Is this You?
Whether you are a freelancer, contractor, small-business owner, manager, or other type of busy career woman, you are no doubt always looking for ways to get more done with your day.
When it comes to working for yourself, too, with so much competition out there these days, long-term business success can often come down to how productive and motivated entrepreneurs are, and how on top of cashflow they stay.
One of the easiest and most affordable ways to take charge of your to-do list while also reducing your costs is to make use of the many advances in technology which have shaped the world around us over the past decade (and longer). It is now possible, after all, for solopreneurs to compete with large corporations in many ways because of this tech; and with much of it now being free or low cost, there are no excuses for failing to use it to your advantage.
Read on for 3 Ways You Should Use Technology to Increase Productivity and Reduce Costs Today
Introduce Mobile-Payment Processing
One of the first things you should consider doing tech-wise if you want to increase productivity is introduce mobile-payment processing for payments and invoicing on the go. There are multiple ways in which this can help. For starters, if you run a business that involves invoicing customers for work after it has been completed onsite, normally you would get your team to go back to the office and type up and then email or post out the invoices for the day.
Accept Payment on the Spot
With mobile payments, workers can simply create an invoice and accept payment on the spot, at a clientâ€™s house or other on-the-job location. This not only makes invoicing quicker, but means that you wonâ€™t have to spend so much time chasing payments, as you can collect them straight away.
In addition, because using mobile payments allows you to collect a large amount of data about your shoppersâ€™ buying habits, inventory levels, consumer trends, and the like, you will be able to understand your customersâ€™ preferences better. You wonâ€™t have to worry about wasting time compiling data manually, step by step, and can instead using the information from mobile payment histories to make more effective (and timelier) decisions about things like marketing strategies, what stock or parts to buy and replenish, and when and where to roster staff members.
Set Up Self-Service Customer Support Options
Another great use of technology that can dramatically help productivity levels in the workplace for many companies is self-service customer support software. In particular, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology is the way of the future for many businesses, and is affordable for even the smallest organizations now.
What is IVR
Are you wondering, â€œWhat is IVR?â€ If so, think about times when you have called up a firmâ€™s customer service phone line to make a payment using your credit card (after receiving computer prompts and following set instructions), or when you call to find out simple information about your account (such as an account balance) that is relayed via an automated voice once you have inputted certain details. This is IVR.
IVR is involved any time that you interact with a computer system using a phone or other communication device. The technology allows a companyâ€™s current or potential clients to complete tasks or have their questions answered automatically, without a company support person having to be involved. As a result, IVR systems can free up a significant amount of time for your team members and yourself, because you donâ€™t have to answer every query or process every payment manually.
Use Travel Apps
If youâ€™re like many entrepreneurs and other career people, you end up spending time every year organizing travel for business purposes, or have your team work on it for you. If you want to increase productivity by completing travel-related tasks more quickly, you canâ€™t go past some of the brilliant travel apps which are available these days.
As an example, check out ExpertFlyer. The free version of this popular app makes it easier to find the best seats on flights, which means you donâ€™t have to spend time continually ringing airlines or researching online. The app also has a paid version that offers even more features. It allows you, for instance, to search for frequent-flyer program updates and awards across hundreds of airlines, to be notified of flight changes, to search for direct flights only, and to see detailed seat maps for various types of planes, amongst other things.
Other top apps to take a look at include
- AwardWallet: this tech makes it easier to keep track of and use your points, miles, and other loyalty program features
- Hailo: this and other programs which are designed to save you time on finding a cab; and Citymapper: another transport app, but one that makes it simpler for travelers to navigate their way around cities on foot , by bike, or using public transport.
Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all Aâ€™s in the game of life â€“ Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.â„¢ Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the above article. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all Aâ€™s.
1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?
My main acceptance in life would be that â€œchangeâ€ itself is a constant and regardless of opinion it is inevitable. Making peace with ones self and accepting the things we CANNOT change is key to living a full and happy life. Within those experiences we grow as people and learn.
2. What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?
I have learned to appreciate all of my imperfections as it makes me who I am as a person and in reality â€œperfectionâ€ is all up for interpretation. In return I have taught myself to replace the old methods in dealing with situations and problems with ones that will deliver or elicit positive responses and solutions.
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?
I believe my core values or the personal rules I have set in place for myself and chose to live by have brought nothing but reward to my life as it has created my known presence to be one of value and those things remind me daily of my standards set if ever I were to steer off course.
4. We all have imperfections, so we think. The truthâ€”we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you areâ€”your Identity?
Over analyzing every situation would definitely be a not-so-perfect quirk about myself, leading my mind to wander with thoughts of what-ifâ€™s, that usually are just that, â€œwhat-ifâ€™sâ€. Along with spontaneity and positivity it creates my not-so-perfect, but awesome self!!
5. â€œI Love Myâ€¦â€ is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make youâ€¦wellâ€¦ YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!) Identity challenges you to complete the phrase â€œI Love Myâ€¦?â€
I love my positive outlook on life and the huge heart I carry with me daily filled with nothing but compassion for others and a willingness to always be learning something new.