13 Ways SMBs Should be Using SharePoint to Supercharge Business Efficiency & Collaboration

Organizational efficiency depends upon a business making proper use of the tools that it has available. 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies use SharePoint, yet many small and mid-sized businesses still aren’t integrating SharePoint appropriately into their business processes. SharePoint is a robust tool that can be used to augment nearly every aspect of an organization, from internal portals to project management, collaboration and beyond.

SharePoint is even more accessible to SMBs than ever before by being included with most Office 365™ subscriptions. According to Windows Central, over 50,000 small business customers are added to Office 365 every month1. That being said, many small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) might be in the dark as to how to use SharePoint in a way that makes sense for their business or start configuring this powerful tool to work properly for them.

Here are 13 ways SMBs should use SharePoint to supercharge business efficiency and collaboration

1. Publish Information Quickly

SharePoint is one of the best ways to distribute documents quickly, whether to the entire organization or to a specific group. All individuals of a group can be sent the same information at once, eliminating redundancy and consolidating information. Only 13% of employees report using their company’s intranet daily, with 31% stating that they never do.

2. Communicate During Meetings

Today’s employee may have more virtual meetings than face-to-face ones. SharePoint can be used to quickly share live documents during virtual meetings, allowing those participating to collaborate on-the-fly and get more done.

3. Task and Assignment Lists

Rather than sending tasks and assignments directly to employees, tasks and assignments can be published in SharePoint. This increases both visibility and transparency, ensuring that all members know exactly what is being worked on and what the status is.

4. Document Sharing and Collaboration

General document sharing and collaboration is where SharePoint shines, as multiple individuals are able to work on documents without fear of writing over each other’s work or otherwise interfering. Organizations can improve efficiency by making SharePoint the de facto standard for document storage and sharing.

5. Personal Documents and Notes

Though SharePoint is generally used for sharing, it’s also an easy-to-use, consolidated platform for employees who want to keep their own documents and notes well-organized. Not only does this ensure that personal work documents aren’t moved out of the company’s own servers, but it also makes it easier for employees to work on multiple platforms and systems.

6. Customer and Member Portals

SharePoint is often thought of as an internal tool; however, it can be configured to grant access to members and clients. This opens up a world of possibilities for project management, customer relations, and member relations. Associations and nonprofits, for instance, can provide a member-only site for resources, contact management, and to share notices.

7. Meet Regulatory Compliance

Many industries find themselves dealing with swiftly changing issues regarding regulatory compliance. From the financial sector to healthcare organizations, businesses need to be able to protect and secure their documents. SharePoint helps in meeting regulatory compliance in terms of auditing policies, storage policies, and security settings.

8. Protect Proprietary Information

Rather than sending employees all of your data, you can hide certain things (such as algorithms) within the system itself. Employees can simply access the data they need — and can interact with documents — without revealing all of their component parts.

9. Leverage Business Intelligence

By 2019, the market for business intelligence and analytics is expected to grow to $20 billion. Organizations are increasing their investments in business intelligence technology, but even SharePoint can be used to create accurate, actionable business intelligence insights. SharePoint’s centralized reporting can be used to create employee dashboards filled with key performance indicators, progress reports, and other analytics.

10. Company Intranet

SharePoint is used by thousands of businesses as an internal website for staff and clients to access secure, internal documents, task lists, resources, and project files. With quick setup and strict security and access settings, SharePoint sets the standard for company intranet platforms.

11. Create an Information Base for Employees

Documents and files on SharePoint are easily searchable, with a robust search engine capable of drilling down to the most relevant information. Employees can thus tap a company-wide network or “knowledge base” for any information they need, rather than having to hunt for it.

12. Collect Feedback from Employees

Polling and other feedback requests can be managed through SharePoint to get prompt, detailed responses. Through this ability, companies can become more agile, making decisions faster and collecting analytic data through a streamlined process.

13. Prioritize Tasks and Ideas

SharePoint offers a great feature for allowing staff and users to ‘vote’ on items and ideas added, making it easy for businesses to prioritize tasks, projects, and ideas. Using a star rating (or any other selected), teams can quickly gauge the overall input from the entire team or company on items of importance. What used to take hours to send and sort, now takes minutes.

 

Added Benefits of SharePoint for SMB’s

On top of the many uses of SharePoint for businesses, it also packs a punch in these other key areas:

Familiar & Consistent User Experience:

SharePoint’s integration with familiar desktop applications such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and connectivity to various email clients and web browsers, provide users with a seamless experience that help facilitate how they interact with their content, processes and valuable business data.

Flexibility to Scale as An Organization Grows:

It is every companies’ hope to be profitable and grow as time goes by. SharePoint accommodates this innate need of growth by providing options that allow companies to use what they need to avoid needless resource spending on licenses that will not be used. Even for companies that like to stay agile and function in small numbers, SharePoint has them covered too.

No In-House Developer? No Problem!

Build the tools and solutions you need for your organization without the assistance of a developer. SharePoint comes with built-in features that empower teams to build solutions quickly and effectively, without any development experience.

If you are interested in using your SharePoint platform to enable efficiencies and collaboration in your organization, we can help!

CRGroup is Ottawa Region’s #1 partner for Microsoft Business Systems, including SharePoint. Our team of SharePoint experts provide hands on training on the setup and maintenance of SharePoint, and offer the technical expertise to configure your SharePoint system to meet your unique business needs.

Contact us to get started:  Doug Hum | 1.800.576.6215 x 286 dhum@crgroup.com

Looking for classroom training on SharePoint? Check out our upcoming CRGroup Academy Courses.

 

References
1 https://www.windowscentral.com/there-are-now-12-billion-office-users-60-million-office-365-commercial-customers