What is your technology strategy for the upcoming year?
As we close 2018 and look forward to 2019, there are a lot of opportunities and challenges for the emerging business when it comes to technology. This post will highlight a few of these items that can be quick wins for the emerging business in 2019 and the cost quite minimal.
Look at the recurring monthly costs of technology
Many times as an emerging business items such as phones, internet, website hosting, and credit card processing become costs that are absorbed and often forgotten about. Conservative estimates state that 30% of all bills have errors in telecom bills alone (Gartner, 2015). If you haven’t had a review of these expenses in the last two years you are due for an audit. There are many firms that will review these costs and make recommendations on how to improve your savings, many times without changing providers. The firms will usually take a small percentage of the savings as their cost of doing the audit.
Security posture is more important than ever
Many emerging businesses security, usually comprises of a firewall that was originally installed when the brick and mortar opened, a wireless router with a WPA encryption, and some antivirus software. This is a potential breach waiting to happen or has already happened. According to the Better Business Bureau 1 in 5 small businesses have been hacked (BBB, 2017). With increased connectivity and customers wanting more access on more platforms this becomes a major concern.
Our recommendation is to have at a minimum hardware based firewalls that also have updated subscription based offerings. These firewalls will allow for 24/7 protection as well updates to new events that are found and also allow for white-listing and malware detection for your whole network. Sophos, SonicWall, Watchguard, Fortinet, Cisco and Meraki are a few that are in the emerging business arena.
Are you taking advantage of your web presence
Many emerging businesses that are brick and mortar usually believe a web presence is a website and not much else to do. Studies show that 70% of adults say online presence impacts the purchasing decisions. Furthermore a online review increase of 1 star can mean a 5-9% increase in revenue (Forbes, 2017). With the ability to do target customers, even local customers, to purchase products it is a market that a business owner needs to capture.
With technology applications to run e-commerce stores they also act as inventory systems and can capture sales. Factor in the use of social media and a store can start driving revenue from both the web as well as additional foot traffic. If you have a website that is older than two years, you may want to have it reviewed. Please note there are many organizations that state they can increase traffic by SEO optimization, etc. and will charge very high fees. Please do your homework and have multiple bids and an understanding of what you are getting for the price.
Take advantage of automation
There are many automation tools that allow for repetitive tasks. This could be as simple as using an app such as Freebusy, Mailchimp, or Streak. It can also be combining with a IFTTT or Zapier, or Microsoft Flow. The key is finding repetitive tasks in your every day routine. Some of these could be emails, scheduling, newsletters, billing, orders, web Content
These are just a few items that an emerging business will want to take a look at as they are looking at their technology spend and how to attract new revenue. KSEASOLUTIONS, LLC will be able to help you in making those decisions by doing the following:
- Analysis on how technology is costed, implemented and used within the organization taking into account Quantitative and Qualitative methodologies.
- A roadmap to guide the organization forward on how to implement technology to reach their goals.
- A team who will listen to the customer needs.