Running a small business is no small undertaking. Technology systems, processes, and employees need to work in unison to keep day-to-day operations running smoothly.
Effective managers will always find ways to work smarter, not harder. There are countless paths to success in business, but standardizing and leveraging technology resources will make your overall workflow more efficient.
But before you run out and start purchasing new equipment, consider some of what I consider my go-to best IT practices for growing businesses:
Consistency is the key to making your workplace comfortable and professional. Perform a comprehensive audit of all your technology resources. Make a list of programs, platforms, and applications that are used on a daily basis. With a sharp eye, you'll quickly recognize those systems that are cost-prohibitive and can be eliminated.
Switches might range from decreasing your overall paper flow, to making the leap from on-premise servers to a hybrid cloud storage solution. Listen to your staff and find out what applications are holding them back from future success.
Use Productivity Tools
Time is money in today's interconnected world, so waiting for computer restarts and file updates should be out of the question. Making sure that there's a constant flow of work through all your digital platforms lets you shift your attention back to generating leads and finalizing deals with new customers.
Messaging platforms, team management tools, and cloud computing can all decrease idle time between projects. Test and re-test your systems before executing your new technology plan to work out any technical difficulties.
Even with all the rave reviews you may see online, make sure you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your tools before handing them over to your employees for immediate implementation.
Make Storage & Security A Priority
Contact information, financial records, and project statuses all must be guarded by several levels of security. Customize your log-ins and revise passwords on a monthly basis. You can never take too many precautions, as even a momentary leak of information can significantly damage a company's reputation.
Select your anti-spam and anti-virus software by comparing the costs and benefits of each choice. Put controls in place and designate a single individual to handle any sensitive data. Even with these safety measures in place, backing up all your files in a central location will give you peace of mind in the case of any system crashes.
Stay Updated At All Times
Technology changes every single day and becomes outdated. What was cutting edge weeks ago can quickly become a relic, leaving your business lost in the past. Installing patches, defragmenting desktops, and subscribing to updates should be standard practice for all your employees.
By doing your IT "homework," you can avoid the one thing that ever small business fears: a total system breakdown. Costing you time and money, don't end up kicking yourself for not taking a few extra minutes to download that latest update, or checking in with an IT Support specialist.
Ask For Professional Help, When Needed
Most blogs preach about the latest and greatest IT breakthroughs, so choosing the correct systems and platforms can be overwhelming. But making an uneducated decision can be just as costly. If you're not a tech geek or self-professed IT guru, turn to outside assistance. Sometimes, approaching an IT consulting firm is the best decision you can make.
To further discuss how Aqueity, a professional IT Support firm, can help support your small business technology needs, visit http://www.aqueity.com.
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