Alexandra Cain
Business Journalist

Alexandra Cain writes regularly for the small business sections of The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and Australian Financial Review

Alexandra Cain
Business Journalist

Alexandra Cain writes regularly for the small business sections of The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and Australian Financial Review

Make this year the one where you don’t just intend to use all those great apps, software and technology to streamline your small business’s operation, you actually do it!

Young woman on her phone Looking to make the most of tech in 2017? We've got you covered.

Here are five resolutions you can make – and act on –to get more out of your existing technology and make the most of some new tools.

Resolution 1: I Will Free Up More Time To Work On My Business

Finding more time to work on, not in, the business is the dream of almost every small business owner. And it doesn’t have to be an elusive one. If you can trim the amount of time you spend on day-to-day management, you’ll have more time for researching and refining great ideas for your business.

There are lots of apps and software out there that combine standard management processes. Nutcache project management software, for example, combines time and project management functionality with tools that let you and up to 20 staff collaborate, track expenses and issue invoices.

By using one system for all of these tasks you and your team avoid having to jump between numerous software programs, which reduces productivity and increases business costs. 

Resolution 2: I Will Explore The Potential For Virtual Reality (VR) In My Business

The advent of affordable headsets means VR adoption rates are predicted to explode in 2017. This places VR within the reach of every business as a marketing and operational tool.

Start looking into how similar businesses – big and small – are using VR for everything from staff training and meetings to customer demos and more. Grab yourself a cheap headset such as Google Cardboard to play and experiment with, and imagine the possible applications within your business.

And do it before your competitors do! 

Resolution 3: I Will Make Video Part Of My Marketing Strategy

Video is fast becoming a must-have marketing tool for every business. Leading small to medium businesses are using videos on their websites to help build a connection with customers. Video is also great content for social media posts.

If you’re not already using video, this is the year to embrace it. There are lots of cost-effective options operating online. A local promotional video outfit is Punchy Digital Media. An offshore provider is Promoshin. Check out other operators, too, before choosing which one is right for your business.

Resolution 4: I Will Clean Up My Computer

Fire up your email and count your unopened emails. Frightening, isn’t it? A new year means it’s time to clean up your computer. Delete old emails and files, archive data and information you don’t need every day, and remove software you’re not using anymore.

“Cleaner” tools like those offered by AVG can automatically delete junk or hidden duplicate files, but other files you will need to make conscious decisions about and delete manually. It’s a great way to start the new year on a clean slate. Plus, freeing up space on your hard drive can help your computer run faster.

Resolution 5: I Will Get More Out Of My Existing Technology

No matter what technology you use, chances are you can get more out of it. For instance, if you use Google Docs there’s a research tool called Google Explore that will search online for information. It’s a great time-saver. Scheduling just a little time to explore your most useful apps and revisiting the user documentation could reveal overlooked features and new updates.

If you’re not a Google Docs user you can still explore tools you’re not using in your system by setting aside some time to watch online tutorials to help you get more out of your technology.

There are plenty of other tools you can use next year to make your business run more efficiently. The idea is to work out which tools are right for you and get smarter and more knowledgeable about using them. Do that and you could be helping your business remain competitive for next year and into the future.

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