Are you addicted to being busy? As an on-demand generation with more smart technology and productivity tools at our fingertips than ever before, it’s amazing that we still struggle to find the time that we feel we need to make stuff happen. Both in our personal and professional lives.
So why is this?
The truth is, technological innovation is a double-edged sword. As it speeds up productivity and results in the workplace, it also increases competition. The very tools that enable us to free up time and resources also spawn the need for this extra time to be spent on innovation in order to compete. It’s the digital age’s survival of the fittest.
Which leads us to this advice for smart businesses today:
The Real Return on Investment is Your Time
When growing teams, allocating budgets and researching new tools and technologies, think beyond revenues, ARR/ MRR and spreadsheets, and instead ask yourself this:
- Would your business be performing better if your resources could allocate more time to innovation and business strategy?
- Would your business be more competitive, more likely to enter those new markets, and achieve that next round of funding?
- And would your employees be happier, more focused and more determined?
In most cases, the answer to all of the above is a resounding YES. But is it really that simple? Surely we all still need to spend time on the more mundane, administrative tasks that keep our businesses ticking over? That is the where the real power of the advances in real-time, on demand technology kicks in.
The Power of Real-Time
Real-time technology, automation and productivity tools are already fostering and facilitating innovation in enterprise worldwide. The likelihood is that you already use many of these, but they have become such an integral part of your working life that you no longer monitor their benefits or remember working life without them.
Communication and file-sharing tools are a solid example of this. Slack, Skype, Google Drive and Dropbox are all must-haves that enable teams to talk, share and edit files and reports in real-time anywhere in the world.
From a financial point of view, other examples of seamless automation include accountancy platforms such as Xero and expense management tools such as Rydoo that enable you to effortlessly manage your business finances and expenses in real-time.
These are all examples of how you can, and probably already are, automating the day-to-day running of your business. And yes, there are of course other ways to measure ROI and successes here. Platforms like Xero and Rydoo will save your business money. And tools like Slack and GDrive mean that we can all work faster and smarter together.
But, if you look back to working life before this technology, you will see that the real ROI created by this automation is your time.
You no longer have to wait until the end of the month or quarter to review your company finances, cut costs or go for that round of investment. You no longer have to wait for different versions of files and documents to be shared back and forth before submitting that business-critical pitch.
This frees up your resources to focus on innovation, productivity and driving your business forwards, based on real-time data and insights. Which brings us to the most transformative output of all of this real-time technology- the power of data.
Think Faster, Work Smarter
A lot has been said about data in the past couple of years. Data analysts, boffins and geeks are in high-demand and proliferate throughout our companies. Perhaps you’re one of them. Either way, the chances are that you now work with data in some form, no matter what department you’re in- finance or marketing, product or sales.
The ability to collect, analyse and interpret data in real-time has transformed business. We can now see exactly where our customers are coming from, how they’re engaging with us and how to reach them. We can accurately forecast payback periods, calculate customer LTV, analyse expense patterns and much more.
This new wealth of data enables us to think faster, work smarter and focus more on innovation. So the next time you sit down to analyse the ROI of all of your software, integrations and service providers and plan for future investment- remember. Time is your most valuable commodity in today’s competitive market. Use it wisely.