Do you shy away from new technologies due to cost? There’s no denying that the cost of buying and implementing business technology can overwhelm a small business’s budget. However, sometimes you can’t afford not to invest in tech, even if it bites into your business’s bottom line.
These are three situations where you need to invest in technology to overcome small business challenges.
When your data is at risk
Data security is one of those things that small businesses put off, thinking it’s not a big concern for an operation their size. However, not only are small businesses popular targets for data breaches, they’re also the least likely to recover if their data is compromised.
Every small business should have basic cybersecurity measures in place. These include antivirus protection, firewalls, file encryption, password managers, and data backups. For a small upfront investment in these technologies, you can protect your business against catastrophic loss.
If the worst does happen and you lose data due to malware, phishing scams, or database crash, don’t try a DIY fix. Unless you have the in-house IT staff to deal with it, hiring a professional data recovery company like Secure Data Recovery is your best bet for getting up and running again quickly. While these services aren’t cheap, it’s still more affordable than shutting your doors and losing money and customers in the process. You’ll want to act quickly if business data is compromised, so find a data recovery company and put them on retainer now, before you need them.
When customer service is lacking
Customers expect better customer service from small businesses than they do from the big names. It’s one big reason why they’re willing to spend more when shopping at a small business compared to a big box store.
If customer service disappoints, however, shoppers won’t hesitate to blacklist a business. 97% of consumers say customer experience is a key factor when determining their loyalty to a brand, and 63% say they’ve stopped shopping at a business because of poor customer service.
Keeping up with customer service requests can be tough for a small business with lean staffing, especially if you’re relying solely on phone calls and emails to resolve problems. While a personal touch is important for small business customer service, a lot of customer questions can be answered with self-serve tools like online knowledge bases.
The most complex customer questions still require hands-on assistance. Help desk software like Zendesk and Freshdesk collects customer support tickets all in one place, no matter if they originated from email, phone, or social media. That way, your team can ensure questions are answered promptly and even use live chat to proactively help customers.
When you’re out of office space
What do you do when you need more staff, but your office space is at capacity? You could change locations and absorb all the cost and inconvenience that comes with it, or you could take advantage of remote staffing to meet labor needs while keeping overhead costs low.
Bringing on remote staff isn’t as simple as giving employees a laptop and sending them to work from home. In order for on-site and remote staff to work together, you need to adopt technology like digital file management, project management, and communication tools.
Luckily for small business owners, many of the tech solutions that make remote work possible are also exceptionally affordable. Slack, a popular chat and meeting platform for businesses, is just one example, while some of the leading file storage and sharing services less than $10 per user per month. Project management and time tracking software solutions are similarly affordable — especially when compared to the cost of outfitting an office space and keeping the lights on.
One more time the services of a tech pro is worth the money? When you’re designing your small business website. While it’s simple enough to get a website up and running using website builders, if you want a website that converts, you need to invest in professional web design services to make your business website stand apart from the competition.