The tech tools to grow a business
by Keris Lahiff
If you’re business is on the verge of growth, technology can assist in building a solid foundation to bunker down new processes and systems. Reliable technology can allow your business’ processes to be streamlined, as well as increasing the efficiency of communications and overall business productivity.
“Consider how big you project your business to be and future-proof yourself accordingly,” says Danielle Watts, small business marketing manager for Intel and Switzer technology expert.
“Consider server technology, have service license agreements in place, ensure you have good internet plans,” she says. “All these systems need to be in place as well as security measures. It’s a big consideration.”
Auditing the business
Before purchasing equipment, take a close look at your business. Where are the roadblocks? Are there any communication blind spots that cause issues in the business? What technologies are available to fix these problems?
For example, if instantaneous communication is needed between a team, emails may hinder the process, rather than help. Download instant chat software, such as Skype, to streamline communications in that situation.
Or, if certain key staff members travel frequently, consider equipping them with the hardware they need, such as wireless-equipped laptops or tablet computers, to stay in touch while on the road.
A bigger staff brings the challenge of more information, usually being passed through a hierarchy of workers. To make accessing and sharing data and files more convenient, consider implementing a reliable server, on which all business data can be stored. A home base server also allows travelling workers to access the business’ network and retrieve pertinent documents on the fly.
Look for a server with Intel’s Xeon processor for added comfort that your crucial business data is in safe hands. Read more tips on how to purchase the best server for your business.
The more your business grows, the more dire the consequences should a tech disaster strike – a crashed computer and a staff member’s downtime could mean lost profits and productivity and an insecure network could lead to your clients’ privacy being compromised.
The technical foundation of your business needs to be robust, including secure networks, an integrated system of office computers and a reliable server.
If this technological bedrock proves difficult, consider calling in the assistance of an IT service provider to help with setup and maintenance. Remember though, when enlisting external help, always read the contract carefully and ask questions for anything you don’t understand. It is important you know what you are getting in return for payment, before any dotted line has been signed.
Rules across the board
With more people and equipment in your business, it’s important to create and communicate IT protocols effectively across the board. Establish ground rules and ensure all staff members are trained in and made aware of these. These could include:
Do’s and don’ts for emailing and opening files.
- What to do in IT emergencies.
- What to do if a computer is suspected of having a virus.
- How to take care of equipment in and out of the office.
By ensuring all staff follow the same IT rules, the more streamlined and tech-savvy your business and its IT practices.
Published on: Monday, November 08, 2010