If you are a small business, you have to embrace technology to survive. Technology is the great equalizer that allows you to compete with businesses twice your size and globally. With the right tech, you can run a smooth business, market to millions of people, and make money on a daily basis. The problem is that not all the technology out there is right for your company, and some tech is better than others. As you cannot afford to make a poor decision, you need to choose wisely. Replacing tech that has already been implemented in a company can be costly. Here are 4 vital pieces of tech that every small business should consider. Start with the basics and build from there.
Laptop Computer, Tablet or Desktop PC?
The days of being stuck at a desk with a desk top computer are pretty much gone. A lot of small businesses and even large companies are opting for laptops and tablets for their staff because of their mobility. Here are some of the features of each to help you decide which is the best solution for you and your business.
Desktop PCs – While they are not as popular as they once were they are still around. If you do not need to take along a computer with you then this may be the right option for you. Desktop computers are less prone to being damaged and the risk of dropping them or banging them around while travelling is eliminated. You can also purchase larger screens for desktops, which is usually better if you also use it for entertainment purposes. You can even have multiple screens set up which is great if you like working with multiple tabs, and need to jump back and forth between them or various software programs. I know a lot of programmers and network administrators that like to work with multiple screens. With desktops it is also easier to upgrade various components rather than buy a whole new one (compared to laptops and tablets).
Laptops – Aside from the obvious – mobility – laptops have other features that make them an attractive choice. Laptops use less energy than desktop computers so they are more friendly on your overall energy bills and consumption. Laptops are also a better option if you have limited office / desk space. Laptops offer the same computing capabilities as desktop computers but have the advantage of being able to access wireless networks to be able work in various locations. Laptops are a better option if you are a remote worker and only need to be in the office or attend meetings a few times a week. Laptops generally have a higher resale value over desktop computers as well.
Tablets – They are even more portable than laptops and their battery life is usually twice as long as a laptop (when it is not plugged in). Some tablets offer cellular connectivity along with Wi-Fi which can be beneficial if you travel or work in areas where Wi-Fi is not readily available. Tablets are also ideal for navigation and location based services as they have built in GPS. If you have to type a lot then a tablet is probably not the best choice out of the three.
Application Monitoring Tools
Information technology is probably the single most important part of your business. As a modern business, you probably rely on your IT infrastructure more than anything else. So if your IT fails, then you can end up losing hours of productivity. As a result, it is important that you monitor all of your IT applications and needs to make sure they are functioning accordingly. There are different options available to do this. Some outsource this completely while others prefer a more hands on approach to managing their IT operations. If you are tech savvy and like to handle all of the IT management yourself, and are looking for a solution, I suggest that you visit http://www.rightitnow.com/. At Right It Now, you will find all the top of the line tools that you can use to manage all of your software and various applications.
Most firms and businesses will tend to hire an accountant because they prefer the safety of dealing with a person when it comes to their financials. As a small business owner, or even as a consultant, you may not have the luxury to be able to hire an accountant at the moment. If that is the case, you need good accounting software to keep track of all you finances for tax purposes. If you are not sure which software is right for you visit http://www.businessnewsdaily.com. They offer a comparison chart, recommendations and reviews of various accounting software applications, based on the size of your business and whether you need to access it on a mobile device or not. The right software will keep your business finances organized and will make tax time a lot easier. As well, good accounting software will also effectively manage everything from your billing to your payroll needs.
On-site memory storage is good, but off-site memory storage is better. As everything on a main server is connected, one failure could result in massive losses. If your data is offline and in a secure location, you can easily perform a factory reset, recover information and start over again.
Some businesses use both. They store data on-site but also keep a back up in the cloud or use a remote storage solution. It provides an added benefit that if a disaster strikes it will not have as big of an impact on the business and may only result in a few hours interruption rather than days or weeks. I love using the cloud as I can access all of my documents and any other information that I need anywhere and from any device.
These are just four examples of vital tech for small businesses, but there is much more available. The key is to invest in tech that will make a difference and help to streamline your daily business needs. It does not always have to be the most complicated solution or the mostly costly solution available. As long as it serves your needs and helps – not hinders – your business.
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