By: Gloria Martinez
For many businesses, investing in technology is an overwhelming process that seems out of reach. Small business owners may think that brand-new tech is out of their reach financially, while others aren’t up to speed on the latest trends and worry about spending money on something that could easily become outdated in less than a year.
There are so many additions to technology coming out every day that it can be hard to keep up. However, the bottom line is that there are things your company really can’t live without. Security features and a streamlined website and app, for example, are a few of the things that could boost your business and keep your customers coming back for more, so it’s important to make sure those are updated and easy to navigate.
Investing in tech doesn’t have to be complicated or tricky. Think about the things that would make your business run more smoothly, then create a plan for getting your employees on board and trained to use them. The easier it is for your team to familiarize themselves with any new features, the faster your customers can take advantage of them. A smooth transition period is sometimes necessary to ensure that everyone can learn the ins and outs of a new feature without stress, so make sure you’re available to answer any questions your team members may have.
Read on for a brief guide on how to invest in tech for your small business and make it a success.
Hire a Web Developer
A web developer can help you take your company’s website to the next level by providing engaging but easy-to-use content and features. Customers don’t want to spend too much time looking for what they want; if it’s not easily accessible on the first page, many of them will move on to a different site. That’s where a developer comes in. They can ensure that your customers will have a smooth, quick experience without losing the benefits. A job board can help you find the right candidate. According to Upwork, a WordPress developer should have experience with the WordPress ecosystem, back-end systems like PHP, and website maintenance, to name a few.
Investing in security is a must these days for businesses of any size, and small businesses are perhaps even more at risk for data breaches than large companies simply because they often don’t have the necessary resources to protect their customers’ sensitive information. So, it’s important to look for security tech that is built into the hardware of your processing system, something many companies are doing out of necessity. If a hacker gets access to your customers’ private data, it could wreak havoc for both of you.
It’s also important to think about physical security if you have a brick-and-mortar storefront or office. There are many types of affordable alarm systems on the market these days, but you can also think about motion-sensor lighting, keeping the landscaping neat and short, and other home-security DIY tools that you can utilize for business. Not only will this help your customers feel safe, but it will also allow your employees to feel comfortable as well.
Just about everyone has a smartphone these days, and for the most part, we’re using those devices for all kinds of activities: shopping, reading, learning, listening to music, and watching movies, just to name a few. That’s why it’s important to make your business mobile-friendly. In this day and age, any business that doesn’t either have a mobile app or a mobile-friendly website is likely missing out on quite a few customers. Do some research to find out how to create an app that will make your customers’ experience even better, as well as how to integrate a mobile payment system that works on all levels. You want to keep things secure while making sure your customer has an easy experience, as well as keeping transaction fees down.
Create an Email Management System
These days, most businesses rely on email to stay in touch with their customers and to keep communication open with employees. As such, it’s essential to make sure you have a good email management system. Using the Google Suite can help immensely since you’ll have plenty of storage space as well as simple functionality, but you can also create lists of customers and keep those separate from junk mail or spam, automate messages. You can also create email marketing plans that allow you to keep your clients in the loop when it comes to your products or services.
Familiarize Yourself with SEO Practice
Search engine optimization can help a business of any size find customers and market directly to them. It’s a way to integrate your company’s services with search engine data and analytics so customers will be able to see your website or blog posts first when they look up a certain keyword or phrase. Familiarizing yourself with these practices can help you find new customers as well as keep your current ones, so read up as much as possible and consider starting a blog if you haven’t already.
This is a great way to get your company’s name out there, but the writing needs to be punchy and concise, and you’ll want to integrate videos and images as well for the most impact. Consider hiring someone to tackle the job so you’ll have a dedicated blogger.
Investing in tech for your small business may seem a little overwhelming at first, but it’s only as complicated as you make it. Do some research on the areas you’re interested in before making a decision, and think about your budget. How can you integrate the right technologies while still making sure your customers are well taken care of?
By considering the pros and cons carefully, you can ensure that your small business is up to date where tech is concerned without spending a ton of money or adding stress to your already full schedule.
Gloria Martinez enjoys sharing her business expertise and hopes to inspire other women to start their own businesses and seek promotions in the workplace. She created Women Led to make an avenue for her vision to help women advance in the workplace and spotlight achievements.