The evolution of technology doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. More and more tech that once was relegated to larger enterprises is becoming readily available to small businesses of all shapes and sizes. Some of that tech may not be necessary for small businesses, but some of it can improve business operations so much — and save companies enough money in the process — that it can’t be ignored. If you’re a small business owner, here are some of the most critical tech options to consider for your company.
First of all, with more technology becoming available, it means that companies are at greater risk of falling victim to cybercrime, which can prove financially crippling to a small business. One of the most important things your company can do is invest in security software.
Some of the things to look for are:
- Antivirus software
- Anti-spyware software
- Data loss prevention
- Network security
- Email encryption
You can find much of the security tech you need — and a plethora of other important tech and electronic products — at various retailers. Also, you can save some serious dough by looking on their websites for daily deals and checking for coupons before you shop.
In addition to purchasing the right kinds of software, there are physical steps you can implement to protect your company from cybercrime, such as:
- Limiting employee access to certain information and resources
- Requiring employees to change all work-related passwords every three months
- Making backup copies of essential company data and information each week
- Developing a security policy and training employees to follow security practices
New and Improved Smartphone
Getting a new phone might not seem like a good money-saving option at first, but it can benefit your business and help you save money on resources and equipment in the long run. You’ll likely want to keep up with emails and video calls at times when you’re not at your desk, as well as utilize the apps that are necessary for your business. With the right smartphone, you’ll be able to stay on top of all your tasks on the go. When shopping for a phone, stick with necessities like reliability and an easy-to-navigate screen, and avoid the bells and whistles to save money. There are always a variety of current models available with different features at different price points, so do some comparison shopping before making a final decision.
These days, a lot of people work from home at least part of the time. In fact, companies can save on office space and other expenses by hiring remote workers. To make your operations efficient with remote workers, however, you need the right tools in place. Be sure to get all the video conferencing software and collaboration tools for your business to run effectively.
Customer Relationship Management Software
Another important tech option to implement as a business owner is customer relationship management (CRM) software. This includes applications that do anything from analyzing data to automating customer interactions to observing customer behavior and recommending certain products/services to them. CRM software can help your company build and manage customer relationships, thus ultimately improving sales.
Customers now expect a faster and more seamless checkout experience than ever before. Actually, many people will lose patience and decide to look elsewhere for an item if they have to stand in line for too long or fill out a lot of information before their purchase goes through. Investing in a quality point-of-sale (POS) system can help to simplify and speed up the checkout process for your customers. Additionally, a POS system can even make it easier for you to keep up with sales and manage inventory.
Along with getting a good POS system, make sure your customers don’t have to jump through a bunch of hoops when buying a product. Have you ever gone to buy something on a website only to be met with pages of questions and requirements before you can pay? It can be frustrating, and it defeats the purpose of shopping online. Don’t require users to create an account before purchasing something, and you’ll lower your shopping cart abandonment rates.
Having the right team to back your web presence can boost your business and prevent frustration down the line. Building a website yourself can be easy with the right tools and templates, but a stellar website is what’s going to drive traffic to your business. The best way to achieve this is by hiring outside freelancers who know how to do the job well. For example, HTML5 freelancers specialize in utilizing the latest HTML language to design your website and deliver content (including audio and video) on your website or mobile app. Hourly pay varies for HTML5 developers, but you’ll likely find a pay range of $20 to $125.
Not all the tech that’s out there can help your small business right now, but some of it is downright essential. So, do your research and consider investing in security software, telecommuting tools, CRM software, a POS system, and a new smartphone. These tech options will help your business move forward in a rapidly changing environment.
Photo Credit: Burst