On the face of it, Covid-19 seemed to have affected every business across the revenue and size aisle when it struck last year.
But it soon became apparent that small and medium businesses, the bedrock of any economy, were not only the first to feel the pandemic’s effects but also bore the brunt of it.
Hearteningly, in a sign of their inherent resilience and agility, many of these businesses quickly adapted to the ways of digital functioning.
A survey by the Connected Commerce Council, for instance, showed that 76% of US small-business owners reported relying on digital tools more often than pre-Covid times.
Interestingly, almost 33% of owners said their business would have been forced to shut down either wholly or partly if it weren’t for these digital tools.
While it’s true that not all businesses survived, most managed to prevent losses, and some even grew in this period, thanks to digital solutions.
As a custom web application development company, we helped scores of customers running businesses as diverse as restaurants, personal health, online learning, and even travel tide over Covid-19.
This post is inspired by that period and chronicles some of the ways we, and the IT sector as a whole, helped businesses keep it business as usual during Covid times.
How Has Technology Helped Businesses During Covid-19
- Efficient Project Management
One of the challenges with a distributed workforce is efficient project management. Tracking deliverables, troubleshooting on the go, and resourcing are more complicated when your workforce is not in one place.
This is where project management tools come in as they enable easier project planning, time management, and collaboration within your team. Such a tool also comes with personalized KPI creation and tracking features.
Some project management tools also go beyond personnel management by letting you manage budgets and expenses too. This can be handy for small to medium businesses, while larger ones usually prefer to hive this function off to another software.
While the project management tool market is flooded with plug and play solutions, you can hire a dedicated developer to build a customized solution that suits your project’s objectives and your company’s requirements.
- Workplace Communication
Distributed working has also not been kind to workplace communication among your employees. This is where instant messaging apps for your workplace come in.
Your employees can use them to converse not only at the workplace but also beyond it. Such seamless communication increases your business’s productivity at an individual and a group level, leading to overall smoother working.
A separate workplace messaging app also creates a desirable boundary between an employee’s personal and work lives. For instance, using the same app for both forms of communication can lead to greater anxiety among your employees.
- Productivity Tracking
Productivity is all about measuring the amount of work done in a given period. This is why it’s important to track time and productivity for businesses that sell a service. But there’s a difference between tracking time and micro-management.
For instance, a time-tracking application adds up smaller sessions and tells you the time an employee took to perform a task. You can then compare this figure against the time allotted for the job.
Such software can also help you estimate the time required for completing a particular task or project based on past employee productivity data. These insights can then be used for efficient staffing, thus rationalizing your costs.
Time-tracking software is also a transparent way to let an employee know what’s required from them. But, more importantly, you can hire dedicated developer to customize such applications as per an employee’s specific constraints.
Lastly, productivity software also does away with the need for in-person briefings and automates sending proof of work to your customers. This further improves your customer relationships and business growth.
- Digital Accounting
Modern accounting software has come a long way in the last decade as it can now give you a holistic picture of your business’s financials in an easy-to-understand manner.
Beyond basic budgeting, you can use such software to plan future growth and even make data-based assumptions. With most digital accounting software going the analytics route, you’ll also get detailed reports of different financial health parameters with a few taps or clicks.
Other benefits of digital accounting software include reduced manual errors, cost- and time-saving, and effortless scalability as your business grows.
- Telecommuting and Teleconferencing
As a custom web application development company, we faced the same challenge faced by our small and medium-business customers – keeping collaboration and work going while being physically distant.
This is where telecommuting and teleconferencing software came to our collective rescue as they ensured seamless communication and collaboration among our employees. Furthermore, most of these apps are device- and ecosystem-independent, thus enabling professionals to connect irrespective of the device or operating system they use.
More importantly, these apps helped businesses, including ours, avoid travel time or keep it to the bare minimum. The additional time was rejuvenating for the employees, leading to better organizational outcomes.
- Remote/Online Learning
Upskilling or learning new skills is a big part of what makes small and medium businesses competitive. However, since a large amount of this training happened in person, such businesses risked losing their competitiveness in the pandemic’s aftermath.
Fortunately, remote learning was already on the upswing before Covid-19 struck, making it possible to scale quickly and offer customizability as per a business’s needs.
As a web application development company in USA, we helped scores of businesses make sure their employees are up-to-date with best practices and developments in their respective industry.
In fact, many of our customers used such platforms to train their employees to use digital tools, whose adoption was forced due to sudden pandemic-induced lockdowns.
- Digital File-keeping
Small and medium businesses generally deal with more paperwork than larger ones. But physical records become more inconvenient to manage after a point and prevent easy and quick sharing; the latter is a non-negotiable for efficient remote working.
Digital file-keeping software can help your business overcome these hurdles while also offering additional features like document and photo scanning, bar code scanning, watermarking, tagging, and integration with your preferred cloud storage provider.
- Social Media
A direct line to the customer is the best feedback mechanism that any business can hope for. But the pandemic put paid to this avenue as online shopping became the norm, even for everyday stuff like groceries.
But with social media, small and medium businesses once again found a way to get to know their customers and build better relationships. For instance, we helped several businesses use AI-enabled chatbots to answer their customers’ questions round the clock.
Similarly, we also integrated social media apps such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp with our customers’ operations. This, in turn, helped them serve their customers better while opening up newer business opportunities.
Summing It Up
The technologies collated here paint a broad picture of how businesses can use IT to their advantage in the post-Covid world. By working with an IT business solutions provider, you can invest in customized digital solutions guaranteed to pay rich dividends in the future.
As a TopDevelopers-rated web application development company in USA, we can help your business improve your productivity, grow your market, and create new revenue streams with our digital solutions. To know more, get in touch with us today.
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