When starting a small business, many entrepreneurs work with a tight budget. While they can save money in some areas, in most cases, the initial investment in technology will be significant. Hardware and software are simply essential for most new businesses. Following are five technology investments that new business owners should consider.
Computer hardware is going to be essential for most businesses. First and foremost, you will need a desktop or laptop computer that is dedicated to business use. This should not be the computer that the family uses for homework and gaming. Ideally, it and the peripherals you purchase will be dedicated solely to the business. A printer and a scanner de bureau will also be essential tools for a small business. A three-in-one unit that includes a copier may be appropriate.
2. Project Management Software
One of the first things you will want to install on your company’s computer is project management software. This tool allows you to organize your projects at the start of your business journey and as you grow. The software allows you to track costs, collaborate with teams if necessary, and meet deadlines.
3. Online Data Storage
While you may prefer to store your data on an in-house drive or server, having a cloud-based backup is highly recommended. There are many options to choose from, and the pricing is quite reasonable. Even if you don’t have large amounts of data to store, you still want to keep the data you have secure and available to you in case of damage to physical drives.
4. Cybersecurity Software
Speaking of security, you will want to keep your business safe from online attacks. Because you are likely storing some personal and financial information for yourself and your customers, it’s your responsibility to ensure that the information is fully secure. Falling prey to identity thieves and spammers will immediately alienate your customer base and could cause irreparable harm to your financial situation and your reputation. You may start with simple but effective antivirus software but consider other measures as well. If you aren’t sure how to effectively secure your data, consult a professional.
5. Customer Relationship Management System
As your customer base grows, it will be useful to you as a business owner to track information related to your clients. There are software systems out there that can help you organize and manage this information and then utilize it to grow your customer base. Again, you will want to choose a system wisely and ensure that the information is secure and backed up at all times. Initially, it may not seem like it’s worth your time to collect and store this data. However, as you expand your business, this information will allow you to improve your marketing strategy.
As a new business owner, you may be hesitant to commit so much of your precious budget to technology. However, by carefully choosing effective hardware and software tools, you will be investing not only in launching your business but in your company’s future as well.
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