Business productivity needs to be more than the flavour of the month. Without technology supporting communications and productivity, remaining competitive in todays world can be difficult. You will lack the agility and mobility needed to succeed. Our blog article explores many ways your small business can gain efficiency using Microsoft 365 (AKA M365 or O365).
You should already be aware of the core features of M365, including:
- a business email address with your unique domain name and shared calendars;
- online file storage.
- security features, including two-factor authentication;
- productivity apps for on document and spreadsheet collaboration;
- communication tools, including messaging and video conferencing.
Having all these features in one solution is very helpful as you don’t need to switch between different vendors’ apps. This will benefit you business by:
- saving you time;
- cut tech support and IT management challenges;
- simplifying deployment;
- allow you to budget consistently with one invoice for one solution.
There are still more ways Microsoft 365 helps run a small business more efficiently, these include:
1) Automate Processes
Powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), Microsoft 365 allows everyone to automate work processes using Power Automate. The solution allows users to quickly and securely automate their mundane and repetitive tasks. All it takes is using low-code, drag-and-drop tools, or prebuilt connectors.
Processing forms with automation can be a real time-saver. For example, you might use Power Automate to detect text in PDFs, which would then cue certain actions. A business spending hours scanning paper to digital could save a lot of effort this way.
2) Streamline Chat
The MS Teams software allows users to chat, call or jump on video calls, from one place. Teams also keep documents, chat history and meeting notes all in one place.
With the Microsoft Teams messenger / chat program it is easier to:
- reduce your email clutter;
- make business decisions faster;
- keep your staff focused;
- communicate and collaborate wherever you are (remote or in the office)
3) Enable Online Booking
Another tool to help save time is Microsoft Bookings. It promises “a simpler way to organize schedules and manage appointments”. For example, a hair salon, financial services office or home services business could all benefit from this easy to use application. Bookings integrates your appointments with your M365 calendars in Outlook.
Customers appreciate the ease of finding available time slots and you avoid double-booking. You can also specify information needed upfront or assign certain staff to different bookings.
4) Use Online Whiteboard
Microsoft 365’s Whiteboard is “the collaborative digital canvas” that helps small businesses collaborate and brainstorm, wherever their staff and clients work.
The app allows users to:
- use a digital pen or text objects to add content;
- add sticky notes to convey ideas and provide feedback;
- add highlights and annotating;
- select and moving objects to organize tasks or ideas on the whiteboard;
- upload images to improve engagement;
- create diagrams and process flows with shapes, lines and text.
#5 Increase Your Data Analytics
Are you the type of business that love data and analysing it? Power BI, a business intelligence tool enables business owners to find and share meaningful insights. Hundreds of data visualizations, built-in AI capabilities, and prebuilt and custom connectors reduce analytical complexity. Integration with MS Excel makes reporting familiar, and easy to use and understand.
Making the Most of Microsoft 365
You can choose a cloud-based Microsoft 365 plan, and / or download and install the software on up to 5 devices per user. You will soon see the benefits running your small business with the support of M365.
If you need help deciding if M365 is right for you, contact us today to learn how it will help your business.