whether that’s a complex, color-coded sticky note system or scribbles on a scrap of paper), it’ll take some adjustment.
What usually happens? Tasks get uploaded, never looked at, and then a month later they get bulk marked complete. That’s not productive. Employees need to feel and understand the benefits of a system before they really benefit from the new way of working. So make sure you have the capacity and time to get this working well.
“Working” from home
Working with an online tech stack makes working from anywhere possible - this is key. Whilst flexi-time and work-from-home culture are on-trend, being able to access all your usual work tools from home can be really beneficial. The dust will never settle on the debate of whether WFH arrangements boost or limit productivity. Ultimately, it’s down to the employee.
One thing to note is that it can have huge benefits in terms of stress (note: stress-free employees are a lot more productive). Sometimes just the knowledge that you have the ability to take an afternoon off can ease worries.
Some of our favourites for (small) business owners
As a tech company ourselves, we like to keep up to date with the most innovative and valuable tech on the market. We’ve put together a full list of our recommendations for the best business tech. But, if we had to choose favorites...
Keep track of your team, on one simple platform. For you, get all of your team’s information in one place, easy to access and never to be lost. For your team, share important documents, keep track of birthdays, work anniversaries and authorize holidays (we also like the fun facts: 85% of our team like ice cream).
So much more than a to-do list, one of the great collaboration tools,, Asana, helps you plan and structure your work in the way that’s best for you. Lists, time maps, full-blown projects. Set your priorities and deadlines for you and your team, assigning task cards that allow space for all the important details. Follow projects and tasks through every stage to ensure you’re always smashing it - great for achieving goals set in your business plan.
One thing you definitely don’t want taking up your time is expenses. It’s a nuisance. Dext lets you instantly capture your receipts with your phone. With handy features for currency conversions and expense reports - a true blessing.
Self-proclaimed as a ‘collaboration hub for work’, Slack is a quick, easy messaging service that will bring your team together. Create specialized ‘channels’ you can create chatrooms dedicated to any team, project or purpose. With handy integrations, file upload features, and chat systems your team will benefit from this one, right @channel?