There are numerous ways to improve your business. For instance, you can increase your marketing or create a new product. However, those take a significant bite out of your budget without the proper return on investment.
On the other hand, you can improve your business simply by updating your software. Recent surveys revealed less than half of the small businesses in the United States have updated their business software in the last two years. If you’re in the same boat, then you may have a disadvantage in successfully running your business.
Here are 5 more ways to improve your business by updating your software.
1. Enhance Security
Out of all the software updates you need to make, security is the most important. You can’t let this slide for the protection of your data and the personally identifiable information (PII) of your customers. Without these updates, cybercriminals can find holes in your system.
You have to update your security software in a couple of places. The main one is at the source of network activity, be it a firewall or router. This equipment has to have the latest policies installed. Furthermore, mechanisms need to be activated to update rules regularly.
The second place is individual workstations, laptops, and smart devices. Virus protection software is necessary to catch items that get through network protocols. This minimizes the risk of hackers taking control of one device and moving through others on the network.
2. Mobile Applications
You can also improve your business by adding or updating software related to a mobile application. This package is more important today due to the COVID pandemic of 2020. The consequences of that situation led to many businesses going online. Thus, the use of eCommerce platforms increased.
If you never had a mobile application, then you need to add one to your business portfolio. If you’ve had one before, then it’s time to revisit the app to see if it needs updates to the user interface or experience. Even the smallest tweaks increase its use.
Like your mobile app, you want to ensure your website is updated. A stagnant site with dated material minimizes use by new and existing customers. It should be as dynamic as possible.
Let’s say you rent out homes or apartments. Older landlord software might not have the capability to handle trouble tickets or take online rent payments. Without using software from companies like Prophub, you face potential customer issues and a reduction in income.
Thus, you want to clear out old promotions and news. Update blogs and images. Also, work with website developers to fine-tune the user interface and the speed data takes to compile and be reported.
4. Productivity Packages
With updates to customer-facing software underway, you need to start working on internal packages that maintain productivity. This includes software for customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP).
Both of these packages combine different aspects of your business into one workflow. CRM packages follow a client from the initial transaction until the sale is completed. ERP programs handle inventory from its initial storage to its release on the trucks, with the king of ERP solutions being NetSuite. With netsuite implementation complete, companies can manage key business processes with a single, fully integrated cloud-based system. Some of those processes include enterprise resource planning and financials, CRM, e-commerce, inventory, and more.
5. Operating System Updates
Though it feels like a waste of time, operating system (OS) updates are critically important to the improvement of your business. First, they provide new programming that helps speed up processing. As a result, you can work faster.
Second, like updates to the virus software, OS updates secure your system from cybercriminals. Even if you have the latest security software, holes in the OS allow hacks to take place. Updates quickly close them.
It’s true these updates reduce your productivity. However, you don’t have to do them at once. Schedule the most important ones first. This would be security and operating system updates.
Determine the one to activate first by the amount of time needed. If computer updates take a long time, do them during off-hours to ensure they aren’t interrupted. Next, update the virus software on each device.
Follow this up with upgrades to your networking platforms. Productivity and eCommerce platforms can be done throughout the day as long as their updates don’t disrupt customer interactions.