When it comes to technology, your small business can’t afford to lag behind. Unfortunately, it can feel as though the best digital age advancements are only within reach of those with a corporate-sized bank account. Fortunately, this is not the case, and there are many services that will boost your business without battering your budget. Keep reading for a few suggestions.
A cloud-based phone system is a service that provides everything from a toll-free telephone number and voicemail to a dial-by-name directory. It’s a total phone system without the equipment. The biggest benefit here is that you can take your phone with you anywhere you go — there is no waiting at your desk for important calls. Virtual systems are completely scalable and are more cost-effective and less time-intensive than traditional telephone systems.
If you are not familiar with technology, CSS stands for cascading style sheet. According to w3Schools, this is a versatile type of web development and allows you more control over your site. Consider hiring Upwork CSS developers, for example, to build and maintain your online presence, as well as change the typography, color, and layout of your site. Before pulling the trigger on a new developer, however, take the time to make sure they are creative and understand the fundamentals — processors, frameworks, graphic design, etc. You will also want to define the scope of the project. Freelance developers charge anywhere from $25 per hour to $100 per hour and up, but keep in mind that you usually get what you pay for.
Online Payment Processing
Much of today’s business takes place not in person but on the internet. For this reason, along with convenience and payment tracking, it makes sense to utilize an online payment processing service. A few examples are Square, PayPal, and Shopify.
Before the internet became readily available, workers within an organization would store separate copies of files on their individual workstations. This was more than a recipe for disaster — it was a series of fires that could never quite be put out. Cloud storage, on the other hand, allows for a more collaborative work environment, which is especially important when you have multiple people working off the same document or have a remote workforce. While there are plenty of free storage services online, those are best left for personal use. Your company’s sensitive information will be better protected by using the service like Mega, a New Zealand based cloud platform that tops out at $35 per month for 8 TB storage.
Back when dialup ruled the web, a firewall and spam filter might have been enough to keep your company’s networks safe and secure. However, as we collect more and more sensitive data, a new breed of cybercriminal has emerged. Most cybersecurity experts recommend layered defense for your IT security strategy. This might include managed detection and response, security patching, and multi-factor authentication.
Customer relationship management (CRM) tools are not as complicated as most people believe. At their core, they are a database of everyone you do business with, including employees, prospective customers, suppliers, and service vendors. It allows you to control your marketing and communications while keeping up with those who keep your business going.
There are some things you can skip for your business, but others, such as technology, are essential to your success. The above examples prove that you don’t have to be a multi-million-dollar corporation to enjoy the streamlined convenience of a tech upgrade. All you really need is a few strategically placed tools, such as layered security and a great web developer, to keep your business up to date with today’s digital demands.