Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. The weather is getting warmer, there are celebrations with family and friends insight, and a new year and fresh start ahead of us.
However, as a small business owner, it can be incredibly stressful. Customers might be putting in last-minute orders, not to mention all of the end-of-year housekeeping that needs to be taken care of.
It can feel as though while everyone’s winding down, you’re busier than you’ve been all year. But it doesn’t have to be that way: a lot of the tasks that take time to complete manually can be made simpler through tech.
Our recent One Step study demonstrated that small businesses that adopt technology enjoy, on average, 106 per cent higher productivity and 120 per cent higher revenue.
However, despite the clear benefits, only one in five small businesses consider themselves technology adopters, while one in three admits they continually delay investing in new technology.
And our research highlighted that broadly there are three key things that stop people from adopting the technology: they’re too busy, frightened, or confused.
If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve provided our five tech tips to help you overcome those barriers and use technology to get your business ready for the holidays so you have more time to relax and spend with family and friends this festive season.
Use automation tools
There is a whole range of tools available to automate parts of your business, particularly your customer relationship management (CRM).
By automating your customer relationship management, you’ll be able to track the entire customer journey any time someone comes into contact with your brand.
It helps you provide better customer-focused solutions and enhances communication with your clients. For example, you can automate your communications around when customers will need to have orders in ahead of Christmas, easing the load on you so you can focus on fulfilling those orders.
Make sure your ecommerce platform is up to scratch.
The pandemic has supercharged ecommerce growth, with current online shopping sales growing by more than 20 per cent year on year. With such significant changes in purchasing goods online, small businesses need to ensure their online sales process is as efficient and straightforward as possible.
Using a platform like Shopify means you can have a beautiful website to showcase your products, supported by a powerful ecommerce platform, so your customers can purchase products from you when they want and how they want.
Manage your Inventory digitally
Thanks to digital inventory management solutions, stocktake doesn’t have to be an all-consuming endeavour anymore. Using a simple inventory management tool, such as DEAR Inventory, you can link all your digital systems, so you know exactly how much stock you have at all times.
Get paid twice as fast with a payment service.
You can save time and effort when using a payment service like Stripe. Whether it’s setting up auto payments to collect recurring card payments or the ease of having all payments tracked and linked through to your accounting platform, using payment software can help take the pain out of collecting and reconciling payments.
Digitise your accounting and bookkeeping
Shoeboxes full of receipts might seem like the simple way to do things at the time until you have to try and sort through them and make sense of them at tax time.
Using a cloud accounting software solution like Xero can help save you time and effort by automating parts of your bookkeeping and integrating with other technology and software you use in your business.
Whatever’s been holding you back from adopting tech, all it takes is some small step-changes. Take the first steps towards more time to spend doing the things you love, with the people you love.