Perhaps the simplest example of technology-as-force-multiplier is the hammer. Without a hammer, someone could work incredibly hard all day and only just manage to drive home a nail. With a hammer, however, they could drive in hundreds of nails and still have energy left over.
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Of course, every business involved in construction already uses hammers, and most organizations use many more advanced forms of technology to get more work done – from computers to printers, to fax machines and more.
But to get ahead and to really increase output while reducing overheads, a business needs to be on the lookout for the latest and most effective force multipliers. Be an early adopter and there are all kinds of ways you can cut overheads and increase profits. Here are some examples…
If your business is in the commercial sector and you have a store of some kind, then you may be able to save money and increase turnover by using self-service kiosks. Essentially these will allow your customers to scan their own items and serve themselves, which means you can increase your turnover without having to hire more staff. At the same time, this will mean shorter queues for your buyers which will improve customer service. The purchase of the kiosks and the costs of maintenance will more than pay for themselves over time.
Employee Time Clocks
A time clock is a smart investment for any business that can help you to ensure you pay your staff fairly but at the same time don’t end up paying for hours they haven’t worked. Better yet, smarter timeclocks of today can do the maths and the filing for you so that you don’t have to spend hours adding up hours to work out what you owe. And don’t think that timeclocks only apply to traditional office-based jobs either – software these days can allow you to log hours even when staff is working out of office on a freelance basis.
Video Conferencing Set-Ups
One of the biggest expenses for many businesses is the costs of traveling which affect companies that have to attend business meetings in particular. If you want to reduce your travel costs then while still being able to work with international clients and business partners, try using video conferencing set-ups in order to meet with people without having to leave the office.
If you have odd jobs that need doing, then it may be that someone on the internet can help you with them very cheaply. The job of a virtual assistant is essentially whatever you want it to be – as long as they don’t need specialist skills and they can work remotely you can get them to book venues, to contact clients, to do market research and much more for a very good rate. This way you can ensure your key staff has more time to focus on the core elements of your business while at the same time greatly increase your reach and your effectiveness.
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If you want to find a way to speed up your workflow, then all you need to do is to identify an element of your job that you repeat often, and then to replace that with an automated service. A great example is a CMS (Content Management System) for a website. Regularly you might have to format and upload articles to your website, so with a CMS you create a service that can do all that for you – all you need to do is to paste the content into a box and click ‘upload’.
Content Management though is fairly commonplace. Depending on the nature of your business you’re likely to have a number of highly specific jobs you and your staff perform regularly, which is why custom software is so beneficial. Find the parts of your job that can be handled by a machine, then get someone to write some code so that it is.
Get all this right and eventually, your business can run itself while you sit back and enjoy the results…
Today’s guest author, Nancy Baker, is a freelance blogger who is currently writing for Global Time Systems, which offers time card machines & recorders. She enjoys writing about her experiences and ideas and also likes to blog about the latest fashion trends in her free time. You can also follow her on Twitter @Nancy Baker.