Ask Us How: New Technology in Small Business

Posted by Michael Derin

Published on October 16, 2013 under NSW Business Chamber Partnership

Prior to the technology revolution of recent years advanced economies saw technology as expensive and only the large corporate could create efficiencies and thrive with technology.

Now in the 21st Century there has been a complete reversal in the developed world and technology has taken on new momentum and can be relatively cheap.

Small business has the opportunity to be utilising technology in their business that was only ever afforded by large corporates.

Small corporate businesses and new technology

Large corporate were able to spend the money to implement what was then considered state of the art systems as labour costs were so cheap, however for small corporate, these new systems were unaffordable.

Now that there has been a shift and technology is cheap, yet labour expensive, small corporate have been able to capitalize on this and implement smarter and more revolutionary systems into their business.

A large corporate traditionally, over time, have invested millions of dollars in what are now considered out-dated technology and the cost of modernisation for those business are huge; especially if you have to start all over again.

Large corporate traditionally have a centralised and powerful IT department that manage the total infrastructure and development; therefore fear of change is creating numerous opportunities for the small corporate to capitalize.

A small corporate normally has a director as a decision maker, therefore can act quickly in implementing appropriate software or new infrastructure in their business.

Whereas a large corporate spending in IT is driven at board level and the decisions to make changes are much slower.  Cost is traditionally spent on maintaining internal systems and upgrading current technology rather than on new innovation.

Technologies small business should take advantage of

Small corporate to a certain degree have the same needs as their larger competitors.  The difference is they are able to use more innovative ways of implementing software and getting it in their business.

Being able to inexpensively get a message out and keep in contact is a huge advantage. Having no baggage and being entrepreneurial means that small business can do things today that a few years ago were unimaginable. The technology success stories are numerous and quite amazing.

Savvy owners can take up new technology and gain real competitive advantages.

As an example firms using Twitter, blogs and social networking to stay connected with customers are going to pick up a marketing and competitive advantage and will be able to punch above their weight.

Those that are utilizing the cloud effectively are able to streamline huge infrastructure costs and spend the money on other ways to promote their business.

CRM based systems

New CRM technology is making the SME space efficient and exciting, regardless of whether you develop, use or refine it.

Traditionally CRM software solutions are large and complex systems designed for the large corporate.  Today however, there are software providers that recognise small corporate can be utilising this sort of software for their business.

What needs to be recognised is a small corporate business is a lot more transparent than a large corporate therefore you need a system that looks after the core functions of your business.

CRM systems are available that monitor those core functions of your business including:

  • Finance
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Client Management
  • Inventory
  • Reporting

The beauty of today’s CRM systems for Small Corporate are that you can easily have one or all of the modules and work those modules to suit your business.  The systems are not complicated to implement, maintain or work through your business and traditionally can integrate the established platform you already have to ensure a smooth transition.

Any small corporate that needs or requires a solution that integrates their business as one should be considering a CRM System.

Getting the best out of accounting systems

Accounting information systems collect information for various purposes in a business. Large corporate often use this system to gather and organise financial and other information from multiple business departments or divisions, but this can still work in smaller corporate businesses.

Businesses should use an accounting information system to separate tasks and ensure controls are in place for different accounting functions. Accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, departmental financial data, fixed assets and purchasing each work under separate modules in an advanced accounting system and demand individual handling processes and procedures.

Improving the flow of work in individual departments often gets a boost by the implementation of an accounting information system. Departments outside of accounting must understand how critical information is processed through the company's internal financial information system for a variety of reasons.

Depending upon the software, the accounting system requires a variety of information for different parts of the process be manually input into the system. This often determines the work flow of other departments in regards to processing financial data. Procedures and processes that clearly delineate the needed information, the steps to process that information and the approval process, aid in reducing redundant work and ensure that the accounting department has the necessary approvals to process financial data.

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