Anyone who has taken the plunge and decided to start up their own business will know just how difficult it can be to get everything off the ground and start making a profit. There just never seems to be enough time to tick everything off the to-do list and until you can afford to pay even a skeleton staff, as company director you have to take on several roles in order to get everything done.
However, consider how much more difficult it was to set up and run a successful business before advances in technology removed much of the burden and made the day to day administration so much easier. The impact of technology on businesses has been so great that it is now possible to start a business from your spare room and, once it is on its feet, run it from just about anywhere with a smartphone and laptop. Some people would argue that the role of technology in the world of business has been a detrimental one, and that machines have resulted in job losses across the board and in some instances a poorer level of service. However, the reality of the business world is that it relies on progress and development in order to remain profitable and it’s therefore incumbent upon the workforce to adapt and change along with it.
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Without a doubt the greatest impact of technology on business was the mass introduction of electronic mail, which replaced the traditional mode of pen and paper communication in the early 1990s. Though nowadays we don’t give email a second thought and will often communicate with people sitting at the other end of the office via email rather than get up and talk to them, it really did revolutionize business practice when it first became popular. It made it so much easier for a business to communicate with both customers and suppliers and ensured that important information could be sent and received in a matter of seconds. For a small business struggling to keep on top of correspondence without the help of a secretary, email is absolutely crucial for everything from sales and marketing to the tedious task of chasing invoices.
The impact of technology on business is not just limited to written communication, however. Technology has also played a very big role in the simplification of accounting and invoicing procedures – again something that many small businesses struggle with when they don’t have a dedicated accountant to help keep on top of receipts and expenditure. You only have to look at the variety of different book keeping programs now available to small businesses to see how technology has made life immeasurably easier for the one or two man operation. In this sense the role of technology is to simplify and speed up the process as well as reduce the margin for error by ensuring that calculations are accurate and that payments are both made and sought on time.
Though there will always be certain things that humans do better – calming irate customers being just one example – the impact of technology on business has meant that it’s now possible for anyone with a good idea and enough determination to call themselves Managing Director of their very own company.
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