There are dozens of ways that savvy small businesses can reduce costs – from looking at which suppliers they’re using, to changing their opening hours. However there’s another aspect of everyday business life that can help reduce costs dramatically. Technology has changed the way we do everything, and it’s still changing. With that in mind I wanted to share three areas that SMEs can consider to streamline business processes.

Cloud
By now I’m sure you will have heard of the cloud. It’s been hyped a lot over the last couple of years, but it’s not a magical elixir. It’s basically just the idea of remote computing power. Having your information and / or processes stored somewhere other than in the building where you have the main IT set up.

Remote computing power such as this, which can come without a contract, has the power to change the way a SME does businesses. It means you can access information from whatever location with whatever device.

The amount of data you can store is, just about, bottomless too and it means your business can take on much more complex processing tasks without having to take on the big initial cost of implementing brand new software.

HD video conferencing
Video conferencing is no longer a grainy picture with poor sound quality, it’s high definition (audio and video) and the cost of rolling it out has fallen dramatically. Not only will it cut communication costs and in some cases remove travel expenses, but it will help you collaborate more effectively with your employees and partners.

With so many SMEs relying on freelancers and project workers, video conferencing is the perfect platform to share ideas and discuss problems. Whatever their device, location or bandwidth, you’ll be able to spend quality face time with them whenever you need.

Mobile
The modern workforce is going increasingly mobile, especially for small businesses whose employees are often spread out or working on the go. Your employees in the field should be equipped with mobile technologies to ensure maximum productivity.

Being able to stay in contact through email and video conferencing with employees no matter what their location will have a big impact. For example, if you have a roaming sales team, allowing them to share presentations and other documents from their mobiles, as well as using video to communicate any issues or progress, will speed up business processes.

In addition, having a mobile presence will help customers get to your product, find further information or ask questions, in way which is convenient to them.