5 Ways to Build Small-Business Efficiency with Microsoft 365

Nov 15, 2021 | Business

Think you need more than a buzzphrase to stay competitive? Think again. Technology has changed the game, and without it, we’re left behind in an increasingly digital world where speed is vital for success–especially as new technologies emerge daily! If your business doesn’t have both agility AND mobility (which most don’t), then staying current with what’s trending becomes impossible – which will lead to only one thing: being unable to compete effectively against others who do have this necessary support systems-like Microsoft 365

No matter how old or young someone may be right now, this article offers tips they can use today while helping themselves tomorrow

You may already be aware of the core functionalities of Microsoft 365. These include:

  • a business email address and shared calendaring services;
  • online storage offering a shared space for collaboration and sizeable personal storage space for each user account;
  • productivity apps to collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations;
  • communication tools, including messaging and video conferencing;
  • security features, including two-factor authentication.

Having all these features in one solution is helpful. Not having to switch between different vendors’ apps can help your business:

  • save time;
  • simplify deployment;
  • cut tech support and IT management challenges;
  • budget consistently with one invoice for one solution.
  • Yet, there are still more ways Microsoft 365 helps run a small business more efficiently.

#1 Automate Processes

Powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), Microsoft 365 allows everyone to automate work processes. The solution enables users to quickly and securely automate the mundane and repetitive. 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 specific actions. A business spending hours scanning paper to digital could save much effort this way.

#2 Enable Online Booking

Another tool to help save time, Microsoft Bookings, promises “a simpler way to organize schedules and manage appointments.” A hair salon, financial services office, or home services business could benefit, and bookings integrate appointment settings with Microsoft 365 or Office 365 calendars.

Customers appreciate the ease of finding available time slots, and you avoid double-booking. You can also specify information needed upfront or assign specific staff to other bookings.

#3 Streamline Chat

Everyone is accessible with Microsoft Teams. The software allows users to chat, call, or jump on video calls, all from one place. Teams also keep documents, chat history, and meeting notes in one place.

With the Microsoft Teams instant messenger program, it’s more accessible to:

  • keep people focused;
  • reduce email clutter;
  • make decisions faster;
  • communicate and collaborate wherever you are.

The Teams Chat option also helps bring people together, even if they’re working remotely. GIFs, stickers, and emojis can help share personalities.

#4 Use Online Whiteboard

Touted as a “collaborative digital canvas,” Microsoft 365’s Whiteboard helps small businesses collaborate and brainstorm wherever people work.

You might enjoy:

  • using a digital pen or text objects to add content;
  • adding sticky notes to convey ideas and provide feedback;
  • selecting and moving things to organize tasks or thoughts on the whiteboard;
  • highlighting and annotating;
  • creating diagrams and process flows with shapes, lines, and text;
  • uploading images to improve engagement.

#5 Amp up Data Analytics

Any small business can grow more data-driven with Power BI. The 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. The Excel integration makes reporting smoother, too.

Making the Most of Microsoft 365

You can choose a cloud-based Microsoft 365 plan or download and install the software on up to 15 devices per user or both! You’ll soon see the benefits of doing your small business with the support of Microsoft 365.

Need help deciding if Microsoft 365 is right for you? Or want to learn how to use its features more efficiently? Gopher’s  IT specialists are available to answer your questions. Contact us today on 0330 223 13 91.

You may also like