Today we have a guest post from Carlo Pandian who is a freelance writer based in Toronto. He blogs about small business, accountancy and technology covering everything from Mac accounting software to cloud apps.
Recessionary Boom for Small Business
Times are tough for businesses of any size but it seems that the small business is having the better time of it. Not only are small firms negotiating the perils of recession in Canada, but it is a trend that is being repeated globally. In addition, the number of small firms being established is growing to record levels. While this is partly an effect of the recession, as more people simply turn to themselves for employment, it’s also a great deal to do with technology. Recent developments have made setting up and running a small firm far easier than in the past and the ability to run your own company is no longer limited to those with large amounts of cash or previous business experience. Whatever the size of firm you run, using the following tools can allow you to grow and succeed, despite the difficulties of the recession.
The internet is already beginning to seem old hat and that makes it easy to overlook as a key business tool. Back in the nineties it was the biggest technological advance for possibly a century. Since those days of creaking, bleeping and occasionally blipping modems we’ve come a long way. The internet can even seem a bit boring; the reason being that it’s no more than a tool to many of us. We’ve become used to its presence and it’s now the way many of us shop, find entertainment or chat to friends. The internet offers a solution for many things in life and for business this particular tool should be an essential one.
Forget Blue Skies; Clouds are Better
There’s a massive range of software available – much of it in cloud computing form – that can offer almost limitless benefits to your business. Key online software includes accountancy software, HR software and CRM software. Many of these tools are available on free trial basis and with the online versions you don’t have the hassle of installing, updating and fixing the software if there are problems. Using cloud based software can free up hard drive space and relieve you of the IT maintenance duties that in the past may well have kept you up all night!
The art of getting paid
One area of concern for any business, but particularly small businesses, is payment. Clients can be strangely payment averse occasionally and this trait holds some rather unpleasant pitfalls for small or new businesses. Large firms have often more room for manoeuvre in this case, but small firms need cash flowing in faster than it flows out. Again, advances in technology have meant that it doesn’t matter how micro you are, you can still have access to major payment solutions. These involve simple online card payment tools and mobile payment solutions. In Canada one service, GoPayment, enables small traders to turn their mobile phones into a card reader and take payment on delivery, rather than several months and a couple of legal letters later. It’s a simple solution that no small firm should be without.
Oh, yes, phones
Talking of phones, where would any of us be without the Smartphone? These have taken over our lives and offer small businesses the opportunity to go truly mobile and stay flexible. Of course it doesn’t matter what size of firm you run, without a smart phone you are doomed to failure. OK, so that’s going a little far, you can still succeed in business without the latest model. However, it’s surprising just how much time your phone can save and combined with simple tools such as GoPayment, mentioned above, a phone can be just about all you’ll need in the way of office premises.
Carlo Pandian is a freelance writer based in Toronto and blogs about small business, accountancy and technology covering everything from Mac accounting software to cloud apps. Despite tough economic times, small businesses are thriving. Technology that allows them to be more flexible than larger competitors is a crucial part of this recipe for small, but perfectly formed, success. From online accounting to mobile payment solutions, technology is driving change in the business world faster than ever before.