There’s no getting around the fact that you can’t run a successful business without investing in tech. Even the smallest of small businesses will fail to thrive if they refuse to utilize various tech innovations. The conundrum for the cautious business owner is: How much should I spend when it comes to tech? Where can I economize? Do I need to buy the latest programs and devices?
To help answer these questions, Skilllx offers some of the tech areas where small business owners really shouldn’t cut corners, especially if they’re trying to save their business.
Have a professional website
Your website is the digital face you show the world—and this is often the only face you show the world. A website that is poorly designed, outmoded, in bad taste, or difficult to navigate sends a negative message to potential clients or partners. WishDesk suggests it’s worth your while to hire a professional to design your website for you and work with you to make sure it reflects your brand and identity.
Keep your devices updated
Older devices that operate more slowly reduce productivity and waste time. And anyone who has ever tried to use a device that loads slowly or freezes frequently knows how frustrating this can be. So a workplace full of sluggish, poorly-functioning devices will also be full of unproductive and unhappy employees. This will quickly translate into dissatisfied customers, too. So, invest in computers and other devices that are in good working order. And Norton advises not neglecting to install software updates when recommended—this will get rid of annoying bugs and increase security.
Focus on cyber security
This is one area where you really can’t risk mistakes since a cybersecurity attack could wreak havoc on every aspect of your business. Some measures you can take to ensure cybersecurity include using strong passwords, avoiding open networks, and always remembering to log out. You might want to consider installing a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, as an added defense of your site. And think about investing in BDS (Breach Detection System) for increased cyber safety. And anti-malware can supplement your devices’ security systems.
Utilize cloud storage
One great way to protect your data is to back it all up on the cloud. Cloud storage means your information is saved not just on a single device or drive, but on the servers owned and operated by major companies. Some cloud storage options include pCloud, Dropbox, and Google Drive. Be aware of any sharing settings on the cloud service provider you choose, so you know your information can’t be accessed without permission. Unfortunately, ransomware hackers do target cloud storage, but it’s still a great way to keep your data safe in case of device issues.
Use financial reporting software
Managing business finances can be confusing and time-consuming. This is also an area in which it is easy to make a mistake, and in which mistakes can be detrimental to your company. Failing to accurately forecast sales and cash flow trends can keep you in the red for months if not years. It’s more than worth your while to spend money on financial reporting software that can give you real-time insights into your operation. The results go directly to your bottom line, as you’re better able to meet your profitability goals.
Use social media marketing
Entrepreneurs who resist using social media do themselves a major disservice. Without social media use, many prospective customers may never realize you even exist. While social media use is free in itself, it pays to invest in social media marketing campaigns and strategies that will increase your reach and get your information to the desired demographic. When it comes to social media marketing, the bulk of the cost often involves paying for written content, and for social media management.
While some of the tech listed above is not expensive, costs do add up, so don’t forget to budget for tech, when assessing the capital needed for your business. And remember that when it comes to certain expenses, the payoff in profit, time management, and increased security is entirely worth the cost.