By Gloria Martinez, WomenLed (www.womenled.org)
Many small business owners think that the latest technology is reserved for the big brands that can afford it. While modern business technology can be incredibly expensive, it can also save you money — a lot of money. In the long run, these investments pay for themselves and more. Here are some key tech investments that your small business should seriously consider.
When you’re out of the office, you’re still going to need to respond to emails, communicate effectively with employees, and send proposals. You may also need to take product photos and stay updated on your inventory. Whatever your needs, it’s crucial that you have a top-of-the-line smartphone with the speed and power to handle these tasks and more. One smartphone that’s worth considering is the Samsung Galaxy S10, which is known for its speedy Snapdragon processor and reduced blue light for more comfortable screen time. If you’re looking to get a new Apple phone, the iPhone 11 has a great camera and a long-lasting battery.
Flawless Web Design
Today, there are no more excuses for slow, bulky websites; in fact, consumers expect attractive sites that load in just three seconds! On top of this, your website must work flawlessly on mobile devices since about 60 percent of e-commerce traffic comes from a smartphone. Without a great website, you could be losing a significant amount of revenue every day.
Invest in your online storefront by hiring an experienced PHP web developer to streamline and optimize your website. According to Gooroo, PHP is a coding language used for most websites, especially those built on WordPress. A great PHP developer will know how to build a powerful website that will handle web traffic spikes. They’ll also develop a streamlined user interface, so you can update your site yourself instead of hiring a developer every time you want to change something. It’s important to hire the best PHP developers, and Upwork notes that you should confirm they have plenty of experience with PHP and a solid understanding of project management tools and test suites. Clearly explain the scope of work and the skills you’re looking for. Also, keep in mind that Upwork PHP developers charge between $25 and $100 per hour.
Digital Marketing Automation
Automated marketing software has completely changed how businesses reach out to consumers and interact with customers. Marketing automation tools allow you to offer people exactly what they are looking for based on their online behaviors, so they receive content that is highly relevant to them. This means you don’t waste marketing dollars making offers to consumers who will never be interested.
Automation tools can also help you eliminate certain time-consuming tasks. With marketing automation and customer relationship management (CRM) tools, you can stop wasting man-hours creating email campaigns, posting on social media, answering basic customer questions, and analyzing data.
Cloud storage is another way that small businesses can save money each day. Instead of spending copious amounts of money on IT expenses to maintain server rooms and hardware on-site, you can shift your entire business to the cloud where it’s safe, secure, and easily accessible. Cloud computing will allow your business to scale without requiring expensive upgrades to your hardware. Before choosing a cloud service, Forbes recommends reviewing the provider’s infrastructure, data protection policies, security features, and risk management policies to ensure they will meet your needs.
Smart Office Automation
You can also use technology to enhance work efficiency in the office so you and your employees can get more done in less time. Automation and smart devices can streamline your business operations. For example, smartboards can be used for training, presentations, and brainstorming. Smart home technology can also have a place in your office — smart lighting can reduce your energy costs by a whopping 90 percent! Also, consider investing in a Nest Thermostat to save money on your utilities or a smart security system so you can monitor your office when you’re away.
Investing in technology is investing in the future of your business. While some of these tools are pricey, they can save you money in the long run. Don’t leave these investments to the big brands! Small businesses deserve a chance to get ahead with the help of modern tech.