Small business owners often find it challenging to invest in the right tech for their businesses. If done correctly, the right IT can transform your business by boosting productivity, collaboration, and communication, accelerating sales, and opening brand new markets. Let’s look at seven ways tech can help you ensure your business meets its goals.
1. Evaluate your IT status
As quickly as technology is advancing, it’s a good idea to evaluate your IT status every year. Does all the technology you use perform as you would like it to? What technology are you missing out on that would improve your business? This is where a good IT consultant comes in. You want to work with a pro who is impartial and unbiased, who will work with your business interest at heart. You may find that everything you’re using right now is exactly what you need. But to keep your technology from slipping behind the curve, it’s smart to plan and budget for technology growth as your company grows.
2. Explore your own productivity tools
First, look at the productivity tools you already have, such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom. Within each software you already use, there are likely several amazing features you aren’t even aware of so you never use – but some of your employees may. It’s smart to meet with your team members and find out how they are using your software more productively, which would be good info to share with the whole team.
3. Create an online strategy
Every business needs a solid online strategy, even if you don’t sell any product or service online. You need to have a presence online, a way for potential customers to find you easily, know what you’re about, and how to contact you. At minimum, make sure you have a Google My Business account set up. It’s a powerful and robust search tool that’s free and used by millions of people every hour.
4. Optimize your website
A lot of small businesses make the mistake of thinking their website is once and done. Building your website is only the first step. It needs to stay updated to serve you. An outdated website is not good for business. It may have out outdated design, information, and functionality. Google is not friendly to poorly optimized websites, so you could become almost invisible in search results if your website is not current and optimized. If you don’t have anyone in-house to keep your site fresh, you may need to outsource content updates and SEO.
5. Engage employees
When considering new or upgraded technology for your business, never overlook the people who will be using that technology every day! Your employees are an excellent resource for informing you on the limitations of your current systems, and what functionality they wish they had to perform their jobs better.
6. Consider a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system
A CRM system will help to ensure you understand your customers better and capitalize on sales opportunities. It will also help you to remain organized by centralizing all your customers’ information, and taking it one step further, you will be able to give customers a far more personalized service and follow up properly with any prospects.
7. Keep on top of tech security
Your cyber security needs constant attention. Make sure you have a cyber security policy covering such areas as acceptable use, password guidelines, security practices and rules for downloading software. Putting a firewall in place is not a security plan. A security breach can wipe data or hold it hostage for a ransom, and no business, no matter how small, is safe without an active and evolving security plan.