Business is open and you’re excited to jump right into work. But before you can really get going, you need to make some decisions about the technology that will help you run your business in the most efficient manner.
Of course each business has different needs when it comes to technology, but here is a list of six basic, must-haves when it comes to business technological needs:
(1) A Local Technology Consultant
Having an expert on your side is crucial when it comes to managing your business. As your business grows, your technology will have to grow along with it. If you have an accountant and lawyer as advisors, why wouldn’t you have a local tech expert as well? Take some time to get a few recommendations on who to trust with your technology solutions and then schedule a time to actually meet with those companies. Determine what your needs are now, and what your needs will be in the future. Some IT companies offer break/fix models, where they only assit you when things are broken, while others take a proactive approach through a model called IT managed services, and maintain your technology on a monthly basis.
(2) High-Speed Internet
Every business needs access to the Internet, but making sure it’s a fast and reliable connection is a must. High-speed internet allows you and your business to take advantage of tools that you wouldn’t be able to access with a slow, dial-up connection. Spending a little more money on a better provider or a faster package will limit the headache of waiting for slow internet in the future.
Equipping your employees with computers is extremely important. Not only does it add value to your employees, but it makes them more efficient. Make sure the computers you’re buying are equipped with relatively new, high-speed tools as well as plenty of disk space, a fast processor and a quality screen to limit eyestrain. A managed service provider can recommend the best options for your business needs.
(4) Data Security
It’s extremely important that your business data is secure and properly backed up. Make sure your network and computers have a firewall and anti-virus software. Additionally, make sure you have a system to backup all of your data and that you have a recovery plan in place in case of an emergency. There is no one fit-all method to securing business data; it is something that takes planning and stragey. The one thing that is consistent though is the idea of layering security, or employing multiple lines of defense and educating employees on emerging threats. When crafting your data security plan, know your recovery point objective and the cost of downtime for your business. Luckily we have a calculator right here to figure these numbers!
In today's day and age, every business needs a company website. It’s your company's virtual front door and it often serves as the first impression many people will have of your business. If you want to start simple, that’s fine, but make sure the website is easy to navigate, aligns with your branding and contains helpful information that your potential customers will be searching for.
Even something as small as your email address is important in making your company look cohesive and professional. Few things say 'unprofessional' as using an AOL, gmail, Yahoo! or Hotmail email address for a growing business. Not only can these providers appear unprofessional, they are far less secure than other options. Ask a professional how to setup email accounts as part of your web-hosting or talk with your local tech consultant.