A beginner’s guide to future-proofing your business

Whether you’re booking a holiday or managing your personal finances, pretty much anything can now be done either online or with the tap of a smartphone. The benefits of modern technology aren’t limited to personal life-hacks either. A rapidly increasing amount of business services are becoming automated and more readily accessible.

With technology increasingly dominating the social and business landscape, it’s high time you future-proof your business before you get left behind. Below we share a few examples of how your business can increase efficiency, collaboration and reach by embracing modern technology.

Make use of mobile technologies and tablets

It’s called a mobile phone but it is so much more than just a communications device. Your mobile can now be used for anything from navigating your way through a foreign country to doing the weekly shop for delivery when you arrive home. It’s essentially the ultimate handheld personal assistant, and for many it would be hard to imagine life without it.

So it’s only right that you should seek to integrate this level of accessibility and usability into your business practices. Further enabling the ‘always on’ approach to work that drives efficiency, embracing mobile technology allows you to collaborate and communicate better with colleagues, clients and vendors.

Maintain an active social media presence

Like it or loathe it, social media has become a huge part of the day-to-day lives of many people. Inevitably, companies have cottoned on to its seemingly limitless business potential, using it as a key means of driving brand awareness and generating new leads.

A 2017 survey by Clutch found that 76% of small businesses use some form of social media to increase engagement and drive traffic to their website, 91% of whom have a Facebook account. Instagram’s audience is also growing rapidly. Ultimately, the social media platforms you adopt will depend on your niche and your target audience, but in any case the exposure granted by social media means it would be a sin to neglect it.

Use video conferencing and project management apps

Conferencing applications such as Skype also offer a number of benefits for small businesses – namely the ability to log in regular face-time with colleagues, clients and prospects without having the to fork out significant amounts for travel expenses.

Some people might tell you that this type of communication is no substitute for face-to-face interaction, but it’s increasingly becoming the norm and is further enhancing collaboration. Alternatively, it can mean an investment on travel can be done after a meeting online has been qualified – why spend money on travel until you know it’s worth your while?

On top of this, project management apps such as Trello and Taskworld allow you to log and track progress with every element of your business and circulate to-do lists amongst staff, allowing for greater cohesion.

Embrace integrated online storage

The benefits of using integrated online storage solutions are akin to those of cloud accounting, providing users with complete access to company documents across multiple devices. Not only does this allow you more flexibility, it reduces complexity, keeps the whole team up-to-date and enables collaboration in real time.

Whether you’re making the finishing touches to a proposal during your morning commute, or looking to access growth forecasts on your way to a meeting, cloud service providers such as Dropbox and Google Docs can give you access to what you need from any device for a minor subscription fee. With service costs expected to fall even further, now is a great time to join the cloud.

Move your accounting to the cloud

If everything else your business needs is available just a click away via your laptop, mobile or tablet, why should your business accounts be any different? Moving your accounting to the cloud allows you to log information at any time from any device, be it anything from an expense to an invoice.

This information will be immediately available to your accountant who can provide forecasts and guidance in turn. Balance sheets and profit and loss accounts are also automatically updated throughout the year, saving you the legwork. It’s an all-round more flexible and efficient solution. All the while you have more time to grow and develop your business.

Future-proof your accounting by moving to the cloud

These aren’t the only advantages to cloud accounting. To find out more about how moving your accounts online could benefit your business, check out our other blog content. Alternatively, have a look on site to discover the full range of accounting services Sublime offers to small businesses, or call us on 0330 053 8100.