When starting a small business, having the right technology in place is essential. With the right tools, you can rest assured that your business will be set up for success from day one. Without it, you risk missing out on opportunities and losing money. To get started, here’s a quick checklist of the essential IT technology that your small business needs:
Arguably the most important—invest in a good computer for your business. Look for one with lots of memory and storage space, reliable processor speed, and a good graphics card if you’re running any design programs. Computers are the centerpiece of any small business, so make sure it’s up to standards.
The software you need will depend on the type of business you’re running. But in general, look for software that can help manage customer relations, accounting tasks, scheduling appointments, and any other tasks that you may need help with. This software can be found in many forms, so make sure to do the research and choose the best one for you from the following:
• CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software
• Accounting software
• Project management software
• Scheduling software
Network and Cloud Storage
A good network setup is paramount to any small business. Make sure your computers are connected to a reliable, fast, secure network that you can trust. Also, look into cloud storage solutions such as Google Drive or Dropbox to store your data and back up any important files. This way, you can access your documents from anywhere and ensure that they won’t be lost in the event of a system crash.
A slow internet connection is one of the biggest hindrances to any small business. Make sure your internet connection is fast and reliable—this will be essential for keeping up with customer emails, online orders, and other day-to-day operations.
Your whole work day could come to a screeching halt if your internet connection drops out, so make sure you have a backup plan in case of an emergency.
You’ll need some form of phone system for customer service inquiries or employee-to-employee communication. Look for the best VoIP (voice over IP) service that offers features such as call forwarding, call recording, and voicemail. Your VoIP system should also be compatible with your network setup and any hardware that you may already have in place.
Invest in a good, reliable printer/copier combo to help with day-to-day printing needs. Look for one with wireless capabilities and automatic double-sided printing to save time and money.
Finally, don’t forget about security. Your network and computers should be protected from viruses and other cyber threats. Invest in a good antivirus suite, firewalls, and encryption software to ensure that your data is safe and secure at all times. Regularly test your system for weak points so you can identify any potential problems before they become an issue.
These are the basic components of a small business technology starter pack. With these in place, you’ll be well on your way to running a successful business that’s set up for success from day one. Good luck!