With the American economy mired in the mud and fears of a double-dip recession looming, the professional world, it seems, has stagnated. These can be worrisome times for businesses, as comparisons to the Great Depression are being regularly drawn. However, a lot has changed since the last time this country has seen such financial turmoil, so entrepreneurs have more options available to them as they navigate the morass and lead the way into the future. With fewer employees, the time it takes for those retained to do specific jobs must be balanced with the expense of keeping them on staff. Thankfully, there are many tools which are available that can help this idea become practical.
Internally, software development has allowed businesses to streamline and increase productivity exponentially. Doctors’ offices are now able to use medical billing software from companies like Kareo, freeing up office staff for more important tasks. On a much smaller scale, improvements with small business accounting in programs like Quickbooks and Peachtree almost successfully automate the financial process. There are also companies that can remotely manage your payroll, help you set up your company’s 401k, and other services. In choosing these things, the company must (again) balance the expense and needs against such investments.
Externally, one of the most important innovations to date is the emergence of various social media outlets. Businesses now have the ability to advertise their services in a forum where many different pairs of eyes can see, and consumers have the ability to show their like or dislike of businesses, services, even individual employees. With these new ways to externally promote and streamline your business, customer traffic can increase, and customer service can be refined. In the past, most marketing was the result of many months and thousands (or millions) of dollars invested in make sure the product or service would be accepted by the public. Now, in the world of viral videos and SEO, those results come in real time, and are measure through actual results of both use and opinion.
In addition to the external and internal, there is the “gray area” which exists in the form of apps and other resources available to the owner. Adding to this smorgasbord are various phone apps, many of which are free. Whereas cell phones used to be a novelty, most people have one now, and use them for far more than just making and receiving phone calls. Foursquare, for example, is a free app that allows users to let their friends know where they are, and what is going on there. If you happened to be the business that is being discussed, this will not only bring more people to your door, but it will also tell you what is noteworthy to your customers.
The thing to remember in your business is that there have been many who came before you, who felt the same apprehension and doubt that you are likely feeling now, as you watch news reports and listen to accounts of Wall Street. But fear not! Through innovation and maximum usage of the resources that are available to you, you can maximize your chances of success and lead your business into the future. Whether that success is aided by medical billing software, or a simple points system generated by a social media outlet, is entirely up to your company. The promoter which pulls your company to the next level may be something as simple as the organic nature of social media, or the many different adjustments made both internally and externally.