We all make mistakes, don’t we? It’s only human to do so, and no-one can safeguard against every eventuality, oversight or slip-up. But, there are a handful of mistakes that are made in business time and time again. Here are five of the most common ones, and the tech purchases you can make to avoid making them yourself…
Fraud Protection Tools
A common mistake businesses make is believing that they’re not ‘big enough’ to be victims of fraud. But, whether you’re operating as a team of two, or a team of closer to two hundred, your business can still fall prey to cyber crime.
In fact, cyber crime cost UK businesses a staggering £29 billion in 2016. In twelve months leading up to June 2016, there were 3.8 million instances of cyber crime in the UK, with 487,000 of these crimes resulting in lost money due to hacking or computer viruses. So, it pays to invest in tools that help to safeguard your business against cyber crime, such as anti-virus software. But don’t stop there – create a robust crime-prevention strategy to disseminate throughout your business, and do some extra research too.
An Auditing Tool
Whatever your business does, it’s likely you’re overseen by a regulatory body. And, whether it’s matters relating to health and safety or financial conduct, it’s essential to avoid leaving the task of demonstrating compliance down to chance.
So, rather than working with a cobbled together selection of spreadsheets, print-offs and filing systems, invest in a decent auditing tool from a supplier such as this one. This tool relates specifically to demonstrating compliance with matters relating to the environment, health and safety, and has the effect of reducing administrative work by centralising templates, recording corrective actions and creating checklists, among other benefits. But, there are other management tools available, whatever industry you’re working in, so do consider investing in one.
Automated Marketing Software
It’s likely that you’ll have to do a substantial amount of marketing on your own, be it writing your business’s blog or scheduling tweets for your business’s Twitter profile. (After all, it’s the only way to engage with your customers in a way that sounds authentic – not every aspect of marketing is going to be best delivered via automated technology!). But, there are some things you can automate, and it would be a mistake not to try.
For example, you could invest in technology that uses data to predict what your customers’ behaviour is going to be, before going on to formulate an approach for your business to follow. Armed with this information, you can send out ultra-targeted emails and adverts, placing content that promotes your products or services in front of the people who are most likely to actually buy them.
Time Tracking Software
Another mistake many businesses make is not keeping track of the time they spend performing particular tasks. For example, could you say – with accuracy – how many minutes you spend a week responding to emails? Or chasing the status of incomplete tasks?
Recording the time taken on these kinds of things might sound like ‘overkill’, but using time tracking software to help you do it will speed up the process, and provide you with valuable insight into where your time is actually going. In turn, this kind of technology might help you to change your processes, adjust your prices or divide work better among your team, making it a valuable piece of technology indeed.
Cash Flow Software
‘Cash is king’ when it comes to keeping your business running – as even the most profitable businesses will have to close if there isn’t the cash available to pay for your monthly overheads.
So, don’t make the mistake of a) not actually knowing how much cash is available to your business from month to month or b) spending all your cash before you actually need to (such as paying your business rent or utility bills before they’re actually due, or paying contractors before their invoicing period has reached the day before the deadline). To help keep a close eye on the numbers, invest in cash flow software – choosing one that can connect with your accounting software, if possible.