The Tech Hacks that Transformed Our Businesses

Technology can help businesses become more efficient. But simply downloading the hot, new app won't provide solutions. Entrepreneurs need to review their businesses, identify problems, and work with their teams to find the right fixes and processes. Techniques using tech to radically alter a company's operations are sometimes referred to as 'hacks.'

Here, entrepreneurs describe how they have hacked their own business processes to find success.

Automation

Nikolay Piriankov, founder of online jewelery retailer Taylor & Hart, says he finds efficiency hacking addictive and that it is central to his business. Piriankov is a big fan of Zapier, an online platform that enables users to connect and integrate a choice of over 750 apps and create automated processes.

For instance, Piriankov has created a hack (or a 'Zap') connecting a Google spreadsheet, containing the names of potential investors, to his email account. This means, when a new name is added to the list, a pre-written email containing information about the company is automatically sent to that person. "The benefit here is, I can delegate the list-building task to someone else, or even multiple people, and the additional task of sending an email now happens automatically," says Piriankov.

Another one of his hacks is to track #journorequests on Twitter (hashtags used by journalists requesting interviewees). When a journalist on his list uses the hashtag, he receives an alert on his mobile phone.

He also tracks his company's sales with a similar method, connecting his card payment system to a message service. "I like to know when we're making sales, so I made a Zap that connects our card payment system to my messenger," he says.

Piriankov says Taylor & Hart is driven by the use of technology and analytics, but that Zapier sits at the center, linking together different applications which can feed off each other's data....

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