In a perfect world we would be able to focus completely on any task. Of course, we don’t live in that kind of utopia. Often, we have to work through distractions. This divided focus can have a negative effect on any job that we undertake. Fortunately, technology can help. For example, we built low alert notifications in our online inventory management system to remind you when to reorder!
Whether its trying to complete records and run reports while also waiting on customers, or just trying to work when others are talking and making noise, our attention is frequently on more than one thing. When this happens it is easy for small details to fall through the cracks. As an example, a good online inventory management system could alert you that actual stock counts are lower than what the system shows which would be an indication that someone removed an item and no sale was recorded. Letting these things slide can be just the edge that your competitor needs to succeed. Don’t give your competition the edge, follow the tips below to gain your own competitive advantage.
Organization. In a previous post, we outlined a few options for calendars, mail, and other software to promote employee collaboration. Not only can these solutions help you coordinate efforts across your staff, they can be a great memory device to make sure that you don’t forget the little things. If an activity is time critical add a reminder to your calendar a day or a week before it needs to be done. This way your calendar will prompt you to address the task while you still have time to complete it. Tagging other employees on a task allows them to offer reminders as well. The more people that are aware something needs to be done, the more likely it is to get done. Recording details in an email provides a written record of what was discussed. Not only can you refer you back to it to confirm details, it can also serve to clarify details and ensure everyone is on the same page. How many times have you begun work on a project only to discover that you misunderstood the expectations and needed to readjust your plan of attack? Writing down the specifics will eliminate the confusion and reduce the chances of wasted efforts.
Tracking. It’s hard to remember everything under the best of circumstances. When we are distracted we are even more likely to forget things. Using tracking software like Stockpile, online inventory management system, can really help. Did that shipment come in? Has it made to the shelves or is it still in boxes waiting to be unpacked? By having employees enter data into Stockpile as inventory enters and exits your store allows everyone to quickly and easily access the information. Many businesses have one person that is known to be the repository for details. “Ask Mr. Smith, he’ll know.” That’s all good and well, unless Mr. Smith is on break, or worse sick or on vacation for a week. Who do you ask when Mr. Smith is unavailable? Making a software solution your information base allows anyone and everyone who needs the information the ablility to access it as needed. Our online inventory management system doesn’t take vacations and it won’t call in sick.
Storage. How often do you get interrupted while working on a project? Technology not only remembers where you left off, it can help you save your work quickly and easily.Drafting a marketing campaign with pen and paper means that you have materials spread out everywhere and may need to clean up your supplies when you stop for the night. Obviously, using a computer is much simpler, you just click save and shut off your device and you’re done. Beyond this convenience, cloud storage also allows you to store large amounts of data. You can keep numerous projects to refer back to at a later date. This can help you create new materials in less time since you aren’t starting from scratch every time. Cloud storage is inexpensive and secure. It’s also safer since you don’t have all your data in-house. Fire, flood or some other disaster could wipe out your business holdings but you’ll still have everything that you stored in the cloud. When you’re focused on cleaning up and recovering from an adverse event, it’s great to know that your business data is safe and secure, making it one less thing you have to worry about. We use several storage providers to back data you input in our online inventory management system for this very reason. The serenity that comes from doing our best to protect your data is reward enough!
For your small business to succeed you need to capitalize on every possible competitive advantage. Using technology to help you stay focused and complete projects is just smart business. Want more tips on how technology can help? Revisit our series on technology for your small business.
Need help remembering where things are? Try our online inventory management system.
If you’re not using Stockpile, our online inventory management system, what are you waiting for? Stockpile is free and it will revolutionize the way that you manage your small business inventory. Get started today!