Tag: security

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Must-Have Tech that Can Save Your Small Business Money

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.

Security Software

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:

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.

Telecommuting Tools

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.

Point-of-Sale System

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.

Web Developers

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

Image of Tony Zeoli presenting Zen of WordPress SEO at WCU Biltmore Park

WordPress for Small Business Workshop: Roadmap for Success!

Register today and get the EARLY BIRD rate of just $19 for this workshop. There are just 15 seats at $19. The price goes up next week, so reserve your seat now!

This 2.5-hour workshop held at WCU Biltmore Park (South Asheville)  is specifically designed for small business owners who already have a functioning WordPress website, but need to better understand how to build or improve on their site. Or, you’re a small business owner seeking to better understand WordPress and how to launch a WordPress site for marketing products, services, or for Ecommerce.

We’ll focus on the following topics:

WordPress
Many people hear the term WordPress, but don’t really understand what WordPress is or does. We’ll go over key concepts of why you should choose WordPress for your website and how to get started on WordPress.

Domain Names
Your domain name is important. It’s your address on the web. We’ll cover the value of a domain name and how to pick one and protect it.

Branding
Before you start building your website, you need to have your brand guidelines, like logo, colors, font styles, and images. We’ll cover the basics of generating your brands marketing assets, who designs or provides them, and how they are applied to your website.

WordPress Hosting
You’ll need a solid hosting plan and provider to park your WordPress website and point your domain to it. We’ll discuss levels of hosting, costs, what hosting plan or provider you should pick for your small business website, and how WordPress sites migrate between hosts.

Security
WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world powering over 33% of all websites. When something is as popular, those with nefarious intent want to exploit back doors to do bad things. We’ll cover the basics of WordPress security to protect your small business, your data, and how you can control access for your employees.

GDPR
Even if your business and website are located in the United States, somewhere you are serving an European Union resident. Whether they live abroad or live in the U.S., the European Union requires all website operators serving E.U. citizens anywhere to be compliant with their privacy policies. We’ll go over simple ways to make sure compliance with the GDPR regulations.

Content (Text, Audio, Video, Photos), SEO, and Social Media)
No website is complete without the content that drives interest to action. Google also needs great content to crawl and return in search results. We’ll go over content ideas, including how you can use text, audio (podcasts), and video to drive traffic, increase engagement, and sell your products or services. And, we’ll talk about basic core concepts of SEO and how they are easily applied in WordPress on your site and off your site. We’ll also go over connecting your WordPress to social media to make it easy to cross-post and/or share your content in social networks.

Designers & Developers
Whether hiring locally or finding designers and developers on Fivrr, Upwork, Bark, or other online service provider aggregators, it’s important to understand how to identify and work with freelancers who are experienced and have a body of work to show for it. We’ll talk about how to identify and hire WordPress freelancers who get the job done. And, we’ll cover the process of development from end to end, so you can better understand what these people are doing to get your website designed and launched.

Project Management Basics
In the course of developing any product, we need to put some basic tracking systems in place to manage our projects and resources. We’ll look at three common systems for project management and time tracking that will help you keep a handle on your WordPress design and development project.

Themes, Plugins, Blocks, and Page Builders
A WordPress designer or developer may pick a “theme” and “plugins” to install for your WordPress website, and that might require you to pay for licenses for those add-ons for WordPress. We’ll cover what themes and plugins do and why you need them. And, we’ll go over Page Builders and Blocks, a new method of building your websites page layouts that don’t require a developer to do, which helps lower the cost of development.

Ecommerce
There are many options for Ecommerce using freely available plugins that extend your WordPress site from a website or blog into a website with products and a shopping cart. We’ll go over the popular WooCommerce shopping system through which you can sell products on your website and the Easy Digital Downloads system, which is a downloads Ecommerce system for digital products.

Costs
There are a myriad of costs associated with domains, hosting, design, development, and everything else that goes into building a great WordPress website. We’ll look at a simple spreadsheet of what it might cost you to hire someone to build and keep up your WordPress website.

Maintenance
In the world of software development there are always updates and new features added to WordPress itself and its associated themes, plugins, blocks, and other related system. We’ll talk about maintenance plans and why they are important for the long term health of your WordPress installation.

Discounts and Offers
All attendees receive discounts on WordPress themes, plugins, and GSuite for Work valued at over $500 in cost savings!

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