Don't fear technologyPerhaps you’re sticking to your old Nokia phone because you think you don’t have a need for smartphones. Maybe you’re still using paper records and sending snail mail letters instead of emails because it’s more proper. These are just a few of the things that a technophobic business do. They haven’t moved with the times and they haven’t upgraded their systems to support an ever-changing business landscape. Nowadays, most people prefer to be contacted via email due to the faster response times. In fact, many people are even moving away from email and preferring instant-response services like live web chats or social media.
We live in such a big and beautiful world, but messages to people on the other side of the world can be relayed in a few milliseconds thanks to the internet. We’re no longer living in a slow-paced and fragmented world, we’re living in the future where everything is on-demand and we’re closer to our neighbours than ever before. If you don’t keep up and learn about all the latest technology and how it can be applied to your life, then you’re missing out on a lot of efficiency, productivity and time-saving tricks.
So from social media to office servers, we’ve compiled a huge list of technology that will help you grow your business and how you can start learning to use it in a practical way. Most of these items will cost money, but you have to invest in your business if you want to scale it up.
SmartphonesSmartphones have been the driving force behind services such as social media. Previously, we had to stay at our computers or use laptop devices in order to access the internet in a meaningful way. Old phones had WAP services, but it paled in comparison to the nature of modern internet. Since social media is all about interacting with others, sharing videos and images, and commenting on other people’s media, it makes the smartphone an essential piece of equipment for anyone with a grasp of the internet.
In a business application, this means that you have a handheld device that is capable of running an entire business. You’ll have to setup your business to use cloud services and other similar products that enable you to remotely control a business, but it’s entirely possible given recent advances in technology. Some examples include Slack, a program that allows you to chat and collaborate with individuals in your office no matter where you are. There’s also Google Docs, an office staple that is included with most smartphones. This allows you to edit, create and comment on documents that are shared in the cloud. This means you could work from home and send documents to people in your office without ever needing to leave your bed.
Smartphones are a great tool to have as the boss, but it’s also a great tool to give to your employees. Many companies around the world supply their workers with a host of different technology, and smartphones are usually one of the first tools given to new employees. This allows them to stay connected to the office, it gives them a dedicated phone to use for business purposes, and it gives them no excuse not to stay connected.
Cloud ServicesAs briefly mentioned under smartphones, cloud technology is a fantastic way to operate a business remotely. It’s also one of the fastest and cheapest ways to improve your existing business workflow and due to the portability and ease of access that is offered by cloud software, it’s an indispensable tool that will help you scale your business and grow it with ease.
As you get used to using software and computer technology, you’ll find that one of the most annoying limitations you might have with computer-based software is that you need to actually be on the computer. For example, if you’re editing a document on Office 365, then you can only access and edit the file if you’re on a computer or a laptop. You could try and transfer it using a USB thumb drive or a network cable, but it’s a lot of work for such a simple task. You’ll be kicking yourself trying to find an easy and seamless way to share those files.
Thanks to cloud services like Dropbox, you no longer have to think too hard about a solution. Cloud storage like Dropbox allows you to set up a virtual folder on the internet that can be synced to your computer. Sync essentially means that anything you put in this folder will automatically be uploaded to your cloud storage server so that if your computer is ever damaged or lost, you can still retrieve those files that you have synced. This also means you can access those same files on virtually any computer or mobile device.
Not only is this a great way to continue being productive no matter where you are, it’s also essential for businesses that have sensitive data they can’t risk losing. A great example of this is customer information which is stored in a database or spreadsheet. If these files are lost due to a hardware failure or a security breach, then it could spell disaster for your business and you’ll have an incredibly difficult time trying to recover your losses. To prevent this, companies use cloud software to automatically create backups of their business-critical files, rendering them completely immune to the most troublesome consequence of hardware failure; data loss.
As your business grows, you’re going to have more and more employees working for you and the chance of a catastrophic data failure will steadily increase. Not only does the risk increase, but so do the consequences. With cloud services, there’s no need to worry about stunting your growth because cloud technology can be scaled almost infinitely—assuming you have the money for it.
Specialised SoftwareIf you’ve not been in business for long or if you occasionally use technology for home purposes, then there’s a whole host of business software that you’ve probably never heard of. For instance, there are online financial services that enable you to manage your books and other financial details from the comfort of an internet browser, be it on your phone, tablet or computer. These specialised types of software aren’t advertised to home users because they simply aren’t required by regular users. You might even notice that some software developers, such as Microsoft, actually offer different versions of their software targeted at different audiences.
A great example of this is the Windows operating system. Most people use Windows 10 Home Edition but some people prefer to use Windows 10 Professional Edition because it offers them more security and an increased amount of RAM support. Although there are significant differences between both editions, most of those differences aren’t common knowledge for typical users, hence the lower price tag and different label. To take it a step further, there are even server editions of Windows that cost several thousand dollars and are designed to be used in datacenters and other highly specific scenarios.
With so much software available, it can sometimes be difficult trying to discern which would be the most useful for your business. To help combat this, you can always do Google searches on recommended business software, but it’s always better to try out each piece of software to get a good idea of what they offer and how the features mesh together. In some cases, you could try and ask a tech support service or your tech department for recommendations.
Scaling your business depends a lot on the software you use, especially if you aren’t very tech-savvy. But in general, most software you use will be able to handle your current workload and future ones. Software is designed to make monotonous tasks easier. Things such as recording customer information and then searching for specific records is much easier with a computer than looking through hundreds or even thousands of paper documents. You might be fine sorting through a dozen or so folders to find relevant information, but as you grow your business, so will the information you have stored.
In short, if you want to remain competitive as a business and if you want to grow your company, you have to use software. Much like in the past where we hired an employee each time the workload got tougher, you need to enlist the use of software, hardware and other services in order to sustain healthy growth of your business. Without using technology, you’re doomed to fail and be swamped under high maintenance costs due to employees and you’ll be a slow and inefficient business. re interest to improve conversion rates, what will?