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If anyone should know what it takes to be highly effective and efficient in today’s economy it should be Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive.

An email sent out by Ballmer just prior to doing a talk about Microsoft’s lineup for the season read, indicated that businesses needed to save more, spend less, and learn to use technology for the maximum value. It seems the economic tides are redefining what’s normal for today’s business.

What does the new business normal look like?

  • It entails cutting costs – in fact, this is key to the future success of today’s business.
  • Building a competitive advantage that you can sustain your business over a long period of time.
  • Increase productivity
  • Increase your capacity for innovation
  • Take advantage of information technology whenever possible.

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Today’s work environment looks nothing like the work environment of our parents. Workforces are spread out across a state or country. Some members never go to an office working directly from home. Employees are more mobile and they are certainly more accessible day or night. This mobility allows employees to travel and cover more area while being constantly in touch with their office. At the same time, government regulations are on the increase, compliance requirements are becoming more complex and more demanding.

One place companies can look to for streamlining your business is computer software. Windows 7 appears to be one of the solutions that can dramatically impact the efficiency of a business. Convergent Computing, located in California, anticipates saving more than $40,000 annually by switching to Windows 7.

Another software option every business should consider in streamlining their business is CRM software. CRM stands for customer relationship management, and a good CRM software program will streamline how you manage your customers, how you track your sales, and provide management with detailed reports that allow sound decision making based on sales history.

Virtual meetings are being used more and more. You will need a webcam and web conferencing software. With these tools, you can have employees all over the world and still conduct a “good old fashion meeting,” but in virtual space.

Other tools you should consider using are social media sites. Facebook is a great example of how you bring customers to you by offering support, providing information, and even running contests. A page can be built in minutes but the rewards will go on for long after that. Twitter is also growing in popularity for quick updates to your followers.

The new normal for business efficiency focuses on utilizing technology in the best possible way to increase productivity and decrease operating costs.

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