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February 22, 2017
Boost Innovation

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Business Basics

Boost Innovation

Technology | Incubators | Technology Transfer | Licensing

| 4/21/2016

Successful entrepreneurs have the desire and capacity to innovate. They embrace technology and they think “outside the box” for new and unusual ways to grow their businesses and bring new products to market. In Florida, many of the tools, processes and programs that innovative entrepreneurs use to grow their businesses are readily available to you. Read on to learn more.

 

Technology

Make It Work for You

If you want to run a successful business these days, you can’t escape technology. But you can avoid becoming a slave to it. Having the latest digital devices and the fastest Wi-Fi connections may make you feel as though your business is on the cutting edge, but they won’t save it from going down the tubes if you neglect your bottom line.

While technology is an essential tool, it is not a business strategy. Adopt advanced technologies for what they can do to help your firm connect with customers/clients more effectively, but don’t let them take the place of your intuition and firsthand experience.

Tools You Can Use

As a business owner, you don’t have to be a “techie”; leave that to your IT consultant. You should, however, be able to understand and use advanced computer programs to manage day-to-day operations. We’ve listed a few to consider:

Even if you have an in-house bookkeeper or accountant on retainer, it’s important that you can readily access your business records. A computerized business bookkeeping system such as QuickBooks or Wave allows you to design and maintain a budget, see your profits and losses at a glance and readily monitor cash flow.

You can’t do business without a calendar. Many online planning systems are available to help you keep track of important dates and events. Find a system that meets your particular needs, then stick with it.

A time tracking program can help you increase efficiency and profits by determining which tasks are cost effective and eliminating or outsourcing those that are not.

If you are currently using several email accounts to manage various aspects of your company, consider email management software to streamline your individual accounts into one.

Web-based project management tools like Basecamp, Smartsheet, Zoho and others can help you and your entire team — employees and independent contractors alike — stay on top of projects and meet deadlines.

If you haven’t already done so, link your mobile device to the Internet so that you are readily accessible and can respond to emails in a timely manner when you are away from your desk.

Take a test drive

Numerous business software programs are on the market these days; many of them require a fee. Ask friends, family and business associates for their recommendations and, before you commit to any particular package, ask for a free trial to make sure it really meets your needs.

Tags: Florida Small Business, Business Basics

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