Technology has become a large part of our lives in the past decade or so. It’s become more advanced and user-friendly, while also transforming the way we shop and communicate. Whether you use a smartphone or tablet, it’s likely that you don’t leave home without it. So it’s hardly surprising that technology has become an essential part of the business world too. From promoting your product to contacting customers, technology can make the whole process easier. Plus it can help a business function at a more optimal level and allows it to reach larger markets. All of which increases it’s chances of success and growth. In this day and age, if you aren’t using technology of some kind within your business, you are setting it up to fail. So not matter what your small business provides, here are some vital pieces of tech hardware and software you need to have.
When you’re getting your small business off the ground, you’ll need to take advantage of every second you have. This is why a laptop is such a useful piece of technology for your company to have. They can give you the freedom to work wherever you please, for as long as you want. Be it at home, during a meeting or when you’re on holiday. While desktop computers are often favoured by businesses, they don’t provide the same freedom. Laptops provide the same operating systems and program but are more compact and portable.
There are many things to consider before you go out and buy a laptop for your business. You need to consider the operating system, battery life and performance. The wifi capability, dimensions and weight should also contribute towards your final decision. Visit a laptop retailer and talk to a salesperson about your requirements. They should then be able to give you a demonstration on a few suitable options. In addition to your laptop, it may also be wise to invest in an external hard drive. This can help you keep copies of important documents, should your laptop get stolen or break.
As most people own a smartphone, it’s likely that you already own this piece of tech. But using the same phone for your personal and professional life can get confusing. So you might want to consider buying an additional smartphone that you use solely for work purposes. Smartphones have improved the way we communicate by making it easier and more convenient. You can use your phone to send emails, talk on instant messenger or facetime people from all over the world. Making it ideal for business use. But communication is not the only benefit of having a smartphone within your business.
Business-related apps that you can download onto your phone allow you to control multiple areas from the palm of your hand. You can create invoices, book tables for meetings and find quicker travel routes. They also allow you to shop for office essentials and check your social media with ease. Any information you need can be accessed as long as you have a wifi connection. Shop around for suitable handsets and contracts to find the best one for your business.
To increase the chances of your business succeeding, you need to keep tabs on your business’s finances. This is why it’s vital for all small businesses to have accounting software. Accounting software allows you to track how much money is going in and out of your business on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. It can also help to simplify your account, making them easier to understand. The information that your accounting software provides can help you plan and prevent overspending. Not having this software could quickly result in you losing track of your expenditure and whether you are meeting your targets.
Accounting software can vary dramatically in price and quality. So it’s best to read reviews and shop around before deciding on which one to use. If you find that your business accounts are confusing, it might be advantageous to use software that also has support included. Also, make sure that you can access this software on your phone or laptop. That way you can check your financial records on the go.
Social media is another technology essential that all small businesses should be taking advantage of. Consumers have started to use social media for shopping and to find new brands and products. They also make a company feel more authentic and trustworthy. Social media has helped many small businesses to grow and reach customers on an international scale. So whether you’re hiring out your skills or selling clothing, getting on social media is extremely worthwhile. Another advantage is that many social media sites are free to use, which is ideal when you’re just starting out.
Sign your business up to the top social media sites including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Then create a social media plan that you can action each day. This might include sharing information on an upcoming sales event or promoting a new product. A regularly updated social media account will appeal to customers and encourage them to interact with your business. Remember to keep your post short, direct and relevant. Otherwise, your customers may lose interest. To maximise it’s efficiency you could also hire a social media management provider.
Like social media, not having a website could be a recipe for disaster for your small business. Customers will often want to look at a website before they decide to buy from a company. They might want to find out more about the ethos of your business or your trading days and hours. Or they might be interested in a product or service you provide and want to learn more. If they cannot find a website for your business on Yahoo or Google, it can create a negative impression. Not only does it imply that your business is not up to date with modern technology, but it can also make you seem ingenuine and untrustworthy. This can force them to shop with your competitors instead and therefore lose you valuable business. Which is naturally something you want to avoid at all costs. A website is an integral aspect of a business, especially now that more customers are choosing to shop online.
You can hire a web design company to help you create an attractive and user-friendly website that will appeal to your market. This should perfectly illustrate what your business is about. While also including interesting and relevant information that can be accessed quickly. There should also be a connection between your website and your social media platforms. Promote your website as often as you can to increase traffic or hire an SEO agency to help you. A beautiful website will bring your company up to date and make it feel more professional.
Starting your small business without some of these items could be a huge mistake. If you are concerned about how you are going to afford these items, you can just buy them in stages. Prioritise which hardware or software is most essential at this moment in time and invest in those to being with. Then as your business begins to develop, invest in the rest. You might also be able to apply for funding and grants that will help get your business off the ground. Your business will benefit greatly from having these items. But continue to look for other potential pieces of tech that could make your business even better.