After reaching its lowest level in two decades in 2013, startup activity has been on the upswing for the last three years, nearing pre-recession peaks in 2016, according to the latest Kauffman Index of Startup Activity. The data shows that 310 out of every 100,000 American adults became entrepreneurs in a given month last year.
If you’re one of those joining the ranks of America’s entrepreneurs, keeping your costs down while keeping your revenue up are two major priorities for your startup’s success. Here are three strategies you can implement to maximize your startup’s profits while minimizing your costs.
Use Artificial Intelligence BI Tools for Smart Business Planning
One of today’s most powerful tools for growing your startup is artificial intelligence. AI-powered business intelligence analytics tools can help you make smart, data-based decisions instead of relying on intuition and luck. This can lend you insights into your marketing, sales and operations that give you an edge over competitors who are making business decisions based on guesswork. For instance, you can use BI tools to spot emerging market trends, identify which of your customers are most ready to buy or uncover inefficiencies in your business processes that could be corrected. Using business intelligence analytics tools can yield a return on investment of over $13 for every dollar spent, Nucleus Research has found.
Today’s leading business intelligence tools include Microsoft Power BI, Google Analytics, IBM Watson Analytics and Zoho Reports. For best results, use hardware that supports artificial intelligence applications, which are memory-intensive. For instance, smartphones with the latest Snapdragon processors include Qualcomm’s artificial intelligence platform, which is fast and powerful enough to run on-device AI applications that would normally require support from a cloud server on slower devices. In addition to enabling you to run on-device business intelligence applications, the platform also supports other AI applications that can be useful for businesses, such as facial recognition for biometric user authentication, virtual reality immersion and smart camera recognition for sharper images to use on your company’s website.
Deploy Automation and Outsourcing to Maximize Your Efficiency
One important use of BI analytics is tracking your operational efficiency so you can make adjustments and improvements. Two strategies you can use to increase your efficiency are automation and outsourcing. For example, if you use a cloud-based accounting software tool such as QuickBooks Online, you can reduce your bookkeeping labor and costs by automatically syncing your accounting data with your point of sale, expense reporting, payroll, inventory and tax preparation data.
Another example of technology that can help you streamline your efficiency is cloud contact center apps like Google Voice, Cisco Unified Contact Center and 8×8 Cloud Contact Center. These types of tools provide a virtual contact center you can use to automate routine customer service tasks, while enabling you to use remote workers to field service tickets that must be handled by humans, lowering your labor costs.
Boost Your Revenue by Leveraging Marketing and Sales Technology
Another key strategy for growing your revenue is leveraging marketing and sales technology. For instance, marketing automation tools such as Marketo, Eloqua and Customer.io provide you with platforms for automatically managing your mobile, social media, email, web and digital ad campaigns, while also offering analytics tools you can use to optimize your campaign efficiency.
You can also use technology to automate your sales efforts. CRM tools such as Salesforce, BaseCRM, Insightly CRM and Zoho CRM allow you to automate tasks such as identifying hot prospects, booking appointments and tracking customer sales history.
Using artificial intelligence BI tools to make smarter business decisions, deploying automation and outsourcing to maximize your efficiency and leveraging marketing and sales technology to boost your revenue are three winning strategies to grow your startup. Implementing these tools will enable you to increase your efficiency, cut your costs, increase your profits and grow your business.