Businesses of all sizes can use technology to automate processes and streamline operations. However, finding the right IT systems can be a challenging and time-consuming task. Not having the right resources to hire a dedicated IT team can be one of the biggest roadblocks of maintaining small business continuity. This checklist can help small businesses know the IT essentials that should be prioritized to push their business forward.
High-speed Internet Connection
Before anything else, businesses should ensure that their office or location has a fast and reliable Internet connection – and an Internet failover if that service should go down. This is a great first place to start, as setting up all other computer hardware, software, and other IT typically requires an Internet connection.
Most routine office tasks require Internet, and Internet downtime can be harmful to small business continuity of operations. Communication, including email, social media, and other online platforms, also rely on a strong Internet connection. If your business runs remotely, make sure that all of your employees have access to a secure Internet connection, as public Wi-fi networks can open your business to security threats.
Computer Hardware and Equipment
The latest computer hardware and equipment can without a doubt make your business work faster. However, as a small business owner, you may not have the budget to spend on the latest equipment up front. Luckily, businesses can lease hardware and have the best of both worlds. Because technology is constantly evolving, it’s pretty common for expensive hardware to lose value after a year. Leasing computers and other hardware will allow your business to stay up to date with the latest tech while saving money upfront.
Up-to-date Software Solutions
Computer software solutions are also essential to support many different parts of your business. Software can help streamline processes and workflows and make your business more efficient overall. When choosing a software solution, take time to understand how that specific software will suit your needs. You shouldn’t always go for the most expensive option. For example, you may not want to choose the most high-end accounting software with extensive features that may never be used based on the nature of your business.
- A few different examples of software solutions include:
- Word processing tools
- Accounting software
- Marketing software
- Sales software
- Human resources tools
- Inventory management tools
- Client portals
- File sharing software
- Project management tools
Website and Email Hosting Providers
All companies are expected to have an online presence. A website allows businesses of all sizes to have a storefront that’s accessible anywhere. A slow website with a poor user experience can impact your company’s reputation. With that said, make sure that you have a reliable website provider that provides 24/7 support.
While email and instant messaging have become more popular, when it comes to customer communications, phone systems are critical. Phone connections are often bundled with Internet providers, which makes setting up a phone system easy. If your employees need mobile phones, check with phone companies in your area to learn about the most cost-efficient call and data packages for business. Make sure to create a clear policy around the use of company mobile phones to prevent surprisingly high phone bills.
Emergency Notification System
When thinking about small business continuity, it’s important to keep organizational communication at the forefront of the planning process. Having an emergency notification network in place helps your organization communicate effectively if the unexpected occurs.
An emergency notification system for businesses is a platform that broadcasts an alert or message to one or multiple groups of people to notify them of an emergency. If your business is in the market for an emergency notification network, there are many things to keep in mind when researching different options. Check outthis post to learn more.
IT Troubleshooting Tools
We’ve all experienced issues with IT —from accessing 404-page errors to basic connectivity errors. But nothing is more vexing than when it’s your own website giving you trouble. When a problem occurs, you may struggle to determine whether the culprit is your computer, your network, your Internet connection, or the server itself. Because there are so many ways things can go wrong, the underlying issue can often be tricky to identify.
Fortunately, there are many free troubleshooting tools that can help you identify where the issue is, how to fix it, and how to prevent it from causing Internet downtime in the future. Whether you’re a business owner managing a few devices or an IT professional managing hundreds, you can benefit from IT troubleshooting tools. To learn more, check out our post about these tools.
Technology is always changing, so businesses should be flexible and adapt so they can stay ahead. Spend time evaluating your options so you can maximize new technologies and grow your business, without breaking the bank.