Running a successful business today is very different from how businesses were run in the past. The biggest difference is the importance of technology. If you want to achieve long-term entrepreneurial success, you will need to integrate technology throughout your company. Figuring out how to implement technology correctly, however, can be a challenge. With that in mind, below are a few tech tips that can help your small business.
One fact you should be aware of is that it isn’t only online retailers that need exposure on the internet to succeed. A whopping 88 percent of consumers research their purchases online. This also holds true for purchases made from small businesses with brick and mortar stores. If you want to attract customers, you need to come up near the top of relevant search results for your geographic area and product category. As such, focusing on search engine optimization strategies is paramount for creating healthy revenue streams.
These days, a company’s data helps build its strategic advantages.¬ Data regarding your customers, products, marketing, suppliers and more is very important in regards to planning for the future. Unfortunately, if you store this very important data on an in-house machine, it is at risk of being wiped from existence at any given time. Even a simple power surge originating from a lighting strike can permanently destroy the data stored on a computer. Since this data is extremely valuable, take the extra step of backing it up via a cloud service provider. Even if your own computers fail, your important data will still exist via that outside host and can be restored.
There are a multitude of different software applications you can take advantage of as a business owner. If part of your business is providing long-term service to different clients, something you should consider investing in is service contract software. For example, if you run an HVAC business, you may want to use this software to better manage long-term service contracts for clients’ heating, ventilation or cooling systems. Such software can keep track of when a service contract is coming up for renewal so you can remind your customers to renew their contracts. Doing this without the assistance of automated software would be much more difficult especially if you have a lot of clients.
As a small business owner, you only have so much money to spend on marketing. Using expensive advertising platforms like television and radio may be too expensive for you. Thankfully, marketing your company via the internet is far more cost effective. You can use services like Google AdSense that will only charge you when an internet user actually clicks on your ad. With traditional advertising strategies, you pay to run the ad whether consumers respond to it or not. Social media is also a powerful resource for marketing your business to large swaths of the public. Best of all, creating business accounts on services like Facebook or Twitter is absolutely free.
Automation is one of the ways businesses of any size can increase efficiency and slash costs. You can do the same by using software to automate different business processes. For one, accounting and bookkeeping are extremely time consuming. Unless you are an accountant, you may also make mistakes doing your own accounting. Instead, you can automate bookkeeping, drafting financial documents, making tax payments and more via software. Doing so can free up your time so you can focus more on serving customers.
In regards to technology and your small business, something you absolutely can’t ignore is cyber security. There are many digital threats lurking out there you have to fend off including hackers, cyber criminals, malware, viruses and more. If you don’t make the appropriate investment in cyber security, your business will certainly be targeted. You and your customers could have thousands upon thousands of dollars stolen from you. Your reputation could be destroyed, and your customers may sue you if they are harmed as result of the breach. Instead, make sure your network, data and hardware are properly safeguarded.
All businesses, whether large or small, must use technology to compete in the modern marketplace. Make sure you are using technology in a way that slashes costs, increases efficiency, improves performance and protects your bottom line. The list above is only a starting point.