Knowing how to harness the power of technology is what sets successful businesses apart. However small your business and whatever industry you work in, there will be ways you could be using technology better. Here are five for you to consider in 2013.
As our post on Cyber Monday explored, more and more customers are browsing and buying via their smartphones or tablets. This New Year, think about how you reach out to people on mobile devices and what your website looks like on a smaller screen. Do people leave quickly? Is it easy to use? If you don’t have a mobile strategy, it's time to put one in place.
Part of this means embracing a bring your own device (BYOD) policy. It may be scary at first, but encouraging people to use their own devices to work will make your business a more productive (and happier) one this year.
As more functions like marketing and customer service move online, businesses need their employees to have tip-top IT skills more than ever.
But according to a study by the UK’s digital champion Martha Fox, many people just don’t have the skills the modern workplace needs. This is costing small businesses a cool £18.8 billion every year, making it hard to adapt to what the customer wants and preventing SMEs from competing with larger organisations.
Identify the areas you could do better in and train people in everything from how to use social media to managing data securely.
The government is planning to make businesses legally bound to offer flexible working hours in 2013 to take into account the modern pressures that people are under. Companies doing this are already reaping the benefits, so now is the time to start thinking about getting ready before the legislation is passed.
Cloud computing is transforming modern business, making it easy and secure to store, access and share data from anywhere. Make sure that when people work from home (or wherever) they can do it securely and have all the information they need at their fingertips.
A joint survey we did with the British Chambers of Commerce found that 89% of you felt that broadband was critical to running your business. But slow internet speeds cost businesses money - just think of all the time you waste waiting for pages to load. So why not arm yourself with the best?
Superfast fibre optic broadband can give you speeds up to eight times faster than the UK average - allowing everyone to work faster and smarter.
Most businesses have a social media presence in some form, but 2013 will be the year they really shake off any niggling fears and use it to win business and cut customer service costs.
But the only way to reap the returns is by investing in it. Set aside hours in the day dedicated to social media, have a social media company policy and a few people who manage it as part of their job. Be realistic about the resources you have and remember to measure your efforts, it’s about seeing real business benefits.
What New Year’s resolutions will your business be making? We’d love to hear from you, so let us know in the comments section below.
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