3 Simple Ways To Blast Past The Competition
If you’re thinking of improving your business, it may be difficult to know where to start. Should you try the practical Management by Objective method invented by the legendary Peter Drucker? Should you give the disciplined, data-driven strategies of Six Sigma a go? What about Agile Management? Should you give Agile Project Management with Scrum a chance?
Many ingenious management models are available. They can make a huge difference to your bottom line. But it takes time and cost to get certified. They all need extensive study and practice to do well. It takes experts to teach them and disciplined application to get good at using them. Before you try any of them, why not get a jumpstart on your competition through technology? A quicker way to gain a competitive advantage is to upgrade your technology.
Technology increases efficiency. Business growth depends on efficient processes that save time. When you save time, you can do more, and the more you do, the more you can earn.
Your business will experience a quantum leap in efficiency if it just upgrades in three areas:
- Communication: Get a more efficient telephone system.
- Computer systems: Use computers designed for business.
- Software: Leverage the same software the big players in your industry use.
Let’s look at each one more closely…
1. Communication: Get a more efficient telephone system
It’s hard to imagine improving on the high standard available for telephones. But improvement does not mean a faster, more reliable connection or a clearer line. You probably have these already. Instead, think about improving your infrastructure.
One telephone system that has an excellent infrastructure is the PBX systems. If you don’t have it, you should get one. If you already have one, then you can upgrade it by moving it to the cloud. A hybrid infrastructure that puts a PBX system on the cloud will give you a competitive edge. You will have more than a feature-rich service. You will also have disaster recovery and location independence.
2. Computer systems: Use computers designed for business
Many small businesses buy the same computers used as home users. But specialized business PCs would serve their needs better than consumer PCs.
There are 4 distinct advantages to using a business desktop for your team:
- They are sturdier, built to last longer.
- They are easier to service. It can cost you income, when your computer is down. If you can get it fixed fast you’ll save lost earning time.
- You’ll be able to get specialized technical support services. You’ll be able to immediately troubleshoot any hardware or software problems.
- You can get a service contract to get your technical support calls. Unlike regular consumers, you won’t wait on the line for hours. Instead, you’ll get your calls answered faster from a dedicated support team.
But that’s not all, you will also be getting much more power.
You’ll get dual-core processors like or Intel Core i3 or AMD A4. Consumer PCs usually just offer Pentium dual-core CPUs and Celeron. You’ll also get at least 4 gigabytes of RAM, but you can get 8GB or even 16GB. More memory lets you run multimedia processes fast. More memory also lets you open up more software at the same time.
If you use graphics intensive software, you’ll appreciate all this extra memory. With this memory power your work won’t slow to a crawl.
3. Software: Leverage the same software the big players in your industry use.
How can I business get some of the best software at a price it can afford? It can get top-of-the-line software through Software as a Service (SaaS).
The research group Gartner defines it “as software that is owned, delivered and managed remotely by one or more providers. The provider delivers software based on one set of common code and data definitions that is consumed in a one-to-many model by all contracted customers at anytime on a pay-for-use basis or as a subscription based on use metrics.”
SaaS is a unique distribution model for software. A vendor makes software available to customers on the Internet. Since it’s cloud-based software you won’t have to install it. The traditional method, called software as a product, suffers by comparison. It requires you to buy software, install it on your servers or PCs and troubleshoot and update it. Besides the high upfront cost, you may need to hire IT people.
Renting software through SaaS offers 6 unique business advantages:
- The vendor handles administration. For example, taking care of updates or patch management.
- There are no compatibility conflicts with other programs in your computer network.
- It levels the playing field. Your small company can now run software that only big companies could access.
- The software is available from any PC from any location. You can work on a project in the office, at home or while travelling.
- It is easy for teams to collaborate on a project.
- The software is available anywhere in the world with Internet access. Even outsourcers hired for a special project can use it.
Start With A Solid Foundation
If you want to upgrade your business, try these three upgrades first. They will give your business a solid technical foundation. You can then invest in advanced management techniques to further enhance your business.