While it might be your heart’s desire to buy all the latest hardware, software, and tech tools, small businesses can’t afford to do that.
If you are a small business owner, it’s important to invest only in technology that will make your business run more productively and efficiently and will save you money in the long-run.
Let’s take a look at some of the must-have business technology that could bring real benefit to your business.
For entrepreneurs and small business owners, your smartphone is one of your most important tools.
Though the latest phones don’t come cheap, they are a must for answering client calls promptly, checking email when you are on the go, collaborating with your team, and accessing millions of helpful business apps.
If you are in need of a smartphone upgrade, check out the different lines of new-model iPhones and Androids. These phones feature amazing camera systems, which allow you to capture vivid details in amazing product photos for your website and social media accounts.
The latest models also boast long battery life, fast charging, and powerful processors. Decide what bells and whistles you need and what will be more compatible with your operations, and ensure you have a state-of-the-art tool to keep things running smoothly.
Check with your wireless provider to see if they offer cash credits to your account when you trade in your older-model phone for a new one.
Accounting and inventory software
According to research presented by InsuranceQuotes, 82 per cent of failed small businesses experience cash flow problems.
Proper accounting practices can help you avoid that issue. Small businesses need to watch their pennies.
If you aren’t sure where to begin, you may need to hire a freelance accountant to sort things out. If things are simply in need of streamlining, you can ease your bookkeeping woes with some well-chosen apps.
For everything from invoicing to handling reimbursements, there are free and low-cost options to mesh with your needs.
If you’re in retail, including e-commerce, an inventory-tracking system is essential. The right inventory management system can keep track of and manage every product and order, and it can analyze your inventory data. This software will also keep your business more organized, and vendors will appreciate knowing more details about your ordering needs.
Cloud computing allows for easier collaboration and more flexibility for workers. Owners, employees, and freelancers can work on projects, share files and data, and be more productive, wherever they are located with the assistance of the cloud-based tools.
Additionally, embracing the cloud can allow small businesses to reduce installation, maintenance, upgrade, and support costs.
Weigh the benefits of using a cloud computing service, like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud. Most of these types of services offer a free trial period, and flexible pricing models depending on your needs.
Along those same lines, there are free and low-cost collaboration tools such as Skype, Dropbox, and Flock to improve your business efficiency and productivity.
Artificial intelligence-based tools can improve several aspects of your business. For example, AI-driven chatbots can handle sales and customer service responsibilities for companies that aren’t large enough to hire full-time representatives.
Chatbots can automate communications with customers, whether they are visiting your website for the first time or have questions about a product after business hours.
Incoming messages from potential customers are welcome, but not everything aimed at your business will be. All businesses, small and large, are at risk of cyberattacks. And while most large corporations can survive breaches, many small companies cannot. That’s why cybersecurity is essential for your small business.
Cybersecurity Ventures estimates that cybercrimes will cost $6 trillion annually by 2021. AI-driven cybersecurity tools can identify potential risks quickly and effectively. Symantec’s Target Attack Analytics tool and Sophos’ Intercept X software are just a couple of examples to consider. Think about your vulnerabilities, and add appropriate protection to minimize risks.
Small businesses need to watch their budgets carefully. However, sometimes it’s better to outlay money now for tools that can protect your business, or make it more productive and profitable in the long-term. By choosing technology carefully, you can put your business in a position to grow and thrive.