Owning and running a small business can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. Without the resources and capital that the big corporations have, it takes a great deal of hard work, focus and passion to keep your small business going. Advancements in technology have made it easier for companies of all sizes to work efficiently, help them save money and have leveled the playing field between the small guy and the little guy. In order to stay ahead of the game and not get left behind, entrepreneurs must embrace technology and make it an integral part of their daily operations. Below we discuss a few of the best IT practices for small businesses so that they can get ahead in a competitive world.
Mobility is more important now than ever. The use of mobile devices has surpassed the use of laptops and desktops, which means you need a mobile friendly website. If your business’s site doesn’t have a responsive design or hasn’t been made specifically for mobile users, this should be done right away. Otherwise you are likely missing out on half of your website traffic or more.
Use Videos on Your Website
In order to gain trust and new customers, you want your web site to be as welcoming as possible. One way to accomplish this is to create videos that let customers “meet” you online before they contact your company. Popular website videos for small businesses include how-to instructions, such as “how to edge your garden”, for a landscaping company. If people use the video for a small job like weed-whacking, they will be more apt to call you for something more complicated like lawn aerating or gutter cleaning. You can also make customer testimonial videos from past clients that have been satisfied with your work. Try to put at least three videos or more on the site and you don’t need any fancy equipment to get it recorded.
PayPal is a very easy way for customers to pay your business. It is a trusted site that is widely used, so customers will be more likely to trust you with their funds. The transactions are simple, since PayPal allows you to link debit, credit and your bank accounts to their site. As an added bonus, PayPal offers small business loans if you have processed payments with them for at least three months and have at least $20,000 in sales with them in a year.
With the high amount of cyber crimes that take place daily, it is critical that you keep your customers’, as well as your business’s, critical data secure. Be sure to have the proper security measures in place with firewall, encryption and other measures that meet PCI compliance standards. Always back up on a regular basis and consider using cloud storage so that nothing important is ever lost. Your business should also have a disaster recovery plan in the case of a catastrophe like a fire or flood, so that you don’t lose important data and can continue to operate from a remote location.