For SMEs that are short on funds, the cost of technology, including software, can be a challenge to overcome. Getting the most out of technology while avoiding the heavy costs is essential to make best use of what’s available while staying within their budget.
Here are a few ideas to do more with less.
Quick and Affordable Photo Editing
When your company is saving the pennies, consider using clever mobile apps as recommended by mobile photo specialist, Moblivious. For quick editing in any web browser, SAAS apps like Pixlr work a treat. Vectr.com is ideal for messing around with vector graphics that are produced using mathematics to scale in a lossless manner to any image size.
There are also plenty of mobile apps to download to your device that can apply filters to existing photos. The filters can remove facial blemishes, add dramatic background effects, or change how the photo appears, i.e. a sepia effect or black and white, to age the photo.
Digital Scanning and OCR
The use of digital scanning software to collate a series of images together helps to digitize records rapidly. From there, they can be organized into folders and tagged to make them easier to search for later. Some software tools also perform OCR to attempt to read written or typed content to make the text on a digital scan searchable. It’s still an imperfect science, but it works surprisingly often and is a useful technology.
Once the digital records have been created, make use of a business cloud storage service to keep the files secure. Be sure that the files are backed up on a regular basis and that you use end-to-end encryption during the file transfer process.
Task & Project Management
The traditional pen and pads of paper still works reasonably well to keep a list of outstanding tasks organized, but it’s slow and not great when frequent changes are required. The paper can start to look real messy and will need completely rewriting the more amendments are made.
It’s possible to use free tools like Google Docs to create an Excel spreadsheet with a basic list of tasks. When going digital with simple task management, it’s faster to add to the spreadsheet using a list and make rapid updates as needed. Lists aren’t mired in confusion and do not need to be rewritten either. The spreadsheet can be as simple or sophisticated as required and with Google Docs, it can be accessed live by approved employees on-the-fly too.
When wanting to upgrade to a multi-user project management system, then a task list app like Microsoft To Do (which replaced Wunderlist recently) and Todoist can do the trick. They both run as a desktop/SAAS app and mobile app version. An administrator creates and distribute tasks to key team members. Employees can access their assigned tasks (and co-assigned tasks shared with colleagues) from any device.
It doesn’t take much effort to find ways to use technology to help accomplish useful things without breaking the bank. When you are willing to put a little more effort in, there’s usually a free option until the business needs something more sophisticated. At that point, moving up to a more robust solution with slicker options is certainly possible too.