What Business Tech Does Your Company Need? – Our 5 Recommendations
If you wish to survive in a rapidly-changing global marketplace, your firm needs to be up-to-date in terms of the work-related technology you use. Not only does the right technology make your work easier and increase productivity but it will also perform other necessary functions such as track sales and/or assets and improve customer service. All of these factors combine to make sure your company thrives in a competitive business world.
If you’re just starting out, what business tech is considered indispensable these days?
1. Phone Systems
It is taken for granted that you will have a phone system which incorporates 3-way calling, call hold, call forward and conference calling. It should ideally have voicemail transcription too. It is worth asking your phone provider to see what auxiliary features they offer and whether they would be suitable for the needs of your business.
Nowadays, businesses are increasingly using VoIP (Voice of Internet Protocol) to reduce their overheads. Instead of paying high prices for your local, national and international calls, this system runs all phone communications through your internet connection.
2. Tech hardware
Hardware such as desktop computers, laptops, smartphones and printers are indispensable for your business. With internet connectivity, they allow you to share documents and information without necessarily being present in the same building – or even the same town. Sending an inter-office memo is often the quickest way of notifying others without disturbing them.
3. Business software
Without the necessary software, your tech hardware wouldn’t be able to carry out many of the tasks they do. This includes all the software packages that allow you to analyse and organise your financial information (including invoicing, inventory and the payroll) and office word processing software to write reports or design sales presentations.
Apart from these essentials, customer service is of crucial importance. A CRM (Customer Relationship Management System) will monitor all your interactions with your clientele. It will give you the ability to see what services/products they have ordered in the past, any issues which have arisen and allow you to collate feedback to offer better service in the future. Better service will inevitably lead to loyal customers who also recommend you business to others.
Many businesses are increasingly making use of Cloud storage. This stores all your data in a virtual environment. The fact that it uses multiple servers means that your data is secure, but it can be accessed by anyone from any location as long as they have an internet connection. This makes it the ideal solution if you have a team working on the same project but that aren’t necessarily located in the same place.
4. Internet connectivity
Whether you work locally or have plans to operate nationally – or even internationally – no business can work without internet access. Whether you need the internet for communication or for marketing campaigns, it has become an integral part of any business operation.
However, you should check that your internet provider has you on the right package for your needs and that it delivers the speeds you require. Slower and unreliable connections can lower productivity and have an impact on sales figures. Although Canada holds 17th place globally for their provision of fixed broadband service, 86% of Canadians said that they were satisfied with their internet connection.
In recent research by the CIRA (Canada Internet Registry Authority), they found that 90% of the Canadian population is now online with over half (54%) using the internet to work from home occasionally. This 90% are your future customers who now mainly use search engines to find the products or services they wish to purchase.
5. Your business website
Apart from being committed to building better internet connectivity in Canada, the CIRA is also responsible for the country’s domain name registry. In order to pick a name for your website, youusually use the name of your business. However, if the service or product you are offering isn’t immediately apparent from its name, you might want to modify it for the domain name. You should also check that it isn’t too similar to the name of a business competitor as this can lead to confusion and possibly lost sales.
You don’t need to hire a professional to design your website since all the tools you need to do it yourself are available online free of charge. However, you must plan its layout and what you expect it to contain. Will you simply give the facts about your business such as an email address or business phone number, or will you require webchat software to answer any queries visitors to your site may have? You may want to include a catalogue of the products and services that you provide or have an online order form.
If you wish to take online orders, you must think about the payment options. Debit or credit cards are ideal for customers within Canada, but what about outside the country? Offering online banking services like PayPal or Google Pay are indispensable if you want to appeal to international customers.
Once your website is up and running, it will also need maintenance. It should contain attractive graphics and a mixture of text, images and video about your business and issues related to your sector. Video customisation options such as a Catalyst Centre will probably not be necessary at this stage.
Ensuring a steady cashflow
Buying all the business tech equipment can be one of your major purchases when setting up and maintaining your business, but it would be impossible to operate successfully without it. It can also be a drain on your finances.
In such cases, a direct lender can help you out with a loan to keep your head above water until the orders start coming in. Cashfloat online offer a streamlined loan application which can be completed and sent in a matter of minutes. Their fast decision-making process means you can concentrate on your business operations and stop worrying about money.