You’ll Fall Behind Without This Tech On Your Side

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It’s a pretty well-known fact that to achieve succeed in business these days, you always have to be one step ahead of the game. We live in a world where time stops for no-one, and if you slack off, there will always be a competitor ready to jump in and take your place. It is for this reason that it pays to be up to date in all aspects of your company, whether that means trying out the newest marketing techniques or investing in the latest in office furniture. But one thing that is paramount to the success of your business is how clued up you are on technology. The world of tech has completely revolutionized the way that modern businesses are run. If you tried to launch a new business today with the same resources and techniques that were available to people in, say, 1974, you would be setting yourself up for failure. In fact, you would probably struggle to run a successful business in 2017 with resources and methods from a mere five years ago – that is how quickly technology advances. There are many reasons why tech has created a whole new playing field for only the very top business. One factor is that it cuts out the middle man. A manual job that would have taken an employee a few hours to do can now be completed in a matter of seconds by a computer or an application. This results in less wage cost for the employer and the job getting done much faster and often, in a much more accurate manner. Tech can also mean that the line is blurred between the company and the client, creating greater transparency and communication between the two. So, we’ve established that your business can’t live without tech; but it’s going to take a lot more than a couple of fancy Apple Macs in your office to mean that you are ahead of the game when it comes to technology. Here are some of the must-have tools, software, and applications that you need to bring to your business today.

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A web host

No matter what sector your business is in, you are going to need a website. It can sometimes be easy to overlook the importance of a website when so much these days goes on over social media. But, there are certain things you can’t knock for their worth, and a good website is one of them. In order to pull off a functional and successful website for your business, you will need first to find a reputable web host to build your site – this is when reading reviews of web hosting providers such as this inmotion rating will come in useful as you will be able to compare a few different options before making any major decisions. Never just go with the first one you see  -it is vital to ensure that your chosen web host meets all of your needs and more. Establish what kind of site you are building – is it portfolio-based, or is it e-commerce? There are specific web hosts that deal with all different types of websites, including these two examples. You also need to look at the server efficiency (the last thing you want is your customers not even being able to access your site because it takes too long to load) and whether your host can cope with any special software you need on your website. Apart from all this you should look for a web host who can provide you dedicated support for your hosting queries and other complex IT tasks such as SharePoint Online Tenant to Tenant Migration or Gmail to Exchange Migration etc. It is also worth triple checking your initial domain purchase cost and any subsequent subscriptions to your server, so you are not caught out later in the year by an unexpected fee.

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Online client chat

Be honest: when was the last time you picked up the phone to speak to a company or service? Every business needs a direct phone line of course, and that’s something that’s never going to change. But if you make it your sole point of client contact, you could be missing out on a lot of potential customers. Many people are now too busy in their everyday lives to spend ten minutes on hold to a business, and some people simply don’t like using the phone. Therefore, having an online messenger system on your website to link you to your clients can be an invaluable tool. Depending on your web host, you may be able to get a chat system already built in – but don’t worry if that’s not an option for you. Zendesk and Freshdesk are two examples of online messaging platforms that you can easily integrate into your website, so your customers can be connected with a member of staff in a matter of seconds. Just make sure you always have someone manning this feature. It will look really bad if you customer sends a message via the server, only to get no response!

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Secure storage

When you think about all the different features and documents that make up your business over time, the mind probably boggles a little. Keeping track of everything is one thing, and keeping everything safe and secure is another completely. This is where the mysterious ‘Cloud’ comes into play. If you’re not entirely sure what ‘The Cloud’ is at this stage, don’t worry – you can visit sites like http://www.icloudlogin.com which will reveal all. It does, however, have a lot of features that can make your business operations a whole lot smoother. For example, sometimes a desktop hard drive is not enough to store certain files. We’ve all tried to send a file via email in the past, only to be told that the server cannot send the file because it is too large. Using a Cloud storage system eradicates this problem, as they are reliable backup systems that can easily store huge files. This way,

you don’t have to worry about sending them to anyone at all; if you need another member of your team to access something specific, they can just log into the company’s Cloud and download it from there. Another part of the beauty regarding Cloud storage is the fact that you can access it from anywhere. In an increasingly nomadic society, it really can pay to be able to access your company’s information from wherever you happen to be in the world – after all, if you need to go to Germany for a conference, it’s not like you can pick up your huge desktop computer and take it with you! The Cloud means that as long as you have a secure connection, all your company’s information is right at your fingertips.

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Social media management systems

Everyone knows the importance of social media in business today – so it’s not something we need to relay back to you right now. But what you may not be aware of is to manage your various social media channels in such a way that they benefit your company, rather than become a hindrance to it. It can be difficult to keep on top of all your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram updates, and often social media ends up falling by the wayside when other, more pressing business matters take hold. This is a worry for many companies, however, as consistency is key in social media. If you know you have a particularly busy time coming up ahead in your work life, and you are unlikely to get around to updating all your social media, solve this issue by installing some helpful apps. Tweetdeck helps you to effectively schedule Twitter activity months in advance, while Hootsuite allows the user to arrange activity across multiple social media platforms. This can be a lifesaver for when you are rushed off your feet, or if you don’t yet have an employee who is responsible for the management of your social media.

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E-shot programs

One aspect of marketing that shouldn’t be forgotten in the wake of social media is the humble e-shot. E-shots are promotional emails your business can send out to customers, and they are a useful tool that is often underestimated. What’s so good about them? Well, providing you have a healthy database of customer information and contact details, you can target specific demographics with specific e-shots – meaning it is a much more precise kind of marketing than social media. You may need a graphic designer on board to help you design your e-shots, and maybe some marketing staff to help you craft enticing headlines and subject fillers. But if you don’t have this at your disposal, you can still do it yourself. Programs such as Mailchimp allow you to put together your own e-shots, complete with eye-catching designs and informative text, which you can then send out to your clients. You can also track whether these emails are opened or whether they are ignored, which can enable you to send a follow-up as a result of the latter. All of these pieces of technology can be valuable assets to your business, and before long you will wonder how you ever managed without them.

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