Your Small Business IT System – Cornerstone of Your Business
Every business, regardless of its size, needs to have an effective IT system in place.
Even for small to medium-sized businesses –a robust IT system is important –a fact that most business owners recognize. It’s estimated that established businesses outside the technology industry spend between .5 percent and ten percent of their annual revenue on technology. While this figure varies, depending on the industry and the size of the company, one thing is certain: a strong IT system is a crucial part of any business’ success today.
While small, single-person startups can bootstrap it for a while with just a laptop and a phone in the beginning; they’ll still need a way to manage their accounts, keep in contact with clients, and manage their website and marketing efforts. Eventually, there’s a good chance that they’ll reach a point where they’ll need to invest in a solid IT system as well. Every company –from small businesses to established companies needs a way to keep track of their business operations, which is where an updated IT system comes into play.
If you’re spending a minimal amount of money on technology each year, there’s a good chance that you could be missing out on some important benefits that technology can provide. An IT system can help your small business to succeed in a number of different ways –here’s a look at a few different ways that you could benefit from an updated, cloud-based IT system.
First of all, an up-to-date IT system can save you, as well as your employees, valuable time. Long gone are the days where you had to wait days for hard copies of documents to arrive in the mail. Now, thanks to advances in technology –most of us take it for granted that we can click a button and gain access to all of the information and documents that we need –on demand. A robust, cloud-based IT system can help you to streamline your operations, and improve efficiency. This is especially the case when it comes to communication. Having an up-to-date system means having ability to connect with your customers, employees, suppliers, and contractors easily and instantly. Easier communication makes for less frustration and fewer mistakes. Your employees will also save time and will be able to streamline their efforts by having access to everything that they need in one place, regardless of whether they’re on-site, or telecommuting.
Reach More Potential Customers
A solid IT system makes it easier for you to reach out to more potential customers, allowing you to discover new leads easily, and follow up on those leads quickly and efficiently as well. Being able to gather customer data efficiently will allow you to market effortlessly to your target demographic –no need to guess or wonder whether your message is reaching the right people. A strong IT system also allow you to develop a business relationship with your potential customers, making it easier to reach out to them and keep in contact with them. This will help to keep you fresh in their minds for when they need your company’s products or services.
Provide Better Customer Service
Most companies today know that providing great customer service is one of the best ways to stand out from the crowd. An estimated 70 percent of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated, so being able to treat your customers right, and provide them with answers to their issues or questions in real time is important. Having solid IT systems allows you to provide better service, and also helps you to gather customer feedback quickly and easily allowing you accurately gauge the market, and make accurate fact-based decisions.
Keeping track of customer information is important, but ensuring that customer data is protected, is even more vital. Having an up-to-date IT system allows you to process customer information in a secure manner, enabling you to ensure that it is handled properly. While some small businesses store everything on one or two laptops or computers; if something were to happen to the computer –or if a laptop were to get stolen, they could be putting themselves and their customers at risk. A cloud-based IT system, though, is a great way to store data, and also ensures that you have a solid online backup.
While your old systems may still be getting the job done, chances are they’re not as efficient as a new up-to-date IT system would be. Investing in updated tools and technology that you need can help you to stay current and keep up in today’s ultra-competitive marketplace.