Technology has changed the way we do business today, especially with our business processes. But as the business world has shifted, not everything has shifted with it. Often we don’t even realize we’re still clinging to old methods until someone new comes in and asks, “Why are you doing things that way?”
The answer, almost inevitably, is usually, “We’ve always done it that way.”
Maybe it’s the young intern, on hand to help you catch up during the summer. Or maybe it’s one of your own customers. If it’s a valued client, you’d probably better have a more concise answer than the one listed above. If there’s one thing a growing small business doesn’t want, it’s to look outdated and out of touch.
As you review your business’s operations to determine areas that might be behind the times, here are a few common absurdities found in the offices of both small and big businesses nationwide.
At one time, businesses couldn’t get by without writing utensils and reams of paper. Welcome to the 21st century. The manual spreadsheet is just one of many businesses processes that can be replaced by a software version. Now, you can find a ton of available cloud-based solutions to help businesses improve productivity and do more with less, than ever before. Expense management is one such tool – an easy-to-use solution that lives in the Cloud and can significantly help the lives of those who submit, approve, process, report on and analyze expenses.
That piece of equipment resting on the table outside your office may as well be a typewriter for all the relevance it has in today’s workplace. If your business partners still require fax for transactions, consider using a service like eFax. You’ll free up office space and add the ability to fax from your smartphone or tablet. If you’re the one receiving faxes, reroute those requests to e-mail. Most people have scan-to-e-mail functionality these days, making fax machines irrelevant.
Cash and Personal Checks If you’re one of the majority of small business owners who report they prefer payment via cash or personal check, you should also pay attention to the fact that consumers prefer paying via plastic. In fact, the very fact that you still deal in checks makes you appear outdated. Card readers like Square are not only free, they plug into the headphone jack of your smartphone or tablet to allow you to accept cards on the go. If you still don’t have a smartphone or tablet, that’s another issue to review.
There are many other ways small businesses chain themselves to old business processes. It might be difficult, but occasionally we should all look at our operations with fresh eyes and ask if it might be time to refresh some of our old practices. Find out if your company is chained to the old business processes in this step-by-step guide, Expense Reporting in 5 Steps.
What are some of the ways you have fixed old business processes at your company?