Productivity

App-ealing ways to streamline your business

Zilla Efrat
Business Journalist

Zilla Efrat is a freelance journalist who has spent the past 25 years writing on all facets of business and finance for print and online publications, and has been editor of Company Director, AB+F and Super Review

Zilla Efrat
Business Journalist

Zilla Efrat is a freelance journalist who has spent the past 25 years writing on all facets of business and finance for print and online publications, and has been editor of Company Director, AB+F and Super Review

End of financial year presents a prime opportunity to start thinking about how your business runs next financial year. We look at the ways you can work Smarter.

mobile phone sitting on a pile of receipts

Tech is the answer

The good news is that there’s a low cost technology solution for just about every paper-accumulating habit or time guzzler that’s holding you back from more profitable activities, and cloud services are a scaleable option for businesses looking to streamline.

Mark Gluckman, Managing Director of Regal IT, says most small businesses are moving away from hosting their own infrastructure and are moving it into the cloud.

“Most small businesses should not have IT services in-house. That includes functionality for disaster recovery and backups.

“Also look for systems that allow you to have all your data in one system rather than across systems that don’t talk to each other. This makes it so much easier to manage and track your business.”

For small businesses that want reliable and secure IT that can be accessed on the go, Telstra Cloud Services provide choice and confidence that open up options for increased security, office management and expert IT advice. 

Find efficiencies

A good starting point could be your bank, government body or your telco. Most have launched solutions and tools to help their small business customers.

Telstra’s DOT (Digital Office Technology)™ and Telstra BizEssentials™ are options for small businesses to find efficiencies in what they’re doing by bundling services and reconciling multiple bills into one.

BizEssentials combines a fixed phone service with broadband and a registered domain name to help businesses manage their communications from one space, as well as including free on account calls in Australia to help cut costs.

Going one step further, DOT functions as an all-in-one business bundle that combines your fixed lines, mobiles and broadband on one account and one simple bill, making paying and managing your communication needs more streamlined. It also allows businesses to add extras to suit their needs, such as EFTPOS lines, virtual receptionists and simultaneous ringing to help avoid missed calls.

In a similar vein, Westpac recently introduced the Live Online Lending Applications (LOLA), the MyBusiness Assist platform and Westpac Live, which help streamline financial and non-financial applications and processes. Additionally, National Australia Bank has teamed up with Xero to deliver a new service that simplifies and automates administration tasks and helps you reconcile invoices.

Get app happy

If administrative tasks have been a problem in the past, mobile apps coupled with a SIM enabled tablet on the Telstra Mobile Network can provide a cost-effective way to manage receipts and rosters, or help with accounting and bookkeeping at work or on the go.

Telstra General Manager, Applications, Rob Villanti said that business apps can be an answer for small businesses, ranging from owner-operators through to operations that are almost moving into enterprise solutions.

Productivity applications available from Telstra like Shoeboxed, Docusign, Canvas, GeoOp and Deputy can have significant benefits for businesses that are time poor.

“The new financial year brings about an opportunity for small businesses to stop, take a look at their business and reevaluate the way they do things. Investigating technology solutions can help understand where improvements can be made.”

Top 6 small business apps for improving efficiency 

  1. Shoeboxed: Keeping track of receipts is as easy as snapping a selfie with Shoeboxed. You take a photograph of each receipt and drop it into the app – so your expenses are up to date.
  2. Docusign: Sign and send documents for electronic signature straight from the Docusign app. No need for waiting days or weeks for getting contracts signed.
  3. Deputy: Create and share job rosters, replace absent staff without delay and get near real-time timesheets. With Deputy you can manage your staff on the fly.
  4. GeoOp: GeoOp allows you to track mobile staff, collect information such as quotes and invoices and see job lists while out and about.
  5. Zunos: Communicate with your team in the field, distribute content and training materials, collect and share data with Zunos.
  6. Canvas: Take your business not just mobile, but paperless with Canvas. The app replaces paper forms with digital ones on compatible devices including invoices, checklists and inspection forms. Create your own form or choose from thousands of free forms available from Canvas.
Check out ways to streamline your business with Telstra.

To look at combining your mobile, landline and internet with DOT, head here. For businesses wanting to combine phone and landline, information on BizEssentials can be found here.

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