Today, as a small business owner, there are tons of little improvements that are here to make your life better, and much, much easier than before. Think about it: now you don’t even have to wear your best suit, or go to the office, you can work from home with an old sweater, and thanks to the internet, be in touch with customers all over the world. If you still need to mail your customers, you can print your envelopes at onlineprinters.co.uk and save yourself a trip to the post office. Skype reduced drastically the need for face to face meetings, so instead of travelling to China every quarter to meet your providers, all you need to do is wake up a little earlier than usual and you can make the conference call from anywhere.
Anywhere meaning home, or a holiday destination. I am not a big fan of taking some work with me when I go on holiday, but since I am actually on holidays most of the time, once in a while, a little work needs to be done, and with the freedom brought by the new technologies, I can work from anywhere I can plug a laptop and get an internet connection. How amazing is it that in the middle of the Guatemalan jungle, with a little USB modem, I can get online pretty fast? Well, I must actually be used to the speed, and for you guys plugged on optic fibre broadband, my connection may seem prehistoric, but I am pretty happy when I can update this blog in a few clicks or download a movie in half an hour.
Another thing progress has made so simple is there is now an app for everything. You can use apps to track your progress as your business grows, to track your accounts, and it will be exported directly into your accounting software, etc.
What used to take hours a couple of generations ago now takes minutes. So you can do most tasks yourself, and save a ton of money. While you should still have an accountant to make sure you do everything correctly (and take advantage of every tax credit there is available), you can now negotiate a low monthly fee as his work would be a tenth of what it used to be.
Even better, if you are not able to do a task, you do not need to hire and train someone to come work with you full time. A few more clicks online and a huge array of freelancers will offer to solve your problems for a fraction of a price. And for a set price too. You pay their bills, they take care of their social security contributions, insurance, taxes and any other fees involved with freelancing, while your employees actually cost you over twice what you pay them in taxes and contributions.
While some businesses will never go completely online and still need to have a high street shop, most tasks can now be hired out or done online, saving you time and a lot of money in the process.