Technology impacts the business landscape more than it ever has, and its impact shows no sign of slowing. This is especially the case for the small business, which now has a much larger pool of competitors to deal with. As a result, it is more crucial than ever that small businesses take advantage of technology to assist them. Let’s go over a few tips that every small business should act upon.
Regardless of your industry, who your business serves, or even where you operate, there are some universal changes that technology has brought to how the average small-to-medium-sized business functions. Methods of collaboration have shifted to digital formats, “coming to work” is no longer a prerequisite to working, and the filing cabinet has been rendered woefully obsolete by other, better options. Cloud solutions are a major contributor to this. I want you to take a moment and consider something: why were any of these changes made in the first place?
It is for the same reason that the assembly line process was adopted, or why we cook our food before eating it: it provides greater benefits than the old way. It is the same with business technology, and you will see this as a common theme throughout these tips. Don’t disqualify yourself from competing by removing your ability to do so.
Email is now the gold standard for business communications, for numerous reasons. While a small business might find it redundant to email an announcement, doing so can prove useful to their operations. For instance, let’s say Mary manages a small office with four or five employees. She could easily just announce an important message to the room, but what if James was at the dentist that day, or Rob had excused himself to the bathroom just before? What if Ellen had just connected for an important phone call?
Email provides an easy way for you to communicate with others in your workplace that ensures everyone gets the message, without disrupting operations too much.
While we’re on the subject, let’s consider Ellen for a moment. In the past, making a phone call would tie her to her desk, so any distractions in the office would be an unavoidable issue. Nowadays, there are many ways that Ellen could hypothetically remove herself from the situation while still fulfilling her responsibilities. For instance, a Voice over Internet Protocol solution could allow her to make and take calls from anywhere she could establish a connection, so she could presumably find a quieter area to work without sacrificing her ability to do so.
Other solutions also offer some form of mobility, assuming they are backed up with enough security. For instance, if James was unable to get to the office after his dental appointment, he could still work on his assigned tasks from home with the right cloud-based solutions. Again, this helps eliminate his reliance upon getting to the office in order to produce.
We’ve already touched upon how the cloud has shifted businesses, primarily focusing on how useful it is for hosting and storing data. However, this isn’t the only thing the cloud can do. Cloud technology enables today’s businesses to make use of tools that would ordinarily be out of reach. Yes, its storage capabilities can help make data more accessible to team members who need it, but it can also assist you in preserving your data in case of some disaster, give you access to computing resources that you couldn’t procure yourself, and provide you flexible access to your business applications.
A small business’ size once protected it from cybercrime, but nowadays, all businesses are fair game. In order to remain secure against these attacks, the right defenses need to be put in place. Things like firewalls, spam blockers, antivirus, and assorted other solutions help to reduce these risks. Additionally, any employee could potentially let in a significant threat, so all need to be educated on how to spot them, and the proper procedures to dealing with them.
XFER is here to assist you in implementing these modern IT essentials, as well as maintaining them for you through our remote monitoring and access capabilities. To learn more about how else we can help your growing business, give us a call at 734-927-6666 / 800-438-9337.