By Lina Martinez
When you run a small business, it can be very challenging to know exactly where you should be channelling your funds. After all, you want to invest in the best possible areas to help increase your chances of running a successful enterprise. However, technology is always going to be an area in which it is worth investing, no matter what kind of business you are running. Here are just a few of the most common tech-related areas that small companies choose to invest in.
A Great Website
In the modern age, every business needs a great website. As well as servicing your existing clients, this also sells your services to prospective customers. And if this is the first impression that people are getting of your company, it needs to be a strong one. A strong website is also the foundation of a high search engine ranking, which is what customers are increasingly using to find their goods and services.
The great thing about social media is that it is a promotional tool which you don’t have to channel a huge amount of money towards. However, you do need to dedicate time so that you are getting the most out of your accounts. So, if you are running the accounts yourself, you can’t just sporadically post things in the hope that you will naturally acquire more followers. Instead, you need to have a very clear strategy that you are following to achieve success.
A Smartphone or Tablet
Though you are already likely to have a smartphone and tablet, it may be worth investing in a separate one dedicated to your business. This way, you can very clearly differentiate between your personal and business lives. Carry it with you at all times and you can always be ready to deal with any issues that happen while you are out and about.
If you run a business which requires you to provide invoices to your clients or track your expenses, an effective system is essential. And there are many different options out there these days which you can make the most of. Many of these systems are easy enough to learn, and they are also accessible from a range of computers or mobile devices.
Specialised Technology and Apps
Depending on the type of business that you run, there will be a host of specialised technologies and apps which will help you out. So, if you are managing a hedge fund, you could look into trading software for quantitative trading. Perhaps you are running a logistics business and an online scheduling app would come in handy. As advances in technology are being made all the time, it is always worth looking into anything which could benefit your business.
Many companies are now investing in cloud-based storage systems to ensure that all their important records or files are securely backed-up. As well as giving you peace of mind, they also allow you to access your files whenever you are and mean that you have less need of physical storage space.
Project Management/Calendar System
When your small business starts to take off, you are likely to find that your time is very stretched indeed. So, keeping everything organised is an essential part of your company. A calendar system such as the one provided by Outlook or a project system like BaseCamp can be enormously beneficial. This way, you and everyone else in your team can access your schedules and documents, as well as being able to share updates as and when you need to.
As real-life crime rates decrease, criminals are increasingly operating in the virtual world. Therefore, it is always going to be worth investing in technology that protects your company from attacks. First of all, your wireless networks need to be protected with a secure password. You should also have the latest anti-virus and malware programs installed and updated. And you also need to ensure that you have a company-wide policy of changing your passwords on a regular basis.
Managing your cash flow is one of the most crucial aspects of running a small business. After all, you won’t get very far without money coming in. Digitising your payment systems makes it easier for clients, and also helps you to keep track of your finances much more efficiently.
Keeping your business up to date with technology is essential, and these nine areas apply to most small businesses.