You’ve got a business to run, so inefficient or broken-down small business tech is the last thing you want to discover. It can slow operations and stop the team from reaching its goals.
Small business tech is one of the cogs that keep the wheel going, and it’s a crucial one. But because business owners face so many choices, finding the right software apps, devices, and services is challenging.
Optimizing the technologies a small business relies on is also no easy feat. It requires ongoing needs assessments and the ability to evaluate available options. Making improvements and adjustments also demands a proactive approach that identifies and prevents potential problems before they’re painfully obvious. Consider these four tips as you look to raise the bar for your company’s small business tech.
1. Choose the right Wi-Fi solution.
Wi-Fi is probably a key element of your business’s backbone. Without it, sales would take days or weeks to process, and old-fashioned paperwork might get in the way of progress.
However, owners often struggle to find Wi-Fi solutions that fit their small company’s needs. Consumer plans and devices are cost-effective but insufficient, while enterprise solutions often have too many bells and whistles.
Thankfully, founders and owners now have other options on the table. A small business Wi-Fi solution combines the enterprise features every company requires with consumer plans’ manageability. You get AI-backed network security, guest analytics, and adaptive signal coverage that responds to changing demand.
At the same time, you don’t have an internet connection which requires a Ph.D. in computer information systems. Think of small business tech Wi-Fi as just the right size for what you do. It’s a solution that goes beyond the basics, so you have the connectivity tools you need to produce and compete.
2. Invest in mobility.
Work doesn’t just happen in one place anymore. You may already complete reports and spreadsheets from home or on the road.
Some of your team members might follow suit, if not now, then later. Research predicts that mobile workers will make up 60% of the U.S. labor force by 2024. Those employees are going to need mobile tech to accommodate different work environments and conditions.
For small businesses, that means conventional desktops and bulky devices won’t cut it. You need smaller, portable gadgets teams can use for work anywhere. Replacing desktops with tablets or dual-purpose laptops can help accommodate remote and hybrid work schedules.
Dual-purpose laptops are also known as two-in-one devices that switch between tablet and laptop mode. Employees can use a dock station while in the office and have a lightweight, portable tablet when traveling to different sites.
Smartphones and phablets are other gadgets to consider investing in for a mobile workforce. Portable printing and VPN services will also help employees stay connected to company resources and remain productive on the go.
3. Use managed service providers.
Small businesses tend to struggle with amassing enough internal IT resources to keep technology in tip-top shape.
However, labor market research and surveys reveal attracting and retaining enough talent has become more challenging. While employers are adding jobs, 90% of small companies find it difficult to recruit enough employees. Some of these struggles happen because larger businesses can pay more and offer better benefits.
Yet, without enough people to manage and maintain your tech stack, it can become inefficient and out of date.
Small businesses might consider partnering with managed service providers to fill the gaps. A managed services provider oversees another company’s software apps, services, and devices. That vendor becomes a stand-in for an internal IT department or team.
With a managed services provider, smaller companies don’t have to wait months to backfill internal positions. Owners also don’t have to attempt to pick up the slack or overload employees who have some technical knowledge.
Depending on your business needs, you can scale vendor contracts and the scope of services. Plus, you won’t have to pay employee benefits and raise salaries for sufficient and qualified IT talent.
4. Make use of digital marketing tools.
Online promotion and a digital brand presence are critical parts of a modern business plan.
Digital marketing tools help businesses maintain websites, leverage social media platforms, and send targeted emails. Small companies may not need a bunch of software apps to get the job done. However, one or two solid online marketing and customer relationship management apps are a must.
Some customer relationship management platforms also double as website content builders and email applications. You can invest in one that helps keep your website up to date and promote your products and services.
Dynamic and interactive features, including custom online forms, also capture leads and drive sales. Built-in templates and interactive tutorials mean you don’t have to be a graphic designer to get professional results.
Digital marketing tools’ report sections extend a small business owner’s customer and visitor insights. You’ll know whether an online ad or post brings in enough traffic and if people are taking desired actions. Analyzing behaviors and responses to your online marketing efforts will help you get to know and segment your audience’s preferences.
Without digital marketing tools, many small companies experience obstacles to customer reach and brand presence.
Enhancing Small Business Technology
Nearly every business depends on technology to streamline operations and market products to customers. Because software and hardware options change so frequently, smaller companies can struggle to optimize tech-related resources.
Choosing a Wi-Fi solution that fits, investing in mobile, and using IT vendors and digital marketing tools can help. By implementing these tips, growing businesses will scale and leverage the benefits technology has to offer.