Written by Randy Johnston, Executive Vice President, K2 Enterprises
(Be sure to join K2 and ISCPA for the Annual Tech Conference Sept 28 & 29!)
Are you thinking about upgrading your technology in a small business or startup? Of course you are, because technology is the key to running any size business – including small businesses and startups – successfully. However, you may also be wondering how you can afford new technology, given budgetary constraints – a concern for smaller organizations. Consider this point: technology should be viewed as an investment, not an expense. Further, properly implementing the latest technology into key operations of your business can set your business apart from the competition. Therefore, the investment you make in technology should yield returns many times over the price paid. Following are four ways you can update your technology in a small business and achieve outstanding returns in the process.
Overhauling Your Small Business Website
With more people searching for businesses online, having an exceptional and efficient website is more important than ever. So, if your website is lacking some luster, you may want to invest to bolster your online presence.
For example, hiring a PHP developer can give your business site the edge needed to stand out among the competition. Most sites use PHP code, including those powered by WordPress. Therefore, hiring freelance PHP developers could be the key to ensuring that your small business website is user-friendly. Further, with the right updates you should be able to make future changes on your own. Of course, this means you won’t need to hire a developer each time your site needs to be altered.
Freelance job boards make it easy to search for PHP developers who are familiar and comfortable with this technology. However, you should still confirm each candidate’s knowledge of both test suites (www.k2e.fyi/TestSuites) and project management tools (www.k2e.fyi/ProjectTools.) You can also use the links provided to enhance your own knowledge of these essential technology terms. By doing so, you will be better prepared to hire the most qualified PHP developers for your business. Additionally, if you want your project to be completed without a hitch, it’s also important to use those project management tools and lists. Doing so will help to ensure you and your freelance developers are on the same page.
Adding or Enhancing E-Commerce Offerings
Did you know that some of the simplest technology upgrades can provide the biggest boosts to your small business profits? One such update that every small business owner should consider is adding e-commerce capabilities to their website. Not sure how to get started? We suggest using one of the many e-commerce wikis and resources available online (www.k2e.fyi/ecommerce). These should help to take the stress out of adding online shopping to your small business website. Helpful resources such as these contain valuable information regarding all aspects of getting started with an e-commerce business. Examples of available content include resource management, customer service, brand equity, and effective advertising. Having these trusted resources at your fingertips can make adding or enhancing the e-commerce section of your website much easier. In turn, this will give you a major advantage over other competitors.
If you already have a wide selection of e-commerce products and need help moving those items faster, then technology can help you as well. You can have your freelance PHP developer offer helpful website elements. Examples of these include guest checkout capabilities and a streamlined checkout process. Both these additions should help reduce shopping cart abandonment (www.k2e.fyi/shoppingcart.) As you convert those abandoned carts into successful checkouts, you should see your profits increase Moreover, you will also be cultivating loyal relationships with new and existing customers.
Streamlining Communications and Operations
Are you still using two phones to keep your work life and personal life separate? If you upgrade to one of the latest smartphones, you can take advantage of apps (www.k2e.fyi/2ndNumberApps) that allow you to ditch that second phone and use a single device for multiple phone numbers. Apps like Google Voice and TalkU also make it simple to get a new number specifically for your small business. In turn, this can help you maintain some privacy in your personal life and achieve work-life balance.
No doubt having a single phone for work and business can keep you from juggling two devices. However, it can also help reduce your business expenses. It’s also crucial that you’re not using an outdated phone. The latest smartphones have the speed and capability you’ll need to handle communications and run your business. If you’re looking to purchase a new model, top phone wireless providers often offer trade-in deals on new models. Once you have a new high-powered phone, you can access leading business apps (www.k2e.fyi/30BestApps), for an added boost in efficiency.
Securing Small Business Internet Connections
Is your business using a Virtual Private Network (VPN)? If not, then you may want to consider upgrading your internet connections to incorporate this technology (www.k2e.fyi/usingavpn.) By using a VPN to secure your company’s connections, you create an encrypted pathway to the Internet. This will help keep cybercriminals from gaining access to private and confidential information. You can deploy VPNs through subscription-based services or by purchasing a VPN-enabled router. With a few minutes of setup time, you can create your own private internet connection to add a layer of security to your daily business operations and communications.
By upgrading the technology that powers your small business, you could help boost your company to the next level of success. Technology has the power to promote growth, increase profits, establish security, and streamline daily operations. However, to be successful, you need to know which upgrades to focus on first. Setting up a VPN or adding e-commerce capabilities can be almost effortless changes. Likewise, addressing communications needs and upgrading your website can yield almost instant results. Further, each of these enhancements have the power to distinguish your business as a leader in your field, boosting ROI in the process. So, keep this technology guide handy, so that you will know which technology updates and investments make the most sense for the success of your business.
Randy Johnston is the Executive Vice President of K2 Enterprises. In his role at K2 Enterprises, Randy develops and delivers technology-focused learning opportunities for accounting, financial, and other business professionals. You may contact Randy at firstname.lastname@example.org and you may learn more about K2 Enterprises by visiting www.k2e.com.