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According to a new survey, more than a third of UK independent businesses are keeping the good old pen and paper part of their daily business tasks. The main tasks mentioned in the survey included ordering stock or managing inventory.

The survey was from SaveTheHighStreet.org and Lightspeed who questioned 2,000 businesses from the SaveTheHighStreet.org database.

Only 15% said that they were currently using an Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) system to help them in the daily running of their business.

Addressing the gap between smaller businesses and tech

This highlights a problem between smaller businesses and how they adapt to technology. With business failure rates still in the high numbers, looking at the gap between small business and technology could help to address this problem.

Having an EPOS system would save these businesses a significant amount of time and effort. They can help manage stock levels and take the hassle away from paperwork.

Lyndsay King, founding partner and community director for SaveTheHighStreet.org said: “From the very start, our goal has been to help British independents face the ever-changing economic landscape and find the tools to remain competitive against the big players in the market.

“Technology is a key piece of the puzzle for SMEs going forward. Business owners who have adopted tech systems to manage day to day business are finding they save time, money and are able to see their businesses profit and grow faster. It’s worth the initial investment to get it up and running.”

Jerome Laredo, a vice president at Lightspeed also said: “Technology has become such an important part of how we manage our daily lives. Yet there is still such a small percentage of independents that use up to date technology in their businesses. Working with 45,000 SMEs, we know what their pain points are and we have designed tools to help independents run their business seamlessly, from wherever they are.”

Other ways to invest rather than get left behind

EPOS systems are a good start to modernising your business. Here are some other areas that you can invest in if you haven’t already.

Accounting

Another way indie businesses could move away from pen and paper is with accounting. Nowadays it’s easier than ever to do your accounts through a bookkeeping software and store everything in the cloud. This way all your records are kept in one place and are ready to submit to an accountant or HMRC. You don’t have to worry about noting things down wrong or losing records this way.

Bookkeeping software will also help you manage client payments as many of them have tools to create and send invoices to ensure that you’re paid on time.

Marketing

Don’t just rely on passing trade, word-of-mouth or print adverts to get your business out there. These things may be useful to you but you’re missing a huge market if you’re not operating online too.

Getting a website is pretty much a universally good idea if you’ve got a business. This is often the first place that people check these days when shopping around for anything. The next step is getting on social media, blogging and making sure your website is optimised for search engines so that people can find it more easily. This could mean hiring someone to do marketing or using an agency to take care of it for you.

While these suggestions do cost money, you don’t have to introduce them all at once. Start small and expand where and when you can.

 

Would you add anything to the list? What do you think is stopping smaller businesses from adopting new tech? Let us know what you think.

About The Author

Kara Copple

An experienced business and finance writer, sometimes moonlighting as a fiction writer and blogger.

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