Small business and technology – What are you missing out on?
Technology trends continue to shape how we run our small businesses, and keeping track of them could allow you to stay ahead of your competitors.
But why exactly is technology critical for your small business, and what are some of the essential technologies to consider leveraging in your operations?
The importance of technology in small and growing businesses
The right technology can empower your small business to do more, work smarter, and be more effective with what you have, whether it’s capital, labour hours, or other resources. Technology has the ability to drive higher efficiency, greater dynamism, and improved processes.
They allow you to become more agile and respond to changes faster, reduce manual errors, and achieve higher accuracy. More automated processes can mean you can direct valuable labour and skills elsewhere. Customer service platforms, for example, can let you automate customer interactions that don’t need a live agent.
Tech tools can enhance communication and collaboration inside (staff to staff) and outside your business (customers and suppliers). With tools like mobile devices, VoIP, and cloud platforms, your team can collaborate more quickly and effectively, across geographical distances if necessary.
While indiscriminately adopting cutting-edge technology won’t guarantee success, choosing the right tech tools could have a profound impact on everything from operations to product and service standards. The end results could be higher productivity, sales and revenue, and profit.
Essential small business technology
Technology can play a vital role in enabling your business to achieve its goals. So what are the essential technologies you should be thinking about for your small business?
1. Hosted PBX and VoIP
Traditional PBX systems are landlines or on-premise phone systems that don’t require an internet connection. On the other hand, a hosted PBX, PBAX, or VoIP system gives you the benefits of a traditional landline without the expensive initial outlay and monthly line rental costs. These systems can include the physical handsets associated with traditional phone systems, but they’re entirely hosted offsite, by your ISP or other provider, and delivered over your internet service.
A VoIP or hosted PBX system isn’t only cheaper; it gives you a virtual phone number you can take everywhere. Additionally, these types of systems give your business more flexibility so it is easier for you to add additional features and change plans. With features like voicemail, paging, and call queuing, a hosted PBX/PBAX solution can be a powerful communication tool for your small business.
2. Mobile broadband
Some small businesses have mobile team members who need internet that can go where they do.” or something like that. Don’t want to generalise too much when it comes to telework. Mobile broadband could offer a perfect solution to the need for responsive mobile staff members. So along with providing staff with the right mobile devices, your small business can offer your mobile personnel mobile broadband. With it, they can access your cloud-based platforms, customer data, and other resources wherever they are without worrying about going over their mobile phone data limit.
In addition, your mobile teams can easily update customers databases and communicate with in-office team members, suppliers, and customers. Avoiding the security risks associated with public networks with a private mobile broadband service is another benefit of having mobile broadband.
3. Cloud-based platforms
With businesses rapidly adopting the cloud, cloud-based IT today encompasses a huge range of platforms. Examples of cloud-based platforms include time-tracking and project-management tools, online invoicing and payments, and subscription-based bookkeeping and accounting software. You could subscribe to a cloud-based email marketing platform as well as cloud-based tools for collaboration like phone systems, teleconferencing systems, team-messaging software, and customer service applications. Desktop virtualisation for mobile teams could be another valuable type of cloud tool.
Customer-self-service systems, customer relationship management, and even file storage – removing the need to maintain servers – can be cloud based. The benefits include real-time updates, access, and collaboration without large outlays in purchasing platforms outright. Cloud-based systems may be more secure as well, as some systems also come with security features and provide regular backups so you don’t have to worry about them.
To take advantage of cloud-based platforms, you need an internet connection that can keep up with your business’ needs. Whether it’s the nbn™ or mobile broadband for employees on the move, a quality internet service is key to supporting your business.
4. Up-to-date security system
Data security continues to be a major priority for small businesses. As much as 61% of all cyberattacks could be happening to small businesses. To better protect your small business against the risks of data loss and compromise, secure your IT infrastructure with an up-to-date security system. This system should include a comprehensive backup and disaster recovery solution, along with preventative blocking and deterrence plans for enhanced security against attacks.
Technology can be a major driver of business success and growth in a number of areas from enhanced communications to more dynamic customer service. However, it should fit the requirements of your small business. By choosing the right technology tools, it may give your business the opportunity to develop in ways that may not have been possible before.
If you need to get your small business set up with nbn or mobile broadband, the team at Aussie Broadband have got you covered! Contact the team behind Australia’s 5th largest nbn™ provider now!