Every business has many opportunities to streamline processes and use digital tools that can help cut costs and save you time, so that you can focus on other important tasks that come with running a business. Digitizing your business means converting paper processes to digital formats, including filing, inventory management, accounting and marketing.
Digitization provides solutions to organizational problems, allowing business owners to gain more control over their business operations. Paper-intensive processes can mean more time, effort and money that could be better used elsewhere, and increased risk if records are lost or destroyed accidentally. Switching to digital practices can also have a positive impact on the environment by cutting down on paper use.
Actively evaluating digital technologies can help you maintain a competitive edge and improve the efficiency of your business. There are many ways you can digitize your business, including using accounting software, sending electronic invoices, promoting your business online and signing up for online banking.
One facet of your business that can benefit from being digitized is your day-to-day operations. Going paperless and using electronic communications rather than paper can help you stay organized and easily access important information no matter where you are. This will help you easily sort and search for important documentation.
You can go paperless in various parts of your business by switching to a digital filing system, inventory management system or online product offerings. You will want to carefully evaluate which systems make sense for your business, depending on your industry and specific needs.
Establish a digital filing system
Storing your important records, including sales, customer list, vendors, tax documents and contracts on a computer could help keep them safer than only having paper copies. You could also use software to help manage your files, such as a cloud-based program that lets you access your files from anywhere. Having all of your records in one place and easily accessible will help you find what you need when you need it and prevent the files from getting lost.
Transform your inventory management system
If your business sells physical goods, investing in a digital inventory management system could help simplify your operations. Keeping track of inventory digitally can help with accurate counting, easier shipping and identifying missing inventory. Learn more about how to manage your inventory.
Offer products and services online
Taking your business online could open up new income streams and attract more customers. If you’re primarily a product-centric business, you could offer an online ordering and shipping system. Also, whether you sell products or services, consider listing your offerings on an online marketplace where others are already going to shop.
Some marketplace websites have a specific focus, such as handmade goods or home services (like painting or plumbing). Others can be used to list almost anything. Try to figure out which ones are the best fit for your business and then post your offerings on the website.
Your business finances can benefit from digitization in many ways. Automating your finances can help boost efficiency, reduce errors and give you more convenient access to important documents.
Update your invoice system
Instead of printing invoices, speak to your clients or vendors about switching to digital invoicing. Digital invoicing makes it easy to view and process invoices and cuts down on your paper usage. Here’s an invoice template you can use to get started.
Automating this system can also help reduce errors, speed up turnaround times and help you stay organized. You’ll be able to quickly figure out which invoices have been sent, how much money you’re owed, when an invoice is paid and whether your customers are behind on their payments. Learn more about the basics of invoicing and recordkeeping.
Digitize your point-of-sale (POS) system
Another way to streamline your finances is to use a point-of-sale (POS) device that’s connected to a POS system. The device, such as a cash register or card reader, is what you’ll use to process transactions. The system can store and organize all your sales information, and could even be linked to your accounting software and inventory management systems.
As a result, every time you make a sale, your financial records and inventory will automatically be updated. Some POS systems will even alert your employees when you need to order more supplies and tell you which products are customer favorites. Learn more about how to set up POS systems.
Switch to paperless banking
Online banking makes it easy to quickly check your account balances, track your money and transfer funds directly from one account to another without having to visit a bank branch. Accepting and sending payments online can save you time and may be more secure than handling large amounts of cash. Learn more about the ins and outs of banking.
Try out online budget tracking services
Budgeting is a crucial part of running a business. To help you keep track of your finances and ensure you’re always on budget, consider trying out an online budget tracking service. This is a convenient way to track your spending and saving, as well as track your progress towards larger goals. Learn more about the basics of budgeting.
Utilize accounting software
Accounting software can help you record, summarize, analyze and report your financial transactions. There are many online accounting apps and services available with a range of capabilities. Depending on your specific needs, using online software is a useful way to organize your accounting, track payments and prepare for tax time. Learn more about recordkeeping and accounting.
Maximizing promotional opportunities
Introducing digital promotion opportunities to your business could help you reach more customers and increase your earnings. By promoting your business in multiples places online, it will be easier for customers to find you. This could take the form of a website, digital marketing and other digital promotions.
Create a website
Having an online presence for your business can be important for maintaining current customers and attracting new ones. A website is a great and low-cost way to promote your business and track how many customers you’re reaching. Learn more about creating a website.
Take your marketing and promotions online
You can use a variety of marketing and promotional tools and tactics to grow your business. For example, you could try creating different ads and giving each one a unique promotion code. You can then track the codes that customers use, which helps you understand which ads are worth continuing and which you should stop paying for.
With digital advertising, you can also target the specific types of people who are most likely to become your customers, helping you make the most of your marketing budget. Learn more about methods for promoting your business digitally.