How Can a Business Owner Incorporate Technology In A Small Business?

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Small Business Owner TechnologyIn order to effectively compete with larger corporations in the same industry, it’s absolutely essential to incorporate technology in a small business in every way possible. This might sound like a daunting task to many small business owners, but there are actually a number of crucial, easy ways to make any business into a bastion of cloud-based storage, user-friendly technology, and productivity-enhancing tools that will allow any small business to compete more strongly with their larger, better funded competitors in the same space. To get an idea of exactly how this works, consider the following major trends and ideas being embraced by the small business community in today’s economy.

Embrace Cloud-Based Storage and Collaboration

Small businesses are often working with very limited budgets and a skeleton crew of employees, which means it can be hard to accomplish all of the day’s tasks in a central location. The cloud makes this concern easier to handle. Providers like Microsoft and Google offer either free or highly affordable options for cloud-based storage, collaboration, and productivity. Google’s mail, calendars, and productivity tools can be accessed through any web browser or via mobile applications. Tools, like Basecamp, take project management out of the office and into the online world, making it easy for employees to work from home and telecommute. Video-conferencing tools, like Apple FaceTime and Google Hangouts, even make it possible to hold meetings from various, disparate locations.

Create Online Portals for Customers and Suppliers

Make a plan to reach out to customers and inventory suppliers through online portals. These two portals can be separate, but they must be designed with a few of the same goals in mind. They must reduce the cost of dealing with suppliers and consumers, but enhance their customer service or ordering experience. Portals should be hosted on a highly reliable server, often based at a traditional web host rather than in the office itself. All portals should store customer information securely, anticipate inventory needs or new orders, and offer opportunities for live, in-person contact via phone, chat, or a visit to the company’s location for service.

Lower Costs by Using BYOD Policies for Employees

The great thing about opting for cloud-based tools, or those that come with their own mobile applications, is that these apps can be used by employees using their existing smartphones, tablets, and desktop hardware. By embracing BYOD policies, or Bring Your Own Device, an organization simply asks employees to use their own hardware instead of a computer or phone supplied through the organization itself. These BYOD devices can be secured using LAN protocols that block out external websites, competitors, and even hackers, all while driving up productivity. Better yet, employees who bring their own devices require virtually no training to get started with the software solutions used for customer and supplier outreach, collaboration, productivity, and information exchange.

Related Resource: Cloud Storage

It’s Easier Than Ever to Make a Business High-Tech

Thanks to the cloud and the rising popularity of Bring Your Own Device programs, it has never been easier to take a small business online while reducing costs, enhancing the customer experience, and enjoying more control over every aspect of the operation. Business owners who want to incorporate technology in a small business should look for free or low-cost tools, embrace BYOD, create portals for customers and suppliers, and think deliberately about tech integration plans, according to Start Up Nation. With a solid plan and a commitment to ongoing refinement of that plan, leapfrogging the competition will be easier than ever.

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