6 Tech Essentials for a Smoother Running Office
These days, you can run an office with nothing more than a laptop and Wi-Fi. If you're serious about your business, however, you'll need a few more essentials to fuel continuing growth. Here are six useful technologies you should consider introducing into your workplace.
A local tech consultant: As your business grows, your technology will need to keep up. Unless you're especially tech savvy, you will also need IT support from time to time. If you have the money for a full-time, in-house IT guy, you're all set. If not, it's a good idea to secure a reliable tech consultant to provide guidance when your technology refuses to behave.
Good computers: It may seem like an obvious need, but the right computer can make all the difference in day-to-day business operations. Make sure you choose one with relatively new, high-speed tools. It should also have a fast processor, plenty of disk space and a quality screen that limits eyestrain. Try not to skimp in this area or you may end up sentencing yourself to years of headaches and frustration.
Apps and software: Regardless of your computer system or device, you'll need software and a few apps to help manage your company. This includes systems to help you schedule and keep track of appointments, track customer payments and invoicing, monitor your social media presence, parse marketing analytics, maintain your website or blog and, of course, keep up with your taxes. If this sounds like too much of a headache, consider relying on a virtual assistant to handle the bulk of these tasks.
Data security: Make sure you have a reliable way to keep your business data secure and backed up. Have an IT pro safeguard your computer and network with a firewall and antivirus software. Try to layer your security by employing several lines of defense. You should also make sure you have a solid data backup and recovery plan. Consider using a hands-free system that automatically backs up your data to an off-site storage space. However unlikely it may seem, fires, floods and natural disasters do occur, and you want to make sure you can recover after an emergency. Whatever you do, make sure you understand the cost of downtime, and take steps to minimize its impact.
Uninterruptible power supply (UPS): Once you establish the cost of downtime, you'll need to look for ways to stay up and running. When your electricity goes out, a UPS can provide backup power for a limited time while you sort things out with your utility provider. It won't last forever, but a UPS can help you save work and safely shut down equipment. It can also be a godsend when you find yourself in the middle of a big business moment where you have a chance to secure a timely opportunity.
Network router: Not really necessary if you work alone, a network router can become quite useful if you have more than one computer requiring Internet access. If you have a small staff working in the same room, a basic router should be fine. If they are spread out across separate offices, however, you will need a wireless router.
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