As a small business owner, you want to make sure you have the tech infrastructure that allows you to flex and adapt. Today, the question isn’t how much technology can improve your business. The question is which technologies are best for your organization’s unique needs. In this article, we’ll take a look at some current and near-future technology applications that will help you up the IT game of your small business.
Events and changes occur every day that affect the global business landscape. Additionally, new applications are always in development—maybe the new revolution in your industry or niche is still in start-up mode. One of the best ways to stay on top of the technology your business uses is to monitor trends and issues in your industry and local community. Periodically review technologies that can help you better serve your customers; these investments can reap great rewards.
Technology is invented to help us save time. Using machines and computers for mundane, repetitive, and data-led tasks frees people up for higher value, creative work. Whether it’s a chat bot that can handle some of the routine, transactional customer service tasks to an online invoicing service that reduces the costs of collecting payment from your customers, there are myriad options for automating a variety of business functions.
For example, a chat bot can provide your customers with product return information. This enables your customer service reps to focus on more complicated issues. And, that online accounting system can save your team a lot of time on basic tasks. These days, you can find online programs for just about every aspect of your business. Most are affordable, easy to learn, and in many cases also have a mobile application to stay plugged into the business on the go.
Use a Project Management or Calendar System
To help keep everyone on track as your team grows, you want everything organized and centralized. Consider a shared calendar system (Outlook and Google Apps for Business both have options) to keep track of everyone’s schedule. Whether you want visibility into company holidays, shift schedules, or client presentations, sharing calendars can help your whole team better organized.
You might also want to consider researching a project management system. Again, there are many options—and you’ll be able to find one that fits in with the way your team works. You can access project schedules, calendars, shared documents, deadlines, and track progress all in one place. Get your team to help you choose: it’s easier to get everyone on board when they have a say in the process.
Consider Offsite Storage
Every business has important records and files. And there are countless ways they can become lost. Be sure your organization is using some kind of backup software, and that the backups are regularly tested. You don’t want your business to suffer—or heaven forfend, go under—because a fire or flood destroyed the only computer where your crucial records were stored.
As the name suggests, offsite storage is located somewhere other than your business’s location. Whether you’re backing up to the cloud using one of many online services or physically taking removable media with a backup, keep at least one backup copy of your company’s files offsite. Storing and maintaining data at another location helps secure your data from malicious attacks and can help get you up and running in a reasonable amount of time in the event of a disaster or other emergency.
There will always be innovators looking to simplify and streamline, well, everything. Whether or not there’s a perfect technology solution for your business today, there’s sure to be one tomorrow. In the meantime, there are many ways to up your IT game in 2019. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you select the right options for your organization.