7 IT Essentials For Any Small Business
The right infrastructure and IT support can help you to work smarter and harder, while your business grows. Here’s 7 IT essentials small businesses need to be successful.
Microsoft Outlook. As part of the Office suite, you get all the usual Microsoft programmes, like Word and Excel, but also get the often overlooked Outlook. Use Outlook to help you and your business stay organised. Outlook can be used for more than just email. Use to help you organise your files, organise your emails and manage your calendar to keep track of meetings.
Cloud storage. If you store important files outside your own computer, you can make sharing them much easier. Collaborate more freely, as any staff with credentials will be able to access and work from the same files. It also gives you more freedom to work away from your office, as you can access your documents from your home, your phone or your laptop. Use cloud storage for flexible working for you and any team members who want to work remotely. Cloud storage can be more secure, as you can track any changes made, and your files will still be safely there even if a disaster befalls your work computers.
Network security. Small businesses can often be targeted for cyber crime, as there’s often an assumption that their network security won’t be up to date. Be sure to protect your business from these kind of attacks by investing in network security to protect your files. Proper security also keeps safe any customer information and your emails. Protect your reputation by taking steps to reduce the risk of customer information being leaked. Keep your anti-virus software up to date all on devices used for work.
Accounting software. Keep track of your company finances with the right accounting software, without needing to use an outside form. Track your company income, expenses, tax liabilities and other important financial information. Using software means you can access your financial information on demand, and keep up to date more easily than with old fashioned methods.
Inventory Management. Use inventory software to keep proper track of what’s coming in and going out. Manage inventory costs and monitor product profitability.
Payment processing. Utilise IT to maximise earning potential, by making sure you can accept credit and debit card payments. Most people prefer to pay by card these days and rarely pay business using cash or cheques. For online transactions, use a secure payment gateway or trustworthy service like PayPal. If you’re taking payments in person, you’ll need card readers and any point-of-sale systems. Make sure that any customer data taken during the payment process is being kept securely, to avoid data breaches.
Communication. Any small business owner knows that communication is key. You need a reliable infrastructure to keep you in touch whether by phone or via the internet. You’ll want to keep talking to customers, suppliers, employees, contractors and relevant stakeholders. Make the most of the internet for keeping a well maintained company website to speak to customers.