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5 ways to make your small business a little bit more tech savvy

(HOW TO) In small business, the concept of utilizing cutting-edge technology feels like a pipe dream. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

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Small businesses are notorious for stingy spending and tight budgets, and for good reason: As business owners navigate the cost of doing business, they must consider how they spend each and every penny.

This can make the concept of utilizing cutting-edge technology feel like a pipe dream. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are many ways that enterprises of all sizes can incorporate technology into their business operations in the name of reducing costs, streamlining activity, and generally improving their companies.

Here are several accessible and affordable ways that small businesses can be more tech-savvy.

1. Improve Your Internet

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It’s impossible to operate a modern business without the internet. Too many systems have become dependent on the need for an online connection.

Planning on becoming more tech-savvy in order to maintain an edge over the competition is wise. In order to do so, though, you need to ensure that your internet is up to the task.

A strong internet signal is a must. But you can also take things to the next level by getting a small business Wi-Fi solution like Plume WorkPass. This turns your router into a full-blown business intelligence platform. Along with a powerful signal that adapts to your internet needs, you also get a suite of other features, including analytics and enterprise-grade, AI-enhanced security.

By improving your internet connection, you can feed two birds with one scone. You can implement a new piece of innovative tech for your business and set the stage for other internet-needy tech to follow.

2. Address IT Early

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Powerful, enhanced Wi-Fi is an excellent start. However, there are plenty of other ways that you can clear the path for a smooth entry of new tech into your company.

One of these is establishing dependable IT support. For larger companies, this involves setting up an IT department with multiple full-time salaried workers. This is a luxury that is far out of reach for most smaller companies.

Fortunately, there are other ways around your IT needs. For example, you can lean on part-time employees and freelancers to help you navigate new tech needs at a low cost.

In addition, look for tools that come with competent support from the manufacturers, update themselves, and ideally are cloud-based. That way you remove as much of the IT burden as possible from your operation.

3. Don’t Overlook Security and Analytics

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Along with competent IT support and strong internet, you also want to consider security and analytics. If you’re using something like WorkPass, avant-garde cybersecurity and insightful data come right along with the deal.

If you choose to go another route, there are still many security options that you can turn to in order to keep your business safe. These can safeguard your individual devices and tools as well as your Wi-Fi as a whole.

Analytics are also important. They give you insight into countless areas of business. From marketing campaigns to time management, there are plenty of ways that analytics can impact your bottom line.

Most tech tools come with analytics built right into them these days. Your job as a small business owner is to figure out how to set up effective OKRs (objectives and key results) that utilize this information to better your company.

4. Streamline Finances

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Finances are the life-blood of any business operation. They aren’t just the end goal in the form of profits and your bottom line. You also need to send and receive money throughout your company’s activities to keep things moving on a daily basis.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to streamline your financial activity by using technology. For example, there are a plethora of cloud-based tech tools that can help you simplify your invoicing activity.

In addition, you can abridge payroll activity by using tech tools. Many of these aren’t just accessible to smaller companies. Some are specifically designed to meet the needs of entrepreneurs running startups.

You can tailor these to the needs of your business, and they can scale along with you as you grow. Best of all, they take a huge part of the headache out of managing payroll through things like automation and letting your employees have a bigger role in managing their pay.

5. Utilize Productivity Tools

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Productivity tools are another simple-yet-effective way to use tech to take your small business to the next level. There are countless options that address numerous areas of productivity.

For instance, there are little ways you can implement tech for your team, such as encouraging them to use time-tracking software or a productivity app.

You can also implement tech tools in a larger, company-wide setting. Workflow platforms like Trello and Asana are popular ways to help keep your team’s projects, assignments, and deadlines in a single location. You can access these both on-site and remotely and offer a repository for files and documents that multiple members of your team might need.

There are many simple ways that small businesses can incorporate tech into their operation. From finances to productivity and beyond, small businesses have many areas that can benefit from innovative tech tools.

The important thing is that you set the stage first. Set up a strong Wi-Fi network, create IT support channels, and make sure you have a firm grasp on security and analytics. If you can do that, you’ll be able to embrace newer tech that can streamline your operation and ultimately boost your bottom line.

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Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. When he's not consulting, glued to a headset, he's working on one of his many business projects. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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