We are really lucky to be running businesses during a time when there are so many tools to help us be successful. Technology has been a real asset for making a small business owner’s life easier. But it can also make your business more complicated.
If you don’t use today’s technology to help your business be more efficient, you could just be spinning your wheels. So Cisco and Verizon have cooked up a really cool contest for small business owners to give you a chance to take some new technology a whirl (and maybe win a cool prize too!). Here’s what you need to do.
- Hop on over to Better Way Challenge and take a free 30 day test drive of the Verizon Collaboration Center to try out some really neat technology that can help make your business more efficient. (You could win a Flip camera just for signing up.)
- Then you need to crank up your video camera and create a video describing the challenges you face keeping your team on the same page (you’ll get six more free months of the center just for submitting the video and a chance at winning a business consultation with Guy Kawasaki).
And in the meantime, take a look at the tips shared by Cisco and Verizon below to help your business be more efficient.
- Improve employee satisfaction. Aging phone systems and slow networks can frustrate your employees and annoy your customers. In some cases, an employee might become burned out and decide to move on. To help ensure that employees are productive and satisfied, your business needs a secure, reliable, and fast network.
- Reduce unproductive travel time. All too often, time spent on the road is time lost. A networked phone solution that offers video calls and Web conferencing can help reduce the time and expense of traveling to offsite meetings and training sessions. Instead of spending time traveling, you can use the time to get work done with technology.
- Make it easy to work together. Smooth collaboration between employees, partners, suppliers, and customers is a sure-fire way to boost efficiency while also reducing costs. An intelligent network lets your business take advantage of interactive calendaring, videoconferencing, unified communications, and other technologies for easy collaboration.
- Streamline customer communications. Delivering fast, knowledgeable service is the best way to keep customers satisfied. Linking your network phone system to a customer relationship management (CRM) solution is a great way to enhance customer communications. When a customer calls, a pop-up window with their records appears on an employee’s IP phone screen, computer screen, or both.
- Develop a long-term technology plan. The process of replacing obsolete hardware can interrupt your employees and bring the office to a standstill. You can minimize such disruptions by carefully determining short- and long-term business objectives and working with your network vendor or IT professional to deploy technology that matches them.
So there you go. See any of these tips you can implement in your business? Make sure you hop on over to the Better Way Challenge from Cisco and Verizon to help your business get to the next level.