Productivity is vital fuel for a growing business – find out how to use technology to move your store or startup to the next level. The current productivity crisis is often attributed to technology, particularly the rise of the smartphone. But, with a little self control and planning, technology can improve your business productivity – and the earlier you invest, the sooner you’ll overtake your competitors. Productivity is the lifeblood of any business, but when your startup begins to grow, it can be a make or break moment. As new employees, time management and larger data sets become a concern, investing in the right technology helps you to manage what’s important and keep profits growing. Incorporate automation tools Automation is becoming integral to many businesses – and the potential you can unlock goes beyond labor savings. Robotics and advanced computer systems impact the way you work – making the switch to a more effective system can minimize mistakes and provide more efficient delivery for your clients. Automated learning is revolutionizing how staff are trained, making for efficient growth and HR practices. Using tools as simple as Gusto to automate your payroll services is a good starting point – you’ll be surprised how much time you can save, leaving you free to focus on the bigger picture. Meanwhile, there are automation tools you can use to find the best employees, and Upwork finds freelancers with the right know-how for your next big project. Start by incorporating automation in the basics of business management, then ensure you know when to upgrade your small business tech, for the right results. Use the right software There’s a software solution to every problem in the business world – even software to manage productivity itself. Good software protects your finances – enabling fast and secure payments and efficient invoicing solutions. Point of Sale software is a must-have for any expanding retail business, allowing the customers of any boutique or clearance store to make quick, convenient and secure payments. Full integration between your card readers and inventory skips the need for slow accounting, making it easy to keep track of profits and analyze customer interactions. Invoicing solutions can improve your business by tracking time and calculating what your services should cost a client – and because you’ll save this time, you’ll be able to price your products and services more competitively in future. Explore Virtualization Older desktop computers can hinder productivity irreparably when something goes wrong. Virtualizing your operating systems to offsite servers adds an extra layer of security. Virtualized desktops are easily accessible from multiple locations, and oftentimes cost less than traditional desktops, too. Virtualization comes in a range of on-premises and cloud-based options, and they’re offering new features all the time. Collaborate better Technology makes for faster communication and a breadth of new channels, but if you don’t plan carefully, email burnout can result. To prevent your staff getting lost in those 200 daily business emails, you need to utilize technology to make it work for you. Consider a program like MailChimp or eM Client to manage communications. Select a tool to help you manage multiple email accounts and calendars – preferably those with instant messaging features. While your business is still growing, there’s peace of mind in knowing you can easily contact any coworker, at any time. By keeping up to speed with what the latest technology has to offer, you can revolutionize the way you work – and stay one step ahead of competitors.