Six ways to improve business efficiency online

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1. Optimized email use

Email has become the preferred method of contact for businesses, both internally and externally. With email, workers can better distribute materials to each other as well as to clients or customers. It is substantially faster than sending documents in the mail or by fax. Businesses should have company email addresses for each worker to provide a more professional image.

2. Better website capability

The website of any business is its introduction to the world. It's where people first land, and where the first impression comes from. With a clean look and user-friendly interface, a website can almost do your marketing work for you. ALMOST. Don't rely completely on this, of course ... but I digress.

Additionally, a website can be the autopilot of a business by handling various operations on its own. Good examples of this self-regulating technology are Intranets allowing clients to log in and conduct business or online shopping carts where customers can purchase products any time, anywhere.

3. Utilize mobile apps

Good business efficiency means having the ability to process tasks at a moment's notice. That can easily be done online with the various mobile apps that are available for smart phones and tablets. Popular apps run the gamut of business operations, ranging from processing sales, teleconferencing, creating spreadsheets, and much more. With mobile apps, employees can stay connected to each other and customers.

4. Outsource tasks

Okay, we all know the word 'outsourcing' often has a bad connotation; but sometimes, improving efficiency means handing a tasks to specialized experts. There are plenty of operations that a business would be better off having another entity coordinate, including things like customer service and data storage.

Many third party services are available to specifically handle tasks online. They range from simple large file transfers (with companies like YouSendIt) to electronic signature services (with companies like EchoSign).

5. Social media

A successful business is one that creates dialogue with its customers to better meet their needs, as well as learn what areas of operations need to become more efficient. Businesses can easily accomplish this by delving into social media (where appropriate) and engaging with customers on various levels.

Not only can businesses use social media tools to improve communications with their clients or customers, but they can also use them to build new fan bases and increase awareness.

6. Provide solutions

The most common cause of problems for any business are unhappy customers. Resolving a problem can be more efficiently done online by providing the means for someone to help themselves. First off, there's the obvious: making sure there's a FAQ or support page on your business blog. Other than that, using social media (as stated above) can be a great way to provide solutions. Plenty of companies monitor social channels for questions, concerns or comments regarding their business, and respond from their brand name on the network.

Also, businesses can offer software applications that can be quickly downloaded and used to diagnose and fix any technical issues.

Businesses have grown exponentially online for a number of reasons. Along with maintaining a presence online, businesses can reformulate their work flow with the ultimate goal of greater efficiency. How would you like to see businesses become more efficient online?

Businesses are always on the look out for new methods to increase efficiency since leaner operations generally mean less cost and more profit.

With many online business operations, companies can find a plethora of means to increase their financial gains.

Here are 6 ways to improve business efficiency online.

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