With National Small Business Week approaching next week, I am teaming up with Microsoft* to put out a series of small business success tips to help your business grow.
Microsoft, like me, is dedicated to helping small business owners succeed, so we wanted to give you some concrete tips to aid in the process, during this week focused on the backbone of the global economy.
But, like with anything else, it’s not just enough to read the tips, you have to implement them, so I hope you will follow along on Twitter on the hashtag #WinInBiz to see some of my best advice, and make a plan to incorporate the suggestions into your business immediately.
In addition to those tweets, here are 5 tips related to tech shifts and changes that you can make to help your business be even more successful.
1. Upgrade Your Technology
Have you been putting off upgrading to Windows 10? Are you using devices that are slow and out of date? Have you moved to the cloud? Make sure that your tech solutions are current so that they are helping vs. holding back your business. While this may seem like a distraction or a challenge, investing in technology can provide tremendous returns for your business in the future.
2. Reset Your Email Rules
Email is a huge time suck for entrepreneurs, so set some email rules. Use the “delay delivery” option in Microsoft Outlook, for example, to send replies when a counter-reply won’t interrupt your workday. Unsubscribe to newsletters you don’t read. Only check a few times per day. Setting up a new email strategy will give you more time for more important business endeavors.
3. Improve Productivity with Tech & Systems
Take time to sit with your employees and ask what part of their work could be better automated with technology—or updated technology—and more efficient systems. If they are spending too much time on manual and repetitive tasks, a small investment could mean a serious productivity payday. You may even be able to use Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant, to help you automate certain repetitive tasks!
4. Invest in the Cloud
If you haven’t yet made the move, or only done so in part, make sure you never lose your data and can access it anywhere by having it in the cloud. Change to cloud-based software like Office 365 too so you always have the latest features. And frankly, for many small businesses, the than on-site based digital information storage.
5. Create a Cybersecurity Plan
Cyber criminals are targeting small businesses now more than ever before, especially as small businesses have done less to prepare for cyber attacks and can be the gateway to customer data. Take the time to invest in a plan to avoid cyberattacks, but also have a plan to recover if the unthinkable happens.
Following these five tips can help give your business the boost to go to the next level.
*Disclosure: Carol Roth and Intercap Merchant Partners/CarolRoth.com have a client relationship with Microsoft