Many small businesses are, just that - small. The average small business doesn’t have enough employees to be able to have departments, existing employees often do more than one job. Because of this, it’s essential that employees are able to access files, calendars and other essential documents that allow them to do their jobs. One program that allows employees to do just this is Microsoft SharePoint.
SharePoint was launched by Microsoft in 2001 as a document and content management program for intranets - closed networks within a company. Over the past 11 years, SharePoint has added a ton of different capabilities and features that make it an integral part of many business’s infrastructure. One of the biggest advantages of SharePoint is that it integrates with Microsoft Office and Office 365. Here are five things you can do with SharePoint to help make your company and employees more productive.
- Centralize all essential documents. The problem many small businesses face is that files are spread out, normally kept locally on an employee's computer which makes sharing difficult. SharePoint allows you to organize your files in a central location while allowing employees or other parties to access and share these documents.
- Collaboration. With centralized document management, your employees can collaborate easier. No more having to email another employee to get them to send a document then having to compile different versions into one document, as employees will have access to the same document with changes made clearly visible.
- Solidify goals and roles. Employees in small businesses often complain that they don’t know what their roles are and what exactly the company is doing. With SharePoint you can create lists and documents with your goals and expectations of employees, which they can access. Clearly defined goals and roles will go a long way in keeping employees productive because they will be able to see exactly what they should be doing.
- Project management. Project management can be one of the toughest things to keep on top of. One team may be using a separate calendar and documents that other teams don’t have access to causing productivity bottlenecks. With SharePoint you can create calendars and workflows that are shared on the network so you know exactly who is working on what, when it’s due and what’s left to be done.
- Stage-gate implementation. With the combination of calendars, workflow and shared documents you can establish a clearly defined stage-gates, a set point where document drafts, workflow process or any project needs to be approved to move on to the next step. This creates an element of control that keeps projects on track, and necessary parties informed at all times.