There is a concept in the military called a force multiplier. This is anything that increases the effectiveness of the military unit. Like a machine gun verses a single shot rifle. The machine gun is several times more effective than the rifle. Thus, the machine gun can take the place of a whole group of riflemen.
The main force multiplier of the modern business world is technology, and computers are our machineguns.
Technology allows the small business owner to compete with big corporate organizations. Consider.
Force Multiplier One
We all know how the desktop PC has changed the way we do business, but have you really looked at how it can increase the productivity of your office?
Simply connecting your computers together into a local area network (LAN) can greatly increase your employees’ ability to communicate, while reducing overall costs.
Since most computers sold today have network cards installed, all you need is a router to create your own LAN. Several manufacturers offer routers for under $60.00.
Once installed, your computers will be able to talk to each other. Now you can really start saving money, while increasing productivity!
Say you have five employees. Naturally, all of them need their own printer. What do you do? Without a LAN, you would have to purchase each of them a printer. You could purchase five deskjet printers for a total cost of $800.00 or more. Then you would discover the hidden costs! The cartridges! Ouch, they are expensive!
Instead, you use your LAN to allow your employees to print to one printer. Since you are only buying one printer, you can purchase a nice laser printer. The toner cost on one laser printer is considerably less expensive than the replacement ink costs of five deskjet printers!
Do not forget to put it close to where you sit so you can monitor what your employees are printing.
This same concept applies anytime a group needs access to the same resource.
Force Multiplier Two
One of the greatest advances, in technology, is the growth of broadband internet connectivity. You can now download, in minutes, a file that once took hours. You can even surf the internet wirelessly from anywhere in your city!
Your internet connection can carry all of your data and your telephone needs.
Large corporations pay thousands of dollars to install and maintain elaborate telephone systems to service their customers. Several companies offer Internet Phones that provide the small business community with the same service for a relatively low monthly fee.
One example is Virtual Office from Packet8. This service allows you to present a stronger, more prosperous front to your customers. Virtual Office offers features such as automated call routing and voice mail. Many other companies exist that offer the same service.
Force Multiplier Three
Our last force multiplier is desktop publishing. Do you need a brochure, a sales letter or a display ad for your new marketing campaign?
In the past, you would have to hire someone to write the ad, letter or brochure, and then hire someone else to do the design work. Next, you would have to hire someone to do the printing. All of that hiring sounds like money flying out of your bank account to me!
Now you can hire the writer and handle the design work and printing yourself. Desktop publishing software makes this possible.
You can save huge amounts money using this software, and still produce quality advertising and marketing materials. Microsoft Publisher is one program that will greatly increase the quality and professionalism of your products. Many others exist.
The power of the force multiplier does not stop here, diligently search for opportunities to apply this concept to your current operations. Combine activities where possible, proactively look for chances to make one piece of technology do the work of two, three or more.
Let technology work for you; invest in it the same expectations you do in other areas of your business. Treat it like an employee and demand its best!
Parrott Writing Services, a San Antonio Texas company specializing in web content, ghostwriting, website optimization, online/offline ad copy and technical writing to small businesses.
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