Business is booming in 2018, but actual labor productivity has a ways to go to catch up to historic levels, a rundown of recent data by Ziff Brothers Investments chief information officer Michael J. Miller shows. U.S. labor productivity, which is the output of goods and services per hour of labor, has only been growing at an annualized rate of 1.1 percent since the current business cycle that started in 2007, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is the lowest rate of any business cycle since 1947 apart from a dip during the recession of the early 1980s. Strikingly, growth is significantly higher in digital industries, which are enjoying 2.7 percent productivity growth, compared to 0.7 percent for physical industries such as healthcare, energy and transportation.
This suggests that effective use of digital technology can be a key to increasing labor productivity. Here are three ways that making better use of technology can help your business thrive in 2018.
Use an Always-connected Mobile PC for Maximum Productivity
Mobile technology such as smartphones and laptops can help you be more productive by allowing you to work from any location on any schedule. However, in order for mobile technology to serve as a useful productivity tool, it’s important to have a reliable, fast mobile internet connection. If you can’t access your business apps or data because your connection isn’t working or it’s too slow, your mobile device isn’t going to be very productive.
One way to make sure your always have a dependable mobile connection is by using a mobile PC with always-connected capability. Today’s best mobile PCs, such as laptops powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Mobile PC Platform, allow you to remain connected to 4G LTE networks at all times. This ensures that you always have a fast, reliable connection when you’re trying to get work done on your mobile device.
Simplify Your Bookkeeping with Cloud-based Accounting
One of the biggest productivity drains on small business owners is the amount of time spent on bookkeeping. The average small business owner loses over a week of work per year on tax preparation, and nearly half lose two weeks of labor, with 40 percent spending over 80 hours a year on taxes, a SCORE survey found.
You can win much of this time back by using a cloud-based accounting app to automate your bookkeeping and simplify your data entry. Cloud-based accounting tools such as QuickBooks Online, Zoho Books, and Wave Accounting allow you to sync data from your bookkeeping software with data from other financial functions of your business. For instance, you can set up your accounting program to automatically import point-of-sale transactions as they are entered, eliminating the need for manual data entry. You can use the same approach to sync data from areas of your business such as expense reporting, payroll, inventory and tax preparation. This can vastly reduce the amount of time you spend on bookkeeping, freeing you up to focus on more productive business tasks.
Automate Your Sales Process with Smart CRM
One of the most important areas of productivity for business is sales. The more sales activity you do, and the more efficient your sales efforts, the more revenue your business generates. Using customer relationship management software can allow you to streamline your sales process by automating such key tasks as maintaining customer contact information, identifying prospects who represent your best sales opportunities, and scheduling sales appointments.
Today’s best-in-class CRM tools combine automation with artificial intelligence tools that allow you to make smarter use of time spent on sales. For instance, Salesforce’s Einstein allows you to analyze patterns in your historic sales data in order to make more accurate predictions and suggest recommendations on how to best achieve your business goals. For instance, you can identify which variables are your top indicators that a prospect is ready to buy, and you can then focus your sales efforts on cultivating these prospects.
Using a mobile PC with a reliable 4G LTE connection allows you to be productive online anywhere at any time. Cloud-based accounting apps save you time on bookkeeping, giving you more time to focus on more productive business activity. Smart CRM tools help you focus your sales efforts on your best prospects in order to maximize your revenue. Adopting these types of technologies can help you use your time more productively, allowing you to run your company more efficiently and making your business more profitable.