4 Tips for New Small Business Owners who aren’t Tech Savvy
You have the business plan in place, financing is ready, and you found the perfect location. Now it’s time to buy the business equipment. These days much of that includes computers and peripherals like printers, routers, and tablets.
But there is a problem; with the number of choices on the market, you might not be sure what to get. How much of it do you need? Or if you even need it at all?
To put it bluntly, yes, you need technology to run your business efficiently and cost-effectively. Not having the right IT system can deprive your business of countless opportunities. Communication is now on VoIP; suppliers prefer automated orders, and customers want your services to be accessible from multiple channels. To shy away from technology is to retreat from progress.
You shouldn’t fear tech or mistrust it. It’s a tool that can make your business better. Here is how you can best approach tech:
Tech can seem scary from afar, but once you take a closer look, it’s fun and highly productive. It can make communication simple, instantaneous, and versatile. For example, VoIP (a technology that uses data to make voice calls) is cheaper than making analog calls. Furthermore, you can hold video calls with multiple colleagues or share files, and it’d still be less expensive than analog calls.
Business processes have also become more efficient and accurate thanks to software technology. For example, a comprehensive software solution can detect a rising trend in sales and automatically place an order with suppliers to ensure inventories don’t fall short. Data analysis is more accurate than ever with processes happening in real-time thanks to technology. Effective data analysis can help you identify bottlenecks, manage cost centers, and maximize revenue.
Educate and Train Your Team
Training your team on their day-to-day isn’t all you should do, they should get the proper training of any tech your business uses. After all, a tool is only as useful as its master.
Your employees need the training to utilize every technology in the business thoroughly. Training will not only give them the skills they can use, but it’ll also boost their confidence regarding technology use. Also, including security protocols in training is now a must, as humans are, more often than not, the weaker link in cybersecurity. The training must also be consistent and periodic; this allows the staff to refresh their knowledge and learn new skills as technology advances.
Prioritize Backing-Up Your Systems
You can lose valuable data if your system crashes, gets hacked, or experiences physical destruction. It is essential to back your system up. Losing data can be seriously disruptive to your operations and can affect your customers’ confidence in doing business with you. Additionally, regulations have made it an offense not to have sufficient security protocols that include back-ups of data.
A back-up method that your small business can use is a cloud storage service. Cloud services are available through third-party companies (like Microsoft, Google, Dropbox, etc.) They enable you to store your data on their secure and reliable systems. The options of schedules or real-time back-up, ensure that your data remains up-to-date and accessible at all times. Cloud services are versatile, affordable, and secure, meaning you can use them for more than backing up your data.
Be Proactive about Tech Support
You never know when you’ll need it, so it’s best to have a plan in place and know who you’ll turn to when needed. When starting, the IT responsibilities may need sharing among staff, but there must be a single decision-maker (usually the owner). Having one decision-maker will give your IT system direction and focus.
When the time arrives, every small business will have to consider hiring a dedicated staff member to provide full-time support. This will be the person the company will turn to for maintenance, installations, and repairs.
Even if you have tech-savvy staff, you still need professional tech support. Tech support provides experienced, well-equipped, and dedicated expertise to any issue that may arise. You can find local business computer services near you to assist you on an ongoing or as-needed basis. You can find more at this link.
You don’t have to know everything about IT, nobody does. You only need to understand how it works and how it can improve your business operations. IT is always advancing, so take an interest in the technology that’ll give your business the needed edge. A good source of technology trends that apply to your business would be trade or industry magazines, websites, and communities.