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Improve your productivity with technology

September 12, 2011 - Tags: Managing, Technology

Shutterstock 61266760Harnessing the power of information communications technologies (ICTs) can be a cost-effective way to collect and understand data, communicate with your customers, and streamline your business's day-to-day operations.

ICT tools range from simple and inexpensive applications to customized software systems tailored to your business's specific needs. Investing in ICT solutions can help transform your business and increase productivity and efficiency.

There are simple and inexpensive ICT applications that can make a big difference in your business's productivity, including:

  • Web publishing and e-commerce software
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) programs
  • Accounting, payroll, and inventory management software
  • Cloud computing applications

E-commerce enabled websites and customer relationship management software are two types of ICTs that can help you improve your efficiency and possibly expand your customer base. For example, an e-commerce enabled website can help you establish a web presence to offer your goods or services online. Our Doing business online section has more information on how technology can help your business prosper.

CRM software can help you manage your clients by keeping track of purchases and identifying potential customers and opportunities. These types of ICTs are often easy to adopt, free or low-cost, and low risk. BDC's guide to Free to low-cost applications can help you learn more about affordable ICT solutions.

Before you adopt an ICT product, it's important to create an implementation plan. Determine which area(s) of your business will be impacted by the change. This type of planning ensures that your ICT investment is targeted and addresses your goals, identifies which business processes will be affected, and which employees will require training to have the necessary new skills.

To learn more about how ICTs can benefit your business, visit our Improving your productivity with technology page.

Comments

Great article.  I find most small biz news and blogs focus on social media.  Having technology that works for your business is critical.

I would like to add that it is also important that you choose the right technology solution for your specific business.  An implementation plan is important once you have selected the right system.  A CRM may not be the best choice for a small business that only has 20 clients.  In that case, they may find it more cost effective to manage in MS Excel, or perhaps in another application that can do double duty.

By Sandra on September 12, 2011

I opened a bike shop in may and I want to keep my clients interested over the winter. I just started implementing my ebusinnrs and online strategy, what can I do to keep my site fresh in the offseason?

Kevin

By Kevin on October 5, 2011

Hi Kevin,

You’re on the right track - keeping your website fresh is a great way to interact with your customers during the off-season.

Sharing videos, blogging, and tweeting can be good ways to engage your customers online. As you build your following, keep the following tips in mind:

-  Reach out to your followers: take the time to answer questions and respond to comments
-  Consider creating and posting how-to videos on your website or blog
-  Ask your customers for feedback and encourage them to leave comments and participate in discussions
-  Add a line to your email signature inviting people to check out your website

To learn more about engaging your customers online, visit our Online Marketing and Pros and Cons of Social Media pages.

Good luck with your website!

By Canada Business on October 6, 2011

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