In the modern age, it’s hard to stay ahead of the game. In fact, never mind staying ahead of the game – it’s impossible to keep up with the game sometimes. Technology is no different, and there are a string of virtual and online techniques that the most successful companies are using right now, of which your business may or may not be taking advantage.
Improving your company doesn’t need to cause you some big headache. Even if you’re not a “tech-savvy” corporation, technology is of vital importance to your success. You don’t need to be a team of experts to use it effectively or even understand its true purpose. There are always ways to use hardware, software and the internet to better any business in any industry. Here’s some advice for the entrepreneur or small business owner looking to achieve success through technology.
Start saving time and money
Your startup or local business may be fresh on the market right now, but all big things have small beginnings. As you grow, you have to play a smart game if you want to ensure your company doesn’t peak and plummet again; this depends on protecting your profits and your assets. Invest and save wisely.
The key to keeping a grasp on your business as its level of operations increase and the it experiences ever-larger influxes of data, placing more of a strain on your requirements, is to consolidate data through de-duplication software. This is about more than saving on storage space; it’s about saving your company time and money. There’s no need to buy additional physical servers, and keeping the business, as a whole, tightly managed doesn’t seem like such an insurmountable task.
Secure your important business data
One of the more important ways that virtual and online technology have transformed businesses over the last decade, other than their cost-effective applications, is their usefulness in securing sensitive company data. The old stereotype was that online storage was fragile and insecure, in comparison to physical servers. However, this is only true when one considers public services available on the internet. It’s easy to see the webspace as some magical and non-physical entity, but it isn’t.
When you start to consider private ways of using the internet, opportunities open up for your business to better protect itself against loss of data. Rather than backing up information on your premises, and costing yourself excessive time and money both in terms of manpower for your server room and the servers themselves, you could instead backup your data in off-site locations.
Remember, your information will still be stored on a server; all information has to be stored physically somewhere. The difference is that you won’t be putting all your eggs in one basket, and your company’s irreplaceable documents and employee information won’t be stored on the premises, where they’re susceptible to theft or damage, should something ever happen to your office. It’s important that you always have a plan B, and technology can offer that backup plan.
Remote working can be a life-saver for your company
Incorporating virtual elements into your business can cause very real change to your company. Make no mistake about that. New technology isn’t just useful for cool gadgets or games. It can offer a whole new dimension for your business. I’m not suggesting you conduct an overhaul of your business’ existing operations, but there might be ways to tidy up some of the mess.
Remote working is one such solution afforded by the internet and secure Cloud services, for instance. As a small company, you need to safeguard your profits whilst you’re still growing, as you need all the money you can afford to spend on investments, without running into the red. Sometimes you need to re-assess how your team could better work, and not all job roles require physical presence in the office; not every day of the week, at least.
If a job role can be completed from home, you should allow your employees, or some of them, to do so. Not only will some employees be much happier to have the freedom to work from home, even if it’s only for three days a week, but you should be happier about the idea too. You’ll be able to review the salaries you offer for certain job positions, because travel expense will no longer be such a worry for employees.
Better yet, you won’t have to provide so many physical resources or materials on the company premises, as your workers will have access to all they need from home. There’s no understating the brilliance of affording employees the opportunity to work anywhere. Perhaps you’ll draw in employees from a wider search area as well, as there won’t be such a pressing need to come into your office limited by physical location. You could search through a wider pool of candidates for even better potential employees. In addition, communication will remain strong, as they could still have the opportunity to come in to the office for meetings, so no operations will be adversely affected by this change. The money your business saves through remote working, on the other hand, will go a long way.
Your business needs to grow quickly, and virtual technology is the key
I think we should look in slightly more depth into the power of virtual technology, and it all starts with the speed afforded to you by such technological software. This is something that can really benefit a small business looking to spread its wings and grow into a huge empire. Virtualising your servers is the key to a better business for so many reasons, as I’ve already extensively discussed and proven the cost benefits which come with using secure online software in place of outdated physical servers.
Virtual servers, however, have so many more benefits than that, and speed is one of them. If your employees are hard-working and you all have dreams of putting your determination towards a more effective business, then you shouldn’t be impeded by slow and outdated technology. The speed of virtual servers can help your business grow astronomically quickly, as you’ll complete more processes much more quickly within any given day. Your hardware needs to keep up with the fast-working brains of everyone working within your organisation, but it needs faster software to do that.
No downtime also means a more efficient and productive work day
When it comes to technology, the pros of its ease of use and seemingly limitless storage capabilities can often be weighed up against the cons of the temperamentality of technology in general. That’s why you need to be smarter and accept that technology will fail and let you down sometimes. The key is to prepare for when that happens and ensure that downtime doesn’t cost your business a huge chunk of its annual profit.
Virtual servers can ensure, should something go wrong, that your data is safe and that everything is up and running again within no time. Using software such as a Windows VPS could really make your business run so much more smoothly. Network downtime will strike at some point for any business, so a successful company looking to save time and money should prepare for that eventuality.
Use video marketing
Maybe your business already operates on quite a high-functioning level, and you’re wondering what more the internet can afford to you. Well, I think the important thing is to always consider the big picture. Technological hardware and software, along with the nature of the online world in general, is changing every day, and its usefulness to your business will never expire. There are always new tools that could help your small business evolve into something more, and, if it isn’t an operational or cost-effective improvement you’re looking for, then perhaps a brand-building solution is what you need to grow.
When it comes to marketing, the opportunities afforded by the internet are essentially endless. Billboards and posters get old in the real world, especially when everybody’s glued to their screens. You have to feel the market, and the market is becoming an increasingly technologically-inclined one. The millennial generation are becoming the biggest consumer-base on the planet, so you need to build around that.
Video marketing is a growing area of brand promotion on the internet, and it currently expanding quite rapidly. Solutions such as this could really help your business grow, because it shows that you’re thinking outside the box. A video combines the power of sharing through the internet with something real and tangible in the form of video content; it can’t be faked quite as easily as a text-based advert, for example.
Online marketing, in general, offers a huge boost to small businesses
Don’t underestimate the benefits of virtual marketing, because the biggest market in the world is made up of potential customers sitting behind their computer screens and browsing for goods and services in every industry; that includes yours. If you want to find your target audience, this is the place to be. It’s a chance to reinvent your brand, and you don’t have to stop at video marketing. You can communicate with customers through websites and social media profiles in ways that afford your business the opportunity to be more personal and engaging than it could ever be through a one-dimensional poster.