If you are a small business owner, then you know how important it is to make each investment count — no matter how small. From keeping your online transaction software safe and making sure your private customer data is secure, nothing is more important than the tech and software investments you make. If you are looking to make smart tech choices for your small business, you need to be mindful of your budget and finances. So, check out these seven tips that could save you time and money — now and in the future.
Hire a Website Developer
It’s important to admit that you don’t know what you don’t know. Unless you are in the business of selling web design, then it’s likely that you could use a professional to help showcase your business online. Although finding someone to design a website is important, it’s important to hire the right web developers. You need someone that understands the technologies and can build a beautiful, robust, and secure online presence for your company.
Store in the Cloud
Whether you work from home, an office, or a warehouse, storing important data in the cloud can be a smart tech investment for time management. Instead of searching through filing cabinets and stacks of paperwork for client information, proposals, drafts, or past invoices, you can type in a few keywords and have digital copies of your files appear in seconds. Plus, you can access this information — securely — from any location that has internet access. Cloud storage is an important aspect of any data loss prevention plan.
Utilize Project Management Tools
Even if you have a few employees — or if you are a one-man-show — time management tools can help you make the best use of your day and keep you from having to play catch up at night. Best of all, many of these web-based tools are free for individuals. You can use Asana to manage projects with vendors and contractors, Trello to organize and prioritize your day-to-day and Basecamp to communicate with employees on the go.
Purchase HR Software
Human resources is a complex creature for companies of any size, but that is especially true for small businesses without a dedicated HR team. That’s why the right kind of HR software can not only help you manage employees better, but it can also stay compliant with state and federal labor laws. Look for one that helps you manage benefits, payroll, and the entire employee lifecycle, from hiring to termination.
Outsource an IT Professional
Don’t waste precious hours of your own time trying to solve a technical issue when you can have a professional handle your IT woes. Keep an IT professional on retainer, hire a part-time tech employee or bring in a college student or intern to keep your tech afloat. That will give you the time you need to focus on satisfying clients and building your brand, instead of trying to figure out why a printer won’t work or reviving a down server.
If your company collects or processes any data from individuals who live in the European Union (EU), then you’ll need to hire the services of a data protection officer. This person will ensure that your business follows the rules and guidelines laid out by the General Data Protection Regulation, which requires businesses to protect and safeguard any personal information they may collect. The officer will train employees on how to safely process data and teach them how to stay in compliance with GDPR rules, as well as conduct safety audits.
Explore the Dropshipping Model
Are you running an e-commerce company but have yet to see the kinds of profits you were hoping for? Consider switching to the dropshipping model. In this kind of e-commerce transaction, you don’t actually store and ship the items you sell — a third-party does all that. You can save time and money but not having to manage your own inventory, package items, and ship purchases when you use a dropshipping model for your e-commerce business.
Survey Customer Feedback
Understanding your customers’ needs is the most effective way to earn a loyal, repeat customer. While the savvy small business owner can make a few successful assumptions, assuming you know what your customers want and need can be dangerous. There are many free online survey tools you can use to solicit the kind of honest and anonymous customer feedback that helps you improve the service you provide.
Making smart tech investments is a great way to elevate your small business to another level. You can save yourself time and money, all while improving your customer’s experience.