Are You Using the Right Technology to Scale Your Business?
How technology-proficient is your company? With high-speed internet, 5G mobile, and increasingly distributed workforces, managing a business today requires a new set of tools and skills.
Technology is the great force multiplier. As your company grows, you need to take advantage of the apps, tools, and software available today that help you work more efficiently, manage more effectively, and maximize the productivity of your whole organization. Yet, 80% of U.S. small businesses say they aren’t taking advantage of the digital technology they should.
Are you embracing the tools your company needs to reach its full potential? Here are five relatively new technologies that can help your company communicate, integrate, and collaborate better than ever.
1. Video conferencing
I've been using video conferencing for executive coaching since 2005, and I insist that my coaching clients do the same when they have employees scattered in different offices and use regular call-in meetings to run their business. If weekly or daily conference calls are part of your management strategy, then you need to ditch the audio phone call and go to a video platform. I absolutely swear that your team’s effectiveness will improve when you make that change.
In a phone meeting, not everyone speaks. You don't really know if every individual is on the call and paying attention, or if they're doing other things, or maybe they left to go to the bathroom, or whatever — you just don't know. But when meeting participants are on camera, you know they're interacting with the rest of the team and invested in the conversation. It dramatically improves the effectiveness of meetings.
Video conference tools like Zoom and GoToMeeting help you communicate face-to-face with remote workers and make sure everyone is fully engaged in the conversation. With the entire team on the same page, you’ll spend less time in meetings and more on the activities that grow your business.
2. Collaboration tools
How you collaborate is vital to your ability to scale. But when you have employees working across multiple locations on different schedules (perhaps even different time zones), you can't just walk into their offices and talk to them. You often can’t even count on picking up the phone and calling them.
To communicate and collaborate effectively today, you need to have centralized systems to schedule calls, meetings, work periods, and deadlines. That may mean implementing basic practices, like sending an invite that allows employees to book a time on your calendar without having to get an assistant involved. Small steps to remove drag from your lines of communication will make your team much more responsive.
Collaboration tools like Basecamp and Jira Software make it easy to share information between teams and team members. Every person working on a specific project will have access to all of the necessary information, so no one individual is responsible for sharing material between colleagues. If you haven’t used this kind of collaboration tool before, it can change your world.
3. Task management apps
Beyond collaboration tools, task tracking software makes project management far more manageable. Apps like Trello, Asana, and Evernote allow you to send tasks to individual members of the team and keep tabs on how they are progressing at any given moment.
You can also share files and other attachments through these platforms, which makes collaboration a breeze. Rather than sending individual files to team members via email, simply drag and drop them into the project to share relevant assets in seconds.
When scaling your business, the easier it is to follow everyone’s progress, the less likely you are to be surprised by hidden obstacles.
4. Social communication hubs
For a slightly different form of conversation, workplace communication hubs apply social media principals to intra-company conversations.
Much like Facebook allows for accessible, flexible communication between friends, Slack and Yammer enable members of your team to speak to one another by posting messages to threads on an internal social hub. These threads allow team members to comment, answer questions, upload assets, and raise concerns just as easily as they could hop onto Instagram to share a selfie.
Think of these apps like ultra-exclusive forms of Facebook or Twitter for your business. Only people you invite to the platform have access to the conversations. This helps simplify communication and reduce inefficiencies that can stand in the way of scaling your business, especially if you're managing a large team where a lot of collaboration is necessary.
5. Worksite coordination and communication
What about tools for facilitating in-person, service-based industries like construction and landscaping? There are apps you can use right on the job site that streamline the entire communication process. And many of them are tailored to the unique needs of specific industries.
Construction companies can try Procore, an app that creates lists and stores photos of your projects. It also manages your employees' timecards, and accesses and shares contact data. You can even make changes to your schedule and change orders in one convenient location. Aconex, BuilderStorm, and Fieldwire offer similar services, as well.
For landscapers, apps like Lands Design and Arborgold enable you to show clients landscape designs, share scheduling and appointment availability, and distribute job information across your team.
These technologies make it easier to scale your business because the information is shared instantly, saving hours of work and dramatically improving the customer experience.
Scale with technology
Today’s technologies facilitate business communication in ways that obliterate the barriers to your growth. They help keep every team member accountable, improve productivity, and free up more of your leadership time — which is one of the most common bottlenecks preventing business growth.
The Goldhill Group uses technology to help you grow, as well. We use Metronome Growth Systems, a cloud-based business platform for CEOs, leaders and their business coaches because it enables leaders to drive growth using a structured strategic planning app based on priorities, data and meeting rhythms. Contact us today learn how our business growth tools can help your organization 10X its growth.