Our world practically revolves around technology. We carry computers with us wherever we go and it is almost turning into a lifeline both in our personal and professional lives. Businesses need technology to run efficiently and communicate with their customers. Every business has different needs so naturally, the technology used in each business will be different. The question is, where do we start?
If you are just starting up a business, you need to clearly outline the processes involved in your operations. Some businesses can be operated with just a phone. After all, they are computers. If you are starting a small business where you are selling a service, then a phone may be perfect. You can download an app that does all your accounting for you and produces the invoices for your client. You have a calendar app to keep your appointments and then you also have access to your emails. There is no need for any other technology. When you want to expand, you may invest in a card reading service so that people can pay by card, and again, the app will be on your phone. Technology has definitely come a long way in assisting small businesses to be as professional as they can, run efficiently as possible all with a small amount of money invested.
Realistically, a computer (like a laptop or desktop PC) would be needed in order to run a business successfully. The reason being is so that you are able to store files safely as well as create professional content. Creating a website means having access to a PC as even most website builders aren’t designed to function on mobile. You could technically hire someone to build a website for you, but that is usually more expensive than building it yourself. A PC gives you a lot more freedom than just a mobile, mostly because of the screen size. It is easier to function using a laptop than a mobile phone, especially when working from home.
I mentioned content creation as you may want to start producing your own promotional content or social posts. Using a laptop makes the process easier usually. You can edit photographs on a higher level, edit videos, and create booklets exactly how you want to. The bigger the screen, the easier it is to create higher quality content as you can actually see the smaller imperfections.
As your business grows, you may notice the need for a network so that your staff can work together seamlessly. You have access to the same documents as well as other tools (such as a printer). The company isn't then dependent on a single computer. Once you get to the point of building a network though, you usually need someone to maintain it as well as configure safety features such as firewalls.
Technology doesn’t just mean hardware though, it also means software. Word processing software is pretty common as are photo or video editors. Businesses also need some kind of database. If you run solely online, then you may be able to use a website builder that has an integrated customer management system. However, if you have face-to-face clients, you may benefit from having a local database that contains your customer information. You could also benefit from creating an inventory to keep track of all your products. Financial software is crucial if you aren’t going to have an accountant in the early stages of your business.
The list of technology that can assist a business is neverending. It helps to start with what you really need. What tasks do you need to do in order to run your business? You may want a camera to create your own content but for the time being, you could use your phone. The type of PC you buy will depend on what you need it for. If it’s just word processing or filling in spreadsheets, you can look for something that’s cheaper. Maybe even a Chromebook! But if your business involves producing high-quality content such as photographs or videos, you may need something more powerful. Be realistic about what you can afford but also what you need. See what support you can get to make sure your business has the strongest foundations possible. Technology is there to help your business be the best that it possibly can.