Originally posted on https://www.0spam.com/10-small-business-technology-tips-to-help-you-succeed/
You have enough to worry about as a small business owner. You have to look over your shoulder to know where the competition stands. You have to drive revenue, make payroll, pay taxes, and serve your customers.
That’s a lot of responsibility for anyone to handle. It’s just a typical day for small business owners. How can you manage your business and get things done?
You can rely on small business technology. There are a ton of tools out there, but there are things that you need to know about integrating technology in your business.
Read on to learn the top technology tips that will help you run your business.
1. Don’t Underestimate a Reliable Internet Connection
Broadband internet isn’t something you think about anymore. That is until it stops working. Your business and your customers rely on a fast and reliable broadband connection.
Downtime costs money. When your systems are down, you and your team can’t work. Your customers can’t access your site, and if you rely on voice-over IP for your phone systems, they can’t call you either.
You want to make sure that the plan that you sign up with is secure and reliable. Take the time to compare broadband providers in your area before you choose one.
2. Automate Everything
One of the cool things to come about over the last couple of years is the ability to automate systems. Messaging bots help you automate customer service. Email service providers help you automate messaging.
Social media schedulers make it easier to schedule your social media posts. There are countless tools that help you automate your business.
You want to asses your business and look at the most repetitive tasks that take up a lot of time. Ask yourself if you can automate them and look for tools that will help you do it.
3. Use the Cloud
Have you heard of the cloud? It’s an emerging technology that allows small businesses to store documents, data, and programs off-site.
An example of cloud technology is accounting software. You normally would have to spend hundreds of dollars on an accounting suite, install it on one computer, and be at that computer in order to use it. You’d then have to spend hundreds of dollars a year later for the latest version.
Accounting programs in the cloud are web-based. You can access them on any device, which allows you complete control of your accounting in a secure environment. It’s also less expensive to use and updated regularly.
4. Have Great IT Support
You have to be prepared to have technology issues. Downtime is costly, and when things go south, you want to get back online as soon as possible.
Working with an IT support company like Austin Technology should be part of your technology plan. It also keeps you from scrambling and putting out fires every time there’s an IT issue.
5. Make Security a Priority
Your business is a target for hackers. Hackers will try to breach your systems for a variety of reasons.
Once your systems are breached, it can be a turning point in your business. Many businesses don’t recover from a cyberattack, which is why security needs to be at the top of your small business technology list.
You want to make sure that your website is secure as well as your internal systems. If you have employees, educate them on cybersecurity issues.
Believe it or not, employees are the main cause of a majority of attacks. All it takes is a click on an email and your business can be brought down.
6. Make Improvements to Your Website
Is your website optimized? You can make small improvements to your website to increase the speed and functionality of your site.
Those small improvements can turn into more business. Both users and search engines prefer faster and high-performing websites.
7. Use Communication Tools
One way to be efficient is to use communication tools that will enable you to keep in touch with your team. If you outsource some work to a virtual assistant or a team of remote workers, there needs to be a system where they can reach out and have questions answered.
Messaging tools like Slack or Asana can be used to manage your team and your projects.
You can use these tools to communicate with your customers, too. They can reach out and ask questions at their convenience. That adds another layer of providing an excellent customer experience.
8. Use Customer Relationship Tools
Your business is built on relationships. You have relationships with customers, vendors, supporters, prospects, and employees.
It can be a massive challenge to manage all of these relationships, especially if you’re working off of spreadsheets and stacks of business cards.
A customer relationship management tool can keep all of those contacts in one place. You can set reminders when to call and keep detailed notes of every interaction.
9. Use the Right Productivity Tools
You know that there are countless tools that can make you more productive. Not all of them are suitable for your needs.
Take the time to evaluate what your business needs are before you implement small business technology tools.
10. Use a VPN When on the Road
If you or your team travel a lot, you need to have a secure way to access important data while you’re on the road.
Rather than relying on a public WiFi connection, use a virtual private network, which will create a secure connection.
Be Smart About Small Business Technology
You wear a lot of hats as a business owner and entrepreneur. One of them is to be a small business technology expert. Ok, you don’t have to be an expert, but you do have to know how to leverage technology in your business.
Using the right technologies can help you do more with less. You can deliver better service to your customers and do things faster with fewer resources.
Do you want more tech tips? Head over to the home page for the latest technology and cybersecurity news.