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The Top Gadgets and Applications for Small Business Owners

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Small business owners are always looking for ways of improving their practice using technology. Any slim advantage in the world of business can prove to be vitally important. Here are seven gadgets and software services that have been widely adopted by small business leaders in Australia.

Accounting Software

Accounting software solutions allow business owners to concentrate on growing their brainchild instead of wrangling with complex accounting tasks. Accountancy is complex and expensive. Most of the tasks completed by accountants are rather boring and routine. They involve, well, accounting for things. Modern algorithms are capable of accounting for things accurately and simultaneously. Accounting software allows the routine accounting tasks to be automated, leaving only the most complex tasks to human beings. Small businesses usually sign up using a subscription model to gain access to these services.

Virtual Reality

Architects, product designers, and staff training business leaders have all found plenty of uses for virtual reality in their work. Architects and designers can give clients virtual tours of their creations. Staff training can, in some cases, be conducted partially in virtual reality. Good virtual reality headsets are relatively expensive, but businesses can use services like Google Cardboard to give staff virtual reality experiences using their own mobile phones.

The iPad

Small businesses in retail, food service, and design fields have made good use of portable tablet devices. The restraint industry has been particularly quick to adopt gadgets like Apple’s iPad. Serving staff can take orders on these slimline computers and then remotely transmit the order to kitchen staff. This cuts out a whole element of waiting that is usually the source of order issues: transmitting orders to chefs in person in busy kitchens. Any restaurant owner knows how frustrating it can be when customers leave bad reviews after receiving the wrong order. Technology can go some way to remedying this issue.

Likewise, tablets can be used in retail to replace traditional Point of Sale machines. They save space, connect to the internet, and can be used to automatically update stock numbers as items leave a store. This can save hours of stocktaking work.

Mobile Connected Card Readers

According to the Reserve Bank of Australia, 63 percent of all transactions are made with card. Cash payments are still relatively popular, but they are falling year upon year. The COVID pandemic also seriously affected Australians’ faith in cash – with many people preferring to use contactless card payment due to fears over viral transmission.

This makes it more important than ever for small businesses to have some way of accepting card transactions. Mobile connected contactless card readers are becoming very popular among small business owners due to their less restrictive subscription payment plans, small size, and easy replacement. Mobile connected card readers can be programmed and monitored without the use of an expensive traditional Point of Sale machine. The best mobile card readers currently on the Australian market include the PayPal Zettle and the SumUp 3g, both of which feature slim, iPod-inspired aesthetics.

Digital Scanner

Traditional scanners are big, heavy, and expensive. Small businesses are increasingly turning to mobile-linked digital scanners for their document capture tasks. In business, there are plenty of times when documents need to be scanned. Mobile digital scanners are often no bigger than a book and can transfer documents directly to cloud storage.

Smart CCTV

Small businesses need to be able to protect their property. Unfortunately, CCTV and monitoring is rather costly and cannot be monitored in real-time. Smart CCTV systems are connected to the WiFi in a business premises. They are able to send notifications, and even real-time footage, to business owners when something out of the ordinary happens on their property. Initially designed for the home market, smart CCTV systems were soon adopted by small business owners looking for real-time security monitoring without the need to hire a security guard. Smart cameras can also use biometric data to identify authorized staff members and weed out unauthorized figures. This technology is rather controversial because of its potential use as a method of social control when used by government organizations.

Project Management Software

Success in small business is all about the completion of projects. Projects need to go through several stages and meet several criteria in order to succeed.

Stages:

Identification

Market research needs to be conducted in order to identify the need for a product, service, or improvement on current operations.

Strategic Planning

The broad aims of the project need to be mapped out.

Staffing

The ideal team members need to be identified: those most suitable to work towards strategic aims with tactical solutions

Tactical Planning

The ways in which strategic aims are going to be actually achieved are planned.

Execution

The project needs to be executed – the tactical aims of the team need to be achieved in order to work towards strategic goals.

Evaluation

The success – or failure- of the project needs to be evaluated in order to track progress and ensure success in the future. Team members that have made especially important progress need to be considered for promotion. The impact of the project on the market and the business must be carefully assessed.

Essential Criteria:

Collaboration And Communication

Team members need to have effective means of collaborating and communication.

Triple Constraints

The ‘iron triangle’ of constraining factors should be adhered to; cost, scope, and time.

These factors are only the basic building blocks of a successful project. Almost all projects will have more specialized stages and criteria. As you might imagine, doing all of this work across several platforms becomes immensely complex. That is where project management software comes in handy. Project management software centralizes all of the criteria and necessary stages in project management – allowing for far more pain-free coordination. No matter what the size of the business embarking upon a project, business owners should consider using dedicated software while completing and evaluating. Project management software has become a standard organizational tool in business.

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