According to a recent survey, the majority of businesses expect to make tech investments this year in areas like IT, cybersecurity, marketing automation, cloud technologies, and remote team collaboration. And while budgeting for technology isn’t always easy as a small business owner, most businesses simply can’t afford to skimp on tech — especially those operating online or working remotely amidst COVID-19.
Below, learn about three types of tech investments all small business owners should consider to improve their chances of success now and in the future. It may not be cheap, but you’ll save time and money in the long run.
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1. IT and Digital Security
During the pandemic, there’s an increased risk of security threats, phishing attacks, privacy breaches, and email fraud — and falling victim to these types of attacks could harm your business in more ways than one. Common dangers of cyberattacks, for instance, often include incurred business expenses, loss of business income, damaged reputations (including a drop in customer satisfaction), privacy lawsuits, and lost or damaged electronic data.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your reputation, customers, and workers from these types of damages as you continue to operate remotely amidst COVID-19. IT professionals recommend the following:
- Using commercial-grade firewall and combined antivirus and malware software
- Performing regular data backups, such as once daily or several times throughout the day
- Protecting email accounts with a two-step authentication system
It’s also a good idea to outsource your IT and cybersecurity needs. You’ll save time and money in the long run and find peace of mind in knowing you’re protecting your business against identity thieves, phishing scammers, and other cybercriminals.
2. Digital Workspaces
In addition to deploying tech investments in IT and internet security, digital workspaces are another worthy investment — especially if you and your team are working remotely throughout the pandemic. The best digital workspaces feature everything you need to collaborate with your team, organize projects and tasks, and keep your business and marketing campaigns running smoothly while working remotely. And according to GetApp reviews, several top-rated digital workspaces include Jostle, Bluescape, Communifire, and Monday.com.
3. E-commerce Software
Even if you own or lease office space or a brick-and-mortar store, chances are you’ve turned to e-commerce at some point during the pandemic. E-commerce allows you to sell your products/services (where applicable) via the internet through several different platforms, which can help broaden the number of people you do business with by leaps and bounds. This may help you reach a target demographic that you couldn’t reach by only doing business on a local level.
But if you haven’t already invested in the right e-commerce software for your small business, now is the time to do it — doing so will help increase your profits and boost your online visibility. A few e-commerce platforms to choose from include Wix, Shopify, BigCommerce, and Ecwid.
As you prepare to get your e-commerce store up and running for the first time, it may be helpful to enlist the help of an e-commerce specialist. You can use online job boards like Upwork to find e-commerce freelancers that fit your budget and schedule. Make sure to weigh freelancer ratings and reviews before making a decision.
Tech Investments for Long-Term Success
Many tech investments are costly, but they’re often necessary when it comes to growing businesses, working efficiently from home, reaching new customers, and protecting companies from digital security threats. What’s more, many small businesses have the technology to thank for surviving the pandemic — whether they’ve relied on digital commerce, curbside pickup, video conferencing, or other tech tools to stay afloat amidst COVID-19.
Business technology may be expensive, but your small business simply can’t afford to skimp on IT and digital security, digital workspaces, and e-commerce software systems. They’ll help you to achieve your business goals, while also saving you time and money throughout the pandemic and beyond.