Technology is vital to any business, whether large or small; it should make running your business easier and allow you time to focus on planning for the future. To maximize the benefit of technology the following tools should be used by every business owner:
Secure IT Infrastructure
Your data must be securely protected, whether from competitor attackers or cyber crime. Purchasing, implementing and monitoring a good security system and back up program can be time consuming and costly. The best alternative is to store all your information on the cloud, preferably a managed cloud which will allow you to access your information wherever you are securely. This will also prevent downtime which can create serious issues to a smaller business.
The cloud is an attractive solution to many business issues. It provides an alternative to an expensive IT professional and can handle email system, storage and even server issues. There are large savings to be had as the cost of signing up to a managed cloud solution is far cheaper than keeping an IT professional to hand. The cloud is simply a term for online storage and, in many ways, is more secure than a server in your office.
Many small businesses struggle with balancing a good customer service with managing the business and planning for the future. Voice over Internet Protocol can provide any business with the ability to handle phone calls and data over a secure, personal connection. These systems can even help with handling customer calls as they offer a variety of services, including message taking. The costs of setting up a VoIP are minimal making this technology available and essential to any business.
In modern society it is essential to not just have a web page but to have one which is well designed, inviting and features highly in the search engines. Your website will often be the first view of your company and if it is not engaging or easy to use people will quickly go elsewhere; it is unlikely they will return. Keep the page simple and informative, if possible use service desk software to improve the customer experience.
It is also essential to embrace social media. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are the best and most effective way of connecting with existing and new customers. It is essential to implement a proactive media strategy which ensures a quick response to any comment posted online. This is an essential part of social media and slow or non-existent responses can do more harm than good.
It is also essential to have the best connectivity you can obtain. You should, where possible, ensure your systems and web page are with a business grade internet provider. This will ensure your site remains accessible and your customers do not shop elsewhere.
The world has shrunk and many businesses can have customers around the world. Equally employees are no longer required to work from an office; working from home is a viable option. As it is not possible to physically visit all of these people it is essential to invest in some good online conferencing software. This will allow you to connect with existing clients, new ones and your employees.
Back Up System
Losing your information can have a hugely detrimental effect on your business. It can cause disruption, loss of customers or even destroy your business. It is essential to have a good back-up system; it is often better to partner with an IT provider which can offer the back-up support you need.
Just as you no longer need to be in an office to deal with your business you also do not need to handle business within set hours. It is now possible to remotely access your data on a variety of devices and work from anywhere in the world. It is essential to embrace this technology and maximise both your productivity and that of your employees – no matter where they are or what time of day it is.
Technology is an essential part of the business environment; adopting the right approach can make the difference between success and failure. Why should you take a risk when you can stay safe?