Leveraging technology to increase profits is a key skill for modern business success. Small business owners now have access to a wide range of technological solutions that increase profit and lower risk.
In this article, we go over some of the most common and universally applicable tech solutions for small businesses. These solutions:
- Improve branding and marketing
- Provide actionable insights
- Reduce waste
- Enhance security
- Automate processes as much as possible
To start, let’s cover security. This is the true must-have component for small businesses.
While it may sound counterintuitive, small businesses are more likely to be targeted by cybercriminals than big businesses. Big businesses, of course, have more money and assets worth stealing. But they also have much larger (and normally permanent) security staff and infrastructure. Criminals know that a small business is unlikely to have a dedicated security staff that’s able to keep up to date with the latest developments, namely malware attacks and phishing scams.
The upfront cost of cybersecurity can be steep. But it’s preferable to the financial and reputational cost of being the victim of a significant cybercrime.
Cybersecurity technology solutions include a range of products, as well as services like cybersecurity training. The latter should not be ignored; the most common cybercrime is phishing, for which your best line of defense is a watchful staff member.
Effective cybersecurity solutions secure your:
- Internal servers
- Online passwords
Cybersecurity companies can offer all-in-one solutions that cover all of the above. You can expect a high startup cost during the setup phase. But this cost will always be preferable to the common attacks that ruin a shocking number of small businesses.
Remote working cybersecurity
The most up-to-date cybersecurity providers account for the new, unique needs of a partially or fully remote workforce. Training will also include factors such as safe wi-fi use, device security, and other countermeasures to threats that may arise while working on networks outside the home and outside the office.
Content management systems
A content management system (CMS) is a software application for content. These systems enable businesses to create content in a collaborative interface and to edit, publish, and monitor its results.
A CMS is a necessary solution for many small businesses, especially those that operate entirely online. They are relatively inexpensive to start using and offer many benefits in terms of marketing and branding.
The main benefit of a CMS is a clean, dedicated space where you can manage all your online content. But the CMS also comes with built-in analytics features that are invaluable to businesses. These analytics include:
- How are users interacting with your site?
- Do users click through to other web pages or do they just leave after landing (bounce rate)?
- How does each individual page perform?
- What do users read and interact with on your site?
The above can be used both to tweak your SEO content and can be applied to your paid advertising. Improving these metrics always results in higher profits as you are essentially provided a complete road map to increasing sales.
Regardless of what industry your business operates in, a CMS is important for competitive reasons. If you aren’t using a CMS, at least some of your competition is, which means they have a serious edge over your business.
Customer relationship management
Many issues can’t be solved with great content management alone. Customer relationship management (CRM) platforms are tools for managing your business’s relationships with existing customers and would-be customers. So a CRM is both a lead generation and a conversion (sales) tool, which is something normally used by marketing and sales professionals.
Most CRM platforms decrease costs and increase efficiency through automation and centralization. The most common features include:
- Contact forms when customers have a question/problem
- Ticketing systems
- Automated follow-up messages and other lead nurturing features
- Automated logs for all communication
- Escalation management
- Performance tracking for your sales and marketing staff
- Integrations with third-party software to further improve results
The end result for all the above is that your business, to some extent, is available to interact with customers 24/7. This is a key benefit for any small business; the biggest businesses often have 24/7 customer support. With consumers so accustomed to fast, easy access to customer support, this is among the most cost-effective ways to provide it to them.
Cloud computing is a cost-effective technology that improves productivity and security. What it entails is using “cloud servers” to:
- Access computer system resources
- Back up data
- Share and distribute data across multiple locations
These utilities are important for even small businesses as they make data migration, backup, and management more efficient and secure.
Another key benefit is that cloud computing reduces the impact on your own hardware. Before cloud computing was an option, these physical systems always demanded the business’s own computing power and energy, and of course their own office space. That means more space taken, more maintenance, and more risks to your data.
By moving your computing to cloud servers, you eliminate:
- The need for physical servers in-house
- The risk of damaged or stolen hardware causing serious interruptions
- The time and money it takes to maintain the alternatives (your own physical servers)
The bottom line
These technological solutions aren’t luxuries, but simple, widely used tools that improve small business efficiency and security. They’re the tools that keep your business up to date, enabling you to handle the security, managerial, marketing, and other challenges of maintaining a competitive business today.
These tools also enable greater scalability and enable a remote workforce to collaborate efficiently and securely. Therefore, they offer flexibility to organizations of all sizes.
Contact WCA Technologies Today
Considering adopting efficient technological solutions for your business? Contact WCA Technologies so you can focus on running your business.