In today’s modern workplace, technology can be used to streamline business functions, organize and track projects and tasks, manage money, and help connect people for collaboration.
While there are some tech functions you can likely do on your own, or with a bit of help and training, there may be areas where it makes better sense to invest in a technology professional. Allen Marketing Communications, a boutique travel and lifestyle public relations agency, shares the following solutions to help you make the right choices for your business.
According to Pew Research Center, a large majority of consumers use the internet to research products and services, read reviews, and connect with possible service providers. As such, you not only need a website for your business, you need a site that’s functional, easy to navigate, and in some cases, interactive.
At minimum, the website should provide an overview of who you are, what you do, and why consumers should choose you. You also need to make it easy for people to reach out to you, ask questions, or shop with you if you provide products or services online.
While just about anyone can build a very basic website, it is time-consuming, it can be difficult to keep updated, and it’s not likely to have the polished and professional look of a professionally designed site. Consider working with a professional web designer, and don’t be shy about working with a freelancer. These experts typically make around $15-$30 per hour, in case you’re asking “how much do web designers make?”
Cybercriminals are continually changing their game plans, and according to the FBI, it’s essential that you’re keeping your information, and that of your clients, safe and secure. While there are many things you can do on your own - like backing up data, regularly changing passwords, and using firewalls - having an expert review of your security systems can be a business lifesaver.
A cyber security professional can test your site for weaknesses, evaluate your needs, and provide you with direction on best practices for protecting you from ransomware, theft, and viruses. You may be able to get along just fine with a consultation or assessment once or twice a year, but the services themselves should be considered essential.
Eventually, it’s smart to have a cyber security/IT professional on staff or to work with a cyber security monitoring agency. Note that this typically costs small businesses around $24,000 per year.
Collaborative tools like team sites, workflow programs, and project management software can help teams stay organized and working in sync, regardless of where they’re located. Social media can be great for amplifying your content and messaging and reaching your clients and customers.
Problems can arise, however, when people don’t know how to effectively use their tools. The same goes for new software systems.
It can be to your advantage to bring in a corporate trainer to help educate staffers on self-operated tech systems to ensure they’re being used effectively. Not only is this a smart move when you’re onboarding new hires, but it can also be a good professional development tool. Costs here can range significantly depending on the type of software and the number of employees you’ll be training.
Financial Management Systems
Gone are the days of writing notes in a ledger, but today’s accounting systems can be somewhat complex. There are many “all in one” products that allow you to do everything from invoice and print receipts to track employee hours, log tax deductions, and even generate detailed financial reports.
If you’re comfortable with the software and confident in your ability to ensure what you’re plugging in is accurate, that’s great.
If you’re using it as your primary technology to manage all of your financial systems, it doesn’t hurt to have a consultant in on occasion - especially around tax time and budgeting - to ensure you’re getting the most from your technology. An accountant usually charges anywhere from $30 to $500 an hour.
Tech makes a lot of business operations easier to manage, but the key is in ensuring you have the right tech for your business and using it wisely. Having the right business entity is also important, as it pertains to how you pay taxes, and the liability protection you have in place. You can do the legwork yourself, hire a pricey attorney, or utilize an online formation company.
Our boutique travel and lifestyle public relations agency is here to help. Give us a call.
Guest post by Chelsea Lamb of Business Pop
Photo credit: Pixabay