If you don’t understand the importance of information technology for your startup right away, you soon will. Technology drives the way companies do business these days, so having a solid strategy for several key components of your business will allow you to build a successful business from the roots up. Even if you have a simple business budget, and a clearly defined business plan, without the proper technology to take care of your customers and clients, you may be in real trouble.
Here are some areas to consider early on to help ease your small business technology burden:
When selecting an internet provider, be sure to do more than just a cost comparison. Keep in mind that speed of the connection is going to be a huge factor in productivity, especially depending on the type of work that your company is doing. It is all about finding a good balance of speed and your actual needs, because you definitely don’t want to be paying more for a higher speed you don’t need or use.
Also, keep in mind that there is risk when it comes to using the internet, and make a point to ask about any security features the internet service provider may offer. This includes things like anti-spam, antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-malware, and even backup service protection in case of a service crash.
Bonus Tip: Some office space offers internet or technology plans. Keep this in mind when shopping for office space, and ask about what options you might have before moving in.
2. Use a Server
There comes a point where your small business is going to need a server, but it can be overwhelming to decide which one is the best kind. Before getting too deep into it, understand that a server is different from a desktop computer. A server is meant to support multiple users, and is engineered to run multi-user applications such as email, messaging, and print servers. This provides you with centralized storage that will be essential to keeping your business organized.
And while you have the option to choose from several physical server options, another alternative is to use the Cloud. This refers to storage options like Google Drive or Microsoft SkyDrive, to name a few. The Cloud option has gained popularity over the past few years, and is a great option for flexibility. But do your research, and choose the right option for your company.
Voice over Internet Protocol phones is a common term for phone service over the internet. This is a small business owner’s best friend when it comes to flexible working, as it is usually portable and gives you the ability to receive work calls at home or almost any location, without the need to use a different number.
Having a reliable phone number, that client’s know they can always reach you at, is key to quality customer service and company credibility.
4. Accounting Software
Typically not a favorite, accounting software is central to having an organized and functional business. There are now many options for small businesses, and it all depends on what matters most to your company. Things like mobile capabilities, cloud storage, and super simplistic layout may be key factors in your decision. Take the time to shop around and find the best accounting software for your unique business situation.
5. Bsiness Website
Unsurprisingly, having a quality website online is key to building a successful business presence. But there are a lot of factors that go into building a business website. The best option for most small businesses is to purchase web hosting services from a reliable host, that offer website builder tools and templates.
The web is a great place to start when it comes to marketing, especially for local business. But without a good website this can be difficult. Be willing to invest in a quality website in order to attract the right customers to help your business grow.
Just like with every other component of your business, do your research and find out what unique technology needs your company has. Technology does not have to be complicated, so keep it simple and user friendly. And remember that technology is always changing, so have a plan in place for implementing new technology when the time comes.