5 Reasons Why Every SMB Should Invest In An ERP Solution

Why is ERP an Irreplaceable Asset for Small Businesses?

Cost factor appears to be the primary reason why many small businesses show resistance to adopting an ERP solution to run their business operations. With the advent of SaaS-based solutions, the scenario has changed today. Software-as-a-Service or SaaS allows SMBs to onboard the latest technology solutions like ERP into their business and pay according to their usage. 

Market Research Engine reports that among growing businesses, 96% of those who are successful rely on an ERP solution to run their daily operations seamlessly. Enterprise Resource Planning has grown into a critical business application for small and medium businesses as it connects data across their functional departments and allows unified decision making and service automation.

If your business is yet to consider implementing an ERP system, here are 5 compelling reasons why you need to invest in an ERP solution in 2020:

1. Unified Business View

ERP solves the biggest challenge faced by any business- data consolidation!

An Enterprise Resource Planning software consolidates data from across departments to help management make informed decisions. 

  • From analytical reporting to inter-departmental approvals and workflows, an ERP system allows smooth operations in an enterprise by bringing every workflow into an organized digital framework. 
  • From inventory to accounting and employee schedules, an ERP system can help trace the root cause of performance issues in your business easily. 

It gives an overview of where you need to focus on and how you can make critical decisions such as cost optimizations, resource management, and much more. 

Related Reading: 5 Digital Capabilities Every Small Business Needs To Invest In 2020

2. Encourages Transparency

With an ERP system, you can cultivate a transparent work culture in your organization.

Across functions or departments, an ERP system allows you to map dependencies, track progress, raise alerts on areas demanding attention, and keep employees and management updated with real-time performance metrics of the business. 

  • ERP forms a centralized database from which all departments can access and share information thereby ensuring a transparent information flow within the enterprise. 
  • It also eliminates errors and manipulations from spreading into entire business processes by deploying quality checks across departmental management modules. 

Transparency at the workplace ensures that all units within your organization gain access to accurate information for their daily working needs.

3. Empowers Automation

An ERP offers centralized and automated management of work files as well as reporting for decision-makers.

Without an ERP system, most business units will have to work with a barrage of spreadsheets and documents to arrive at decisions. The amount of manual work to be done for processing documents, preparing reports for management and other work-related files would be severely high. 

ERP application helps automate a lot of manual tasks that employees have to spend time daily like for example, adding a new employee record in multiple business units such as payroll, project management, leave management, finance, compliance, and HR units, etc. If there was no ERP all these entries would have to be done manually and chances of errors and mistakes are relatively higher for manual work.

Related Reading: Automation In Small Business: 4 Areas To Get Started

4. Support Digital Business Transformation

An ERP serves as the backbone for an SMB to propel itself into new-age digital revenue channels. 

It promotes a culture of data-driven operations across the business and makes it easier for transitioning traditional business models into newer and more exciting customer touchpoints. For example, if you are into retailing, an ERP system can serve as the best resource for you to transition into an e-commerce business. With visibility into inventory, processes, accounting, revenue management, and supply chain efficiency, it becomes easy to deploy an e-commerce solution to derive data from your ERP and offer a superlative experience to online shoppers. 

Additionally, implementing new digital experiences in your physical business locations too becomes easier, as you already have data points to explore with APIs and have new tools act on your available data to create new experiences. A good example would be marketing automation wherein digital marketing platforms can be deployed to act on data in your ERP to roll out campaigns to attract new buyers.

5. Turn Competitive

One of the major reasons why several SMBs today are turning to ERP solutions is the ability of such systems to place them in a competitive position in the market. 

An ERP solution gives data-backed insights that help SMBs offer experiences to customers that any bigger and more established businesses can offer. Cloud-based ERP systems ensure that you can roll out these experiences without burning a hole in the pocket for expenditure. The easy scalability it gives to your business systems ensures that you can always forecast demand and adjust your entire business operations to meet this demand on time.

From managing your entire value chain to enabling memorable experiences for your customers, ERP unlocks tons of possibilities for small business enterprises. At InfinCE, we believe that ERP is the digital core of your business. InfinCE is designed to overcome your remote working woes. It combines numerous productivity and enterprise solutions including ERP, CRM, CMS, and HRM solutions, hosted on secure cloud environments, dedicated to your need. 

Related Reading: Why should a small business opt for InfinCE

Leverage the best value from your technology investments with InfinCE. Talk to our experts today to find out more. 

Automation In Small Business: 4 Areas To Get Started

Why automation is key to boosting small business productivity?

Most often, we realize the potential of technologies like automation when a critical situation arises. The impact of COVID-19 has forced organizations around the world to transit to a work-from-home productivity model, and many of us are able to execute remote work successfully due to automation. In this post, we’ll explore how automation in small business improves productivity and the different areas where companies can implement automation.

Related Reading: Quickly Transit to Remote Working with InfinCE

From small tasks such as electronic document signature to intelligent data processing, automation in small business offers limitless possibilities to improve productivity in the small business environment. It is important for decision-makers to invest in the right areas. 

If you are a small business owner looking to turn your workforce more productive through automation this year, then here are 4 areas you need to look at:

1. Automating Sales Workflows

Your sales team often creates the biggest customer impact zone in your business and hence is a worthy contender for incorporating automation in its daily routine. So, what are the sales processes that can be automated within a small business? 

Some examples include assigning associates for leads, setting automated response channels for incoming leads such as emails, IVR based tele-calling or any other contact channels like social media. Once a lead is assigned to an associate for nurturing and conversion, then the next area where automation can kick in is for reminders and follow-ups. Activities involved in deal nurturing and closure can be automated to make the lives of sales folks easier and ultimately improve the productivity of the whole team.

2. Project Management

Today’s workforce demands increasing flexibility in their work and may avail benefits such as remote work. When there are multiple people working on a single customer project or task, and if there are remote resources involved, then project management becomes a challenging endeavor if everything is to be manually handled by managers using spreadsheets, IM and email conversations. This is the right area to bring in automation using state of the art project management platforms. 

Related Reading: 5 Ways A Project Management Tool Can Help Your Business Grow

By enabling automated monitoring of project schedules, individual work progress, and dependency metrics for collaborative tasks, it becomes easier for managers to have a grip on project timelines and ensure that everyone is at the same pace transparently.

3. Procurement and Logistics Processing

There are several routine tasks within procurement departments in a small business that takes up too much time and effort if done manually. A good example would be invoice processing once supplies are obtained. As your business grows, these routine jobs would incur a significantly high volume of effort and can lead to highly inefficient business outcomes due to errors in manual processing. This is where bringing automation in small businesses can be a game-changer. You not only eliminate errors but also improve the speed of processing and completing redundant tasks. 

Approval workflows, scheduling, tracking inventory and vendor notifications are some of the key areas in procurement where automation in small business can vastly change the existing operational landscape.

4. HR and Payroll

Typical human resources work schedule has components that are grossly manual effort intense like payroll processing, profile and resume screening for recruitment, appraisal and performance tracking, rewards and feedback collection, and much more. Automation in any or all these areas will help the HR personnel to be more pro-active in managing employee relations while technology takes care of the manual effort in enabling the same. Ensuring that your employees are engaged is a fundamental goal that needs to be achieved for overall business success and making sure your HR team is empowered to do that via automation is hence a key focus area.

Related Reading: Tips For SMBs To Boost Growth With Increased Employee Engagement

Automation in small business is one of the key pillars for propelling companies into the next level for the coming years. As more disruptive business and market conditions continue to show its face every year, it is important for small businesses to remain competitive and allot enough core business skilled employees to handle newer challenges. By utilizing enterprise platforms like InfinCE, you can enable seamless automation across your key business units and leverage human manpower for more decisive operations. Get in touch with us to know how you can leverage the automation capabilities of InfinCE to create the next level of success for your business.

Business Process Management Strategy for your Small Business

4 Key Pillars to Ensure a Seamless BPM Experience for your Business

Small business entrepreneurs often think about how much to invest in digital tools that empower their business operations. The question arises mainly because they are unsure if their organization has attained sufficient scalability to bring on-board a digital enablement platform. Among these, one area where most small businesses cast doubt on digital transformation is business process management. 

There is a notion that BPM and BPM software is meant only for large enterprises with well-defined processes and departmental policies. BPM is a practice even small businesses need to follow and cultivate as a cultural trait right from their startup days. 

Now, the question is when should a small business start adopting BPM in its operations? The need for BPM is driven by the demand for efficiency which ultimately leads to better customer service. On this note, here are 4 key pillars you need to build in your company to ensure a seamless BPM experience:

1. Approval Matrix

In most small businesses, bottlenecks in efficiency occur due to a lack of sync in processes. Employees often wait at managerial desks seeking approvals for implementing changes or customer requirements. Managers, in turn, wait for approvals from senior leadership for various essential affairs. 

Delays in submitting contracts and postponing commitments create a wrong impression on the customer. This can be eliminated by formulating an automated process workflow culture in the organization when metrics on items can determine its approval chances. A simple example could be classifying an approval matrix based on the size of the project. A smaller deal would require just a manger’s approval while bigger ones could require review and approval by higher authorities or leaders. Once this is defined, it will be easier to build a business process around it and ultimately automate it through a BPM software.

Related Reading: 5 Ways A Project Management Tool Can Help Your Business Grow

2. Building Awareness

As you grow from a startup into an established small business, there will be a rise in the number of employees as well as departments. For collective growth, it is important to ensure that all employees have access to the right information about the company and its offerings. Only then would they be able to handle internal business process improvement practices as well as become effective spokespersons for the company in front of customers. 

Employees should be aware of how every activity in the organization leads to better customer experience. This can be achieved by having a well-defined organizational induction program for new joiners and a continuous learning initiative for on-boarded employees. This learning experience can be used to integrate employee thoughts with business objectives which will ultimately transform employees into torchbearers for BPM practices within their respective roles.

3. Encourage Autonomy

This is a continuation of the learning experience element we mentioned. There are processes within the organization that may have been brought into existence from a very complex background and scaled meaninglessly over time. To break it into simpler business models, it is important to ensure autonomous decision making by employees involved in these complex business operations. 

Related Reading: 5 Ways To Improve Business Growth Through Employee Engagement

Employees should be given time to identify and map activities to processes with guidance gained from experts whenever needed. Hiring BPM specialists to disrupt and re-write such complex processes within one day is not advisable as it may throw employees into a tantrum and lead to highly frustrating experiences.

4. Drive Data Generation

This is one of the most important pillars that need to be established while adopting business process management in a small business. Every department or team in your organization needs to have a standard data generation policy. This generated data should be a base for determining the KPIs for tracking employee performance and growth, defining their intra-departmental or team dependencies, validating their customer satisfaction objectives and much more. Once everything is defined by data, it becomes easier to bring in automation between workflows, thus enabling better process management through BPM software.

Business process management is a transformational initiative that can bring about unparalleled operational efficiency in a small business. But as illustrated here, it needs a strong foundation and support from your entire organization for effective implementation. This is where a well-defined BPM capability built into your organization’s digital backend can be a game-changer. InfinCE, with its cloud-ready enterprise digital platform, can integrate seamlessly into your operations and enable a sound BPM strategy within your company. Get in touch with us to know more.

5 Ways A Project Management Tool Can Help Your Business Grow

Why empower your workforce with project management software?

Any organization that wants to serve its customers better should be well-equipped to effectively tackle the project management challenge. Handling multiple client projects and commitments while ensuring optimum utilization of resources involved is often a painful experience for most managers. This is where project management software makes a difference for companies that want to be successful with their daily work management. 

Project management software can help you create milestones and define the core objectives of the project. Studies have shown that 37% of companies today fail with either of these. How can a software-powered project management approach positively influence work management across organizations that handle heavy workloads?

Related Reading: 5 Digital Capabilities Every Small Business Needs To Invest In 2020

Here are a few ways by which project management apps help companies tide over the challenges that plague their work management process:

1. Consolidate Work

Successful delivery of the project to a customer involves a combination of contributions from the service delivery team, billing, finance, sales, account managers, documentation and several others. A comprehensive project management software can bring about a unified platform where all these stakeholders can track the progress of their individual jobs and tasks. It can be a one-stop solution that can help every step of the way from sending quotes to potential customers identified by the sales team to share invoices on the basis of service metrics delivered like billable hours and resource utilization. Bringing all these into a single platform can bring huge relief for managers across departments that are involved in delivering the final service or product to end customers.

2. Track Customer Sentiments

It is a fact that most customer aspirations change over the course of a project and a lot of effort gets wasted in managing changes. With a powerful project management tool in place, it will be easier to accommodate changes in project scope and new requirements without impacting service or work quality. It will be easier to send revised estimates of cost and timelines if everyone utilizes the digital platform to manage their tasks and dependencies. It will be easier to predict the impact that will be experienced due to a new scope change across all departments and stakeholder functions involved in its execution.

3. Foster a Collaborative Culture

When people work in teams to contribute towards a customer project, the most essential capability that they need for attaining success is collaboration. Teams need collaborative spaces where they can discuss work, plan meetings and schedule task deadlines. A project management software offers a virtual workspace that allows teams across departments or offices across geographies to come together and collaborate on a customer-facing task. This allows companies to manage and engage remote workers as well.

Related Reading: 5 Tips To Foster Team Collaboration In A Small Business Environment

4. Manage Dependencies

A comprehensive project management tool enables teams to work in sync and define dependencies in advance. This allows for proper planning and increased visibility into tasks that have multiple stakeholders who contribute to the end result. The improved transparency will ensure that every member of the team feels responsible for his or her outcome as they can see how their task progress is impacting the work of others. It also enables managers to seamlessly handle project schedules based on resource availability or task progress metrics.

5. Empower Leadership Decision Making

With a project management platform, it is possible to run risk analysis and other measurements on the progress of projects which can help leaders make better decisions. It is possible to calculate costing, resource utilization, timelines and other factors that can inspire decisions related to hiring, client communications, invoicing and even serve as an impetus for sales and marketing teams. Unexpected emergencies and risks can be avoided to an extent if all teams work in sync with the centralized project management tool. This includes the case of even remote workers and managing their working hours which may be in other time zones.

Project management will always be one of the key pillars of success for any business. From meeting customer expectations in delivery timelines to estimating resource requirements, it covers a wide spectrum of managerial activities that take a lot of effort. Bringing this entire aspect into a powerful digital platform will enable better operational efficiency and ultimately lead to a more productive workforce. Platforms like Infince have been helping business to manage their most critical operations successfully with digital power. 

Related Reading: Features to look for while selecting a project management tool for your small business

Project management is one of the key offerings from Infince. With a track record of enabling seamless project management for leading businesses across industries, Infince can be the game-changer in bringing a streamlined project management culture in your business. Talk to us today to know more.

5 Tips To Create The Most Interactive Retail Marketing Emails

How retail marketers can create more dynamic and engaging email content

Email marketing is here to stay, at least for the next decade or so. Statista reports that by 2023 there will be over 4.3 billion active email users globally. Retailers have been using emails as a powerful means to convince shoppers to return for bigger purchases and also to cross-sell based on their customers’ purchasing history. The scenario did not change pretty much when e-commerce started to dominate the retail world.  However, now the challenge that retailers face with their email marketing strategies is to develop interactive and engaging content that can drive conversions from the target audience. So how can you make your retail marketing emails more interactive and engaging?

Here are a few ideas that could help you out:

1. Focus on personalization

Personalization is one of the best ways to bring more engagement in any conversation, be it across any channel and email is no exception. Across the globe, surveys have shown that over 33% of all marketers believe that personalization is the most important capability to have in their customer outreach strategy. By tailoring your marketing email to suit the unique needs and preferences of each recipient, the chances of them trying to glance at your content and further initiate a positive response are high. Leading companies use technology such as big data analytics to gain insights for delivering personalized experiences via email marketing.

Related Reading: How to choose an email service provider for your small business?

2. Identify the right audience

While personalization is a great way to connect with customers or potential customers, it is just one side of a coin that will help you. The other is identifying the right audience for an interactive email campaign. Sales or marketing personnel who organize such email campaigns should be able to segregate and create separate lists of target email recipients for each copy based on information from their CRM system. The list may be classified based on several factors such as time zone, preferences, spending budget history, demographics, regional and personal specialty time periods and much more. The better the segregation, the easier it will be the task of content creators to build more personalized email content.

3. Intelligent Cross-Sell

Brands need to make it a point to follow up on customer purchases with cross-selling opportunities. For example, if a person books an air ticket, an email giving the option for them to choose their seat should be sent within a very short time span after the booking for gauging more interest. The email sent for seat selection can either be interactive and allow the user to select the seat from the email itself or it can simply provide a link to a landing page that has an interactive seat map for the user to view and choose accordingly. The key factor here is the near real-time email marketing that will do the trick and land more monetization opportunities for the business.

4. Mobile Friendly

Did you know that 49% of all emails are opened on a smartphone? Hence, irrespective of the content you stuff in an email, it is important to visualize how it will appear in a smartphone display before you shoot out the campaign to recipients. By limiting the scrolls a user has to make and giving them an action item in the first sight, you have more chances of getting them to interact with the email.  Fonts, buttons, and other interactive elements should be designed to be more responsive in smartphone screens and the entire email should be light in size to load completely. Delays would drive away users be it on smartphones or in desktop browsers.

5. Embedding Rich Media

One of the best ways to engage recipients is to include rich media. This could be a visually appealing image or a short video that can be played within the email interface or an interactive survey or poll. A catchy email subject line can bring in more views for the rich media content and if your media are intuitively planned and executed, it will incite more responses from your target audience. Several leading companies use email as their primary mode of gauging feedback from their customers and often publish their survey results or individual feedback (with consent) as a testimony for their offerings. This will improve their loyalty perception in the market and will ultimately lead to more organic sales revenue.

For retail marketers, interactive retail marketing emails will be one of their most critical assets to gain new customers and improve sales. This is one of the key reasons, why your business needs to have a powerful digital platform like Infince to handle key operations such as customer relationship and marketing. With intelligent marketing automation and CRM capabilities, Infince can empower retail marketers to win more customer hearts with interactive emails. Get in touch with us to know more.

6 Challenges Your Small Business Should Tackle In 2020

Small Business Success In 2020: Overcoming Challenges

Small businesses and startups have today become a major driver of change across geographies irrespective of the business domain. This paradigm shift has been brought about by a number of factors with technology being the number one among them. With powerful digital tools and channels, small businesses were able to disruptively grab market share from established business houses with lower costs and fewer resources. 

2020 looks to be yet another exciting year for such businesses. But before they reap the benefits, we feel that there are still some challenges small businesses need to overcome to remain competent and successful in 2020. Here are 6 of them explained:

1. Employee Engagement

Your employees are your biggest strength. If they are happy and committed to your customers, then business growth is guaranteed to happen irrespective of the strategy you follow. However, building an engaged workforce is no easy task. Companies must try out innovative and intuitive ways to engage each and every employee in the workforce like creating channels for them to transparently share feedback and opinion, considering their inputs while taking crucial decisions and so on. 

Employees should feel that their voice is recognized and that leadership is approachable. Higher engagement levels are directly related to better productivity and profitability of teams.

Related Reading: Tips For SMBs To Boost Growth With Increased Employee Engagement

2. Planning and Project Management

A business performs at its optimum when every department is organized and works together to achieve a common objective. This happens when proper planning and seamless project management are in place. 

Irrespective of the size of your workforce, project and task planning needs strict emphasis. Insights from such initiatives will be helpful in deciding the future course of action across multiple departments like recruitment, infrastructure, marketing, and sales. There is a need to bring in effortless project management tools to make it easier for companies to plan and schedule their work and meet customer expectations every time.

3. Cyber Security

It is estimated that in every 39 seconds, a cyber-attack or hack occurs globally. As more small businesses embrace the digital bandwagon, the amount of channels where sensitive data is stored or processed has increased monumentally. This means that there are more avenues for cyber threats to occur and every business big or small must address this issue seriously. 

Any breach of sensitive data can lead to damages worth millions as regulatory bodies and authorities across the globe have tightened their grip on user data security. Small businesses must, in particular, be aware of threats lurking in their digital channels and take appropriate measures to avoid any mishaps.

Related Reading: Top Technology Challenges Faced By Small Businesses

4. Intuitive Marketing

It doesn’t matter much if you have a great product with mouthwatering features. It must be discoverable for potential customers and this is where marketing becomes a key challenge. Today there are tons of channels where small businesses and startups can showcase their offerings to win business deals. The trick is applying intelligence to identify the correct audience, the best-fit approach, the right content and the most cost-effective propagation technique to reach them. 

From email marketing to social media advertising, there are several areas to explore for today’s businesses. Also using smart marketing automation platforms to understand sentiments of customers is also a very fruitful initiative for identifying the best marketing strategy.

5. Customer Experience

You are required to provide a great experience across any channel that customers interact with. They need faster responses to every query or concern they have and delays are usually punished with negative sentiments on social media. Additionally, there is a need to be aware of trends and interests that can be used to offer personalized experiences to customers. To bring all this in one place, small businesses need to have a Customer Relationship Management or CRM solution that is capable of encapsulating all customer relations in one spot and deliver insights to serve them better every time they reach out to you. A satisfied customer is your biggest marketing tool as their positive sentiments about your brand will bring in more customers through referrals.

6. Talent Management

In addition to employee engagement, there needs to be a powerful and seamless collaboration platform within your organization for managing talent. Right from onboarding to payroll and attendance management to complex records and file management, there is a need for seamless digital transformation within the workplace.

Employees demand flexibility in their work with options such as remote work options, shared collaboration spaces with secure file exchange. If you need to create a workplace for the future, it is important to equip your employees with the digital tools that make their work easier.

Related Reading: 5 Digital Capabilities Every Small Business Needs To Invest In 2020

2020 looks to be an exciting year for small businesses that identify their core strengths and invest in mitigating their core challenges. As customers evolve with dynamic needs, small businesses and startups must bring on-board state of the art digital platforms that can help deliver meaningful experiences to end customers. This is where platforms like Infince can be a game-changer. From being the digital backbone of your small business and handling every critical aspect from employee collaboration to customer relationship management, Infince can be your success mantra for 2020. Get in touch with us to know more.

5 Tips to Select the Best Email Service Provider for your Startup

How to choose an email service provider for your small business?

When you set up a new business or startup, one of the first things you need to do is to invest in a custom email and website domain for your small business. Once you have brought the rights, bring in an email service provider to create an email channel for you and your team. 

Many startups make the mistake of going in for free email services in the beginning to cut costs, but it is not at all a recommended move. They fail to understand that today’s customers are highly conscious of sharing information or doing business with anonymous startups that do not have a website or unique email address for communication. Now that the need to use a powerful email service is justified, it is time to look at the criterion to select the best provider for your small business.

Evaluate these factors before choosing an ideal email service provider:

Related Reading: Why Your Startup Needs A Professional Email Account

1. Identify your Needs and Potential

Before going through the features of an email service provider, startups and small businesses must first look within their organization to identify their needs. Find the number of email accounts needed, the potential scale or rate of growth in emails expected over the next couple of years and the budgetary scope available for investing in IT platforms like email. Also, make a list of devices and other software tools you are likely to use in the coming years that need integration with your business email.

2. Evaluate the Compatibility of Platforms with Demand

Once you have your unique requirements listed down, it will be easy to cross-check on feature offerings from multiple email service providers. See whether the service provider can cater to your needs of scale, device friendliness, platform integration, and other technical requirements. Check for hidden clauses or limitations from service providers that prevent you from exercising full flexibility in your particular email operations such as subdomain requirements for different departments like sales, marketing or support.

3. Examine Cost options

For small businesses and startups, it is important to allocate budget for core business activities and hence very often the IT department has to work with limited financial resources. While selecting an email provider, it is important to evaluate their pricing options to see if they offer a perfect combination of features and cost-effectiveness. Modern-day cloud-based services offer subscription plans that bill you based on usage. This is the best option that lets you scale on demand while paying only for what you consume be it the number of user accounts, email storage size, features, etc. A service provider that offers seamless flexibility with prices for their subscription-based email services will be the most ideal candidate for your startup or small business.

4. Availability and Support

While choosing a service provider for your business email, it is important to pick one that has a well-defined Service Level Agreement (SLA) on service availability. For most startups, emails are the primary sales and marketing arsenal and often require round-the-clock availability and flexibility. As such, ensuring uninterrupted services for enabling such critical functions is an imminent feature that needs to be offered by the email service provider. While it is impossible to have a zero fault service, the response time they agree in the SLA is vital in making a choice. The faster the service provider can get your email back on track from a disruption, smoother and seamless will be your operations.

5. Security and Backup

At some point in time, businesses need to exchange sensitive data with their customers or employees through email. The information may include data pertaining to sensitive company credentials such as business models or financial statements. Hence, it is important to know how secure your email data is with the service provider you choose. Any scope for data leaks or unauthorized access should be eliminated at all costs. From a security perspective, ensure that the email provider offers a well-structured and redundant backup policy. The provider must offer fault free service operations in the event of a major issue.

Related Reading: 5 Ways Small Businesses Can Promote Collaboration Among Teams

It is important for startup businesses to entrust their core communication channels like email to a service provider that can help facilitate seamless availability, affordability, and flexibility of features. This is why cloud-based enterprise platforms like INFINCE are finding greater acceptance among small businesses and startups. With interactive enterprise management features and powerful email and other communication platforms integrated into them, INFINCE can be the game changer in your digital journey. Get in touch with us to explore more about how INFINCE can be your startup’s best companion.

5 Tips To Foster Team Collaboration In A Small Business Environment

5 Ways Small Businesses Can Promote Collaboration Among Teams

For every small business today, the key to success lies in empowering their workforce to work together in the best possible way to deliver value to customers. This is true irrespective of the industry that your business focuses. Studies show that nearly 39% of employees feel that people in their organization do not value the importance of collaboration. Team collaboration is all about bringing everyone on the same page. But it is easier said than done. For small businesses, you have the benefit of having to bring fewer people into the same wavelength, but the core challenges of collaboration like communication, transparency, and accountability need to be addressed as much as what bigger players do. So how can small businesses improve team collaboration and promote a culture of continuous employee engagement in their work environment? Here are some tips:

1. Create a Unified Vision

To foster a culture of collaboration, it is important to ensure that all your employees work to achieve a common goal. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to create a powerful vision for the organization and then seamlessly connect the end objective of every project or work your company undertakes, to this vision statement. This will ensure that irrespective of the team or project an employee is a part of, they will work towards achieving the common goal as defined in the vision. For example, if the vision is total customer satisfaction, then every effort your workforce puts in can be seamlessly translated into steps taken in achieving maximum customer satisfaction. This vision statement or concept can be used in the awareness sessions to help team members bond with each other, understand their responsibilities and realize the need to be accountable for one’s own actions so that the collective effort of the team is successful in the end.

Related Reading: The Office Of The Future – 5 Innovations To Know

2. Smarter On-Boarding

It is often found that new joiners in a company or in a team face difficulty in getting acquainted with the culture and nature of work in the first few weeks or months in the company. This is predominantly due to weak onboarding policies at small companies which pretty much focuses on sharing a couple of PowerPoint slides about the company and expecting new joiners to automatically align themselves with the goals and culture prevalent. Instead, companies should cultivate a smarter onboarding experience by getting rid of boring presentation sessions and documents. They should instead, pair newcomers with an existing team member who can guide them into the company’s routine and help them adapt faster to the culture prevalent in the workplace.

3. Ensure Effective Task Management

There are many instances where employees need to collaborate and work together on projects. In today’s highly competitive talent market, some of these employees may be remotely located as well. Small businesses need to invest in empowering your resources to collaborate efficiently over tasks irrespective of where they are geographically located. Using a powerful platform like Infince, your business can ensure there is a virtual space for employees to work together and with accountability for each action. Such platforms allow you to monitor task progress, enable smooth interaction between colleagues, facilitate the exchange of files and documents related to work and much more. Managers can efficiently manage their team with improved transparency and unbiased decision, thanks to insights from such employee management solutions. The end result is better team collaboration and improved productivity levels in the organization. When tasks and people are brought under a common technology framework, it keeps employees organized, managers aware of their team’s progress and clients happy about fulfilled commitments on delivery.

Related Read: INFINCE – A One-Stop Technology Solution for Small Business

4. Encourage Transparent Communication 

A key driver of team collaboration in any business environment is open and transparent communication. Only when people strike a comfortable level of conversation with each other, do they develop mutual respect, trust, and understanding for their colleagues. For organizations, there are several ways to encourage a culture of open communication. A big part of the exercise involves mentoring managers to promote a healthy atmosphere for open communication and not a culture that works by just giving and obeying orders. 

It is important to bring technology into the picture here to work as an enabler for open communication. Most of the organizations typically use just an email system for employees to communicate. However, employees need more than just a simple email system. Bring on-board a powerful intranet system with social media-inspired virtual news spaces for sharing news and information about the company, activities, and events planned and much more. Employees can express their responses for such intranet posts similar to what they do on social media like Facebook. Another option would be to have a good instant messenger system where employees can converse with each other in real-time for a better understanding of problems and scenarios.

5. Promote Socializing Outside of Work

Every employee in your small business has a side of talent, skill or ability that can help them create healthier conversations and relationships with others. As an organization, you need to create avenues for employees to socialize and celebrate their individual and personal skills. Team building exercises, lunches, dinners, and sponsored team vacations or holidays where employees can get to know their colleagues better are just a few ideas to use. This will enable them to build better working relationships in parallel and stand up for each other in collaborative tasks with more responsibility and trust.

Team collaboration is vital to ensuring the continuous growth and success of every small business. Having the right vision, the most relevant business processes and the best technology is the way forward to achieving excellence in team collaboration. Get in touch with us to see how Infince can be the game-changer in enabling a collaborative and productive work culture within your organization.  

Top Technology Challenges Faced By Small Businesses

 A Closer Look At Top 5 Challenges Faced By Small Businesses While Adopting Technology

In today’s highly competitive market conditions, technology is often perceived as the key ingredient of success for businesses. But are small businesses able to handle their technology investments with ease to create disruptive market propositions? 

Studies show that 95 percent of organizations face struggles with the technology they have chosen to bolster their business objectives. More often, companies face difficulties in handling the change in business operations that are brought about by technology solutions deployed across the length and breadth of the organization. From tools as simple as an attendance tracking system for employees to complex artificial intelligence-powered marketing automation tools for qualified leads and sales, the options available today have a wide variety of opportunities as well as challenges that businesses need to encounter while using them. You might have already been acquainted with a fair amount of possibilities that technology solutions open up for small businesses. Now it’s time to have a look at the key challenges that most small businesses face with their technology investments.

Here are our picks for the top 5 technology challenges that every small business address in their journey to create a successful market position through technology adoption:

1. Employee accessibility

While there are numerous technology options available to ease operations, the key challenge remains in how user-friendly the tools prove to be. Most small businesses opt for technologies that are customer-focused, ignoring the pain or stress the employees go through in implementing those technologies. Such an organization often does not have the luxury of dedicated training or L&D departments that are symbolic in every large organization.

Bigger companies utilize such departments to roll out a seamless transition and learning path for their workforce to learn and manage new technology roll-outs at ease. For smaller businesses, though, their workforce needs to chart out a learning plan by themselves and get acquainted with all facets of the new platform. The technology vendor may provide self-help videos and tutorials, but a formal training and induction practice for a new technology solution are seldom held to help employees feel more connected with the platform that is implemented.

2. Picking the right platform for success

If you seek a new technology solution to address a business problem today, there will be numerous vendors who will market their offerings as being superior to others. They will bombard your businesses decision-makers with presentations and other marketing collateral to convince them for an investment.  But for small businesses, they often do not have a dedicated panel for evaluating a technology solutions worthiness and compatibility with their daily operational needs.

Since their core business is not technology, small business owners and decision-makers will not find it easy to arrive at a conclusion for picking a technology solution. They will not be familiar with the best standards in development, technology architectures, frameworks, and modern concepts and will mostly base their decisions on the cost involved. The cheapest solution will not be the most feasible in several occasions and in the long run, the business may end up spending more on maintaining and evolving the solution than what they would have spent on a better solution that had higher initial costs.

3. Connecting the solution to customer experience

For every business, the customer is the ultimate priority. Every investment in technology they make will have the underlying objective of translating into a better customer experience ultimately. This is true even if a technology is incorporated for operational efficiency as this will translate into better employee responses for customer interactions. However, smaller organizations often do not have a vision of how each technology investment they make will impact their end customer experience.

They often blindly copy the big players without evaluating whether their business actually needs a particular solution or not or how their end customers will benefit from this technology investment. This can prove to be very costly in the long run if they create bottlenecks at customer touch-points. Very often decision-makers do not ask the simple question of “How will this platform or software help me connect with my customers better?” and as a result, many investments in technology adoption often, leads to very little ROI.

Related Reading: Check out the small business digital trends to look out for in 2019.

4. Compatibility with vendors and partners

Today, small and big businesses have an ecosystem of partners and vendors that help them serve customer demands on time. These partners could be from multiple streams and verticals like logistics, operational assistance, raw material or resource supply, warehousing, security and much more. When onboarding a new technology platform, there are chances of the system not being interoperable with their technology ecosystem.

It happens when you on-board a system without proper system integration planning and execution. This will lead to the new platform requiring manual configurations or effort every time it needs to interact with an external system from a partner or vendor. It may also require you to custom build new modules to integrate partner technology systems for automating the entire value chain in the long run. This will lead to higher costs, which may become a huge deterrent for small businesses.

5. Getting the right advisory

Most small businesses might not have an expert IT council or advisory panel within their workforce due to cost pressures. However, bigger organizations often have in-house technology advisory teams that can evaluate and select suitable technology solutions for their prevailing issues. For small businesses, getting the right IT advisory partner or consulting partner is often not considered an option for fear of escalating budgets.

But what they fail to recognize is the negative impact their business can face due to the implementation of a wrong technology. In fact, addressing this challenge can turn into an answer for all the other challenges mentioned above. The right IT partner can help translate every technology investment into valuable additions for your business’s bottom line growth and profits.

Big or small, a business is always in a need for constant technology innovation. For small businesses, the challenges are even tougher as we have covered here. When emerging technologies like AI is becoming a mainstay for bigger businesses, studies have shown that only 8% of small and medium businesses are using it to actively connect with their customers. This needs to change significantly if they are to challenge the big names for customer lover.

Getting the right product, combined with the right IT skills advisory to simplify technology implementation, is the need of the hour. This is where INFINCE make a difference in the world of SMB’s. By analyzing the operations and challenges of small businesses worldwide, INFINCE is tailored to match your every need. Get in touch with our consultants today, to see how your business can benefit from the infinite cloud enterprise solution.

INFINCE – A One Stop Technology Solution for Small Business

INFINCE is a cloud platform built to run your business in a completely new way via information technology. This cloud-based software comes fully-supported, hassle-free, user-friendly and very much cost effective. Having INFINCE at your small business is like taking your business to the next step by simplifying the way you work and concentrate on your business growth. The efficient functionality of INFINCE combined with its user-friendly technology and flexible features allows you to manage everything from the simplest to the most complex, in a convenient and comfortable manner. 

 

Why should a small business opt for INFINCE?

A big business starts small,” said Richard Branson. The road to becoming large-scale for broadening services and reach begins with finding and deploying the right technology solutions. Technologies like the cloud have turned out a major disruptor and undergone widespread adoption by businesses, big and small.

Compared to on-premise technology, cloud platforms have global accessibility, secure infrastructure, and reduced spending. INFINCE brings the cloud advantage within reach of small businesses through its –

  • Simplified Cloud-based Technology – Set up your own website and email with just a few clicks.
  • Efficient Office and Collaboration Tools – Collaborate efficiently, share documents quickly, and bring your workforce together from different locations.
  • Secure & Private Preconfigured Cloud – Privacy and security for your data on secure private virtual servers.
  • Curated Applications Marketplace – Click and buy business applications from a growing list of applications including CRM, CMS, and HRM solutions, hosted on secure cloud environments and dedicated to your need.
  • Single Sign-On Accessibility  – Single Sign-On enables you to have unified access to all your business software.
  • Concierge IT Services – Enjoy seamless IT with hosting, maintenance, and updates managed by a dedicated team.
  • Seamless User Interface – Intuitive user experience for beginners.
  • Enhanced Mobility – User mobility with mobile apps for smartphones and tablets with white labeling.
  • 24/7 Technology Support – Highly dedicated support team with an email, live chat, and phone support.

 

Related ReadingINFINCE Presented with the 2018 Great User Experience Award

How to Deploy INFINCE in your Business

The process displayed below will help you to know how easily INFINCE can be set up and made ready for use in your organization.

Deploy INFINCE

Collaboration Tools in INFINCE

INFINCE is a one-stop solution that integrates an array of tools with the capability to do multiple things.  

Collaboration Tool

Applications – On Purchase

Apart from the collaboration tools, you have the option to purchase applications for specific business needs.

Business Software                                    

How will INFINCE Help your Business?

Small businesses need to execute their projects in a very efficient and economical way. They can boost their productivity and efficiency with INFINCE as their preferred technology partner. INFINCE helps project teams get their work done faster, no matter how or where they work. The cloud-based solution brings dispersed teams together as they work through planning, managing tasks, allocating, tracking, document management and other functions.

Key Attributes of INFINCE

Collaborative Work Environment

  • Collaborate with all the team members. (i.e. internal, external, remote, and distributed team members)
  • Virtual workplace enhances collaborative project planning and better work streams
  • Real-time chat and communication with team members
  • Manage, share, and sync project calendars with personal calendars of members
  • Helps individual team members keep commitments by having personal task lists and deadline reminders
  • Conduct online meetings
  • Centralized data, documents, and contacts allow cross sharing between the team
  • Access virtual workplace to view project information through mobile/computer

Automated Planning and Scheduling

  • Create virtual project teams with geographically dispersed members (i.e. internal, external, remote, and distributed team members)
  • Better define and manage project requirements
  • Efficiently schedule task duration, milestones, and deadlines

Digital Asset Management

  • Keep everyone updated with version control, change tracking, and document history
  • Easily secure file sharing between all team members from different devices
  • Manage and archive project files securely in a structured and accessible way                                    
  • Have a good document repository for uploads and attachments

Server Properties

  • Managed, private and secure server for everyone
  • Separate dedicated server for each organization
  • Flexible and convenient to use by all
  • Stable and consistent
  • Back-up options

User management

  • User permissions and roles
  • User Roles
  • User Groups

How to Manage Tasks using INFINCE

  • List, assign and prioritize tasks based on deadlines and dependencies
  • Update task list status, organize, track and make visible to the team
  • Personalized task management for individual team members
  • Ability to oversee the tasks that are overdue, ongoing and planned
  • View and analyze day-to-day tasks and progress across teams and projects
  • Execute multiple projects with better quality, on time and efficiently

 

Related Reading: A Guide to Effective Cloud Migration

Who Will be Benefited Most Out of INFINCE?

  • Construction Firms – A construction company to share client estimates, project plan, layout between the employees and clients as well as assign tasks to employees.
  • Legal Services Firms – A legal firm to share case details between the lawyers and clients.
  • Small scale Manufacturing – Small scale manufacturing companies to assign tasks, share documents, communicate between teams, and view product timelines.
  • Marketing & Consulting Firms – Marketing and consulting firms to manage and collaborate tasks on different campaigns and project. Allows task scheduling, monitor time spent and measure ROI on all marketing projects.
  • Health Clinics – Clinics can use INFINCE to manage the appointments of all the patients and store the patient’s history.
  • Software Firms – For document sharing, task assignment, project management handling client calls, real-time chat, and marketing.
  • R&D Companies – R&D can have project management tools to ensure the smooth transfer of knowledge and technology to other groups or departments involved in innovation, file transfer and file management.
  • Insurance Firms – Insurance companies to enhance their performance, more products can be sold and retain customers by keeping the project on track, easy transfer of lead details, schedule tasks between employees and much more.

 

As a secure and economical cloud platform, INFINCE is the right choice for businesses running on limited capital. With its potential application stretching across a swathe of different industries, INFINCE brings the simplicity of the cloud and resources configured for optimal performance that elevates workforce productivity.  Get in touch with us today to deploy INFINCE at your business.