For any business, getting their tech up and running is essential. Without reliable technology, most modern businesses could not run efficiently enough to make a profit.
This short guide outlines the approach you need to use to ensure that everything can be set up fast. To make things easier to understand we have used a couple of specific examples, but the principles, tips, and approach laid out below can be used by any business to set up their technology and keep it running smoothly.
Invest in the Right Technology
The first step is to buy the right technology for your business. Don´t make the mistake of using the cheapest solution to try to save some money. By all means shop around. But make sure that the technology you buy is what will work for your business. You do not want to end up struggling without access to important features that could save you time and make everything run more smoothly.
For example, if you wanted to use digital signs in your store, clinic, bar, restaurant, salon, or café to advertise your latest products and promotions you could simply buy a couple of screens with a USB slot and play videos or slideshows that have been saved to a memory stick. This sounds OK, but, in reality, taking that approach with physical display screen advertising would be a big mistake. You do need to invest in some specific software for digital signs to be able to get the most out of this form of advertising. The best digital signage deals include software that enables you to create adverts that convert with just a few minutes of effort. Meaning that there is no need to pay to have ads created for your business.
Usually, there is also access to thousands of stock images included in the package, which is another money saver. As well as the ability to automatically log “what time each advert was created and deployed”. This helps the business owner to combine that information with their sales data to see which adverts and promos were effective. This invaluable information can be used to create future marketing campaigns that are far more likely to convert and generate profit.
Let the Tech Provider Handle Set-up and Maintenance
In most cases, it is wise to let the company buy the technology to set everything up and run it for you. At least, for the first year or so. It is the surest way to ensure that things go smoothly. If you try to do it yourself, then chances are you will not get everything right, which means that instead of your business benefit from that new technology it will suffer losses. Of course, paying for tech support and maintenance is rarely cheap, but generally not doing so will end up costing you far more than you save.
Later, when everything is settled and established you can take over and save on maintenance. If you do plan to do this, just be careful about the cancellation clauses that are in the contract. Ideally, you want to be able to cancel without having to pay any fees.
Invest in Good Networking Equipment
Most of the technology that is used by businesses must be connected to the internet or an internal network to work properly. As a result, business owners need to be prepared to invest in their networking equipment. Again, not doing so usually turns out to be a false economy. If your store normally turns over $5,000 per hour and your billing system is down for 3 hours because of a networking issue, that is $15,000 of turnover you have just lost. A startling amount demonstrates the importance of investing in good hardware. You can read more about preventing your business from suffering from network outages by clicking here.
Build Redundancy into Your Tech Systems
Sadly, even if you do follow all the advice above, you are still going to be vulnerable to equipment failures and outages. For this reason, it is wise to build some redundancy into each of your tech systems. Simply having a spare network router in the cupboard or buying a UPS box that can keep everything running for a few hours during power outages can make a huge difference.
If you have not already done so, put together a disaster recovery plan. Ask yourself how you would cope if one of the tech systems were to fail and set up some sort of contingency to mitigate the issues that would create.
The above is a basic overview of what you need to do to buy, set up and run the technology you need to keep your business running. Now, all you have to do is to take an in-depth look at how you are using technology and make the necessary adjustments.