Running a business is challenging, and while many business owners are focused on optimising sales, marketing and accounts, essential information technology (IT) requirements can be easily neglected.
Here are five IT areas that are easy to do and can give your business a big boost.
1. Maximise your web presence
When was the last time you gave your website a bit of attention? Your domain name is your website’s address on the internet, so it’s a valuable part of your business identity and an important marketing tool to help customers find and identify your business. Take some time to regularly monitor, test, measure and maintain your web presence to ensure you reach the right customers the first time – and keep them coming back. If you don’t have a website, attend our Website Planning workshop to help you develop an action plan to make it happen.
2. Make use of the cloud
Cloud computing offers a low-cost way to keep information and data secure and accessible with minimal effort and interaction with your service provider. For example, your business emails might be hosted ‘in the cloud’ with Gmail or your data might be on Dropbox or Google Drive. Cloud computing is increasingly abundant and cheap and you don’t need to pay staff to look after servers or buy new hardware or software every few years.
3. Be active on social media
Customers frequently look to social media first as a way to learn more about a business. How does your social media presence stack up? Do you use ‘Google My Business’ to drive customer engagement? Not having a social media presence or even a basic ‘Google My Business’ account means you could be missing out on great opportunities to engage with current and potential customers - find out how to create your own free listing. If social media isn’t your strong suit, read our tips on how to get started on social media.
4. Keep on top of cybersecurity
It is essential to remain vigilant about making sure your business data is safe from online attack. Cyber attacks can be costly and very disruptive to your business. A hacker might be able to access sensitive information like credit card or private customer data. This breach of security can damage your business’ reputation and even result in identity theft. Read our articles covering cybersecurity tips for small business and how to protect your business from scammers for practical tips on what you can do to protect your business.
5. Manage your daily IT needs and issues
Having a general IT strategy helps you to create direction and to be able to fix problems when – and hopefully before – they arise. Develop a plan that details why your business needs IT, and how it can benefit your business. You also need to set aside a specific budget for replacing out-of-warranty equipment and any new technology needed.