For small and medium-sized businesses(SMBs), budget crunch is a common issue, and they usually look for cost-effective ways to run their business efficiently and grow. Some of the costs are constant and unavoidable. Still, there are some other aspects where modernization can help to reduce bottlenecks and operation costs and also help to grow your business. At the same time, low cost is not the only concern – they have to improve team engagement and customer satisfaction and consider an efficient cybersecurity posture.
To strengthen your business without bankruptcy, you can look for low-cost tech initiatives. You can consult your managed IT services provider to pick the right tech initiatives to help you and your team work more efficiently. Here are four such initiatives that can influence your business positively.
- Go for a moderately priced collaboration tool
An organization with a growing team or remote work practices need efficient communication tool to work as a team. But not all communication tools are the same and equally efficient. You need tools with modern features to facilitate virtual collaboration that can grow with your changing needs.
In the current hybrid workforce model, most SMBs need to look for an affordable collaboration tool with task management facilities. These collaboration or knowledge-management tools can boost your team’s engagement and improve productivity. Leveraging efficient collaboration tools is the best way for your team to work cohesively without colocation. Fortunately, modern technology can make it happen. There are several task management tools and remote collaboration tools available. With a task management tool, you can plan, organize, and prioritize your tasks and communicate them to the concerned person to finish them efficiently and within the defined time limit.
Task management tools are designed to manage multiple projects across cross-functional teams, rule out the possibility of missing deadlines and overshooting budgets on a single platform. Adopting a reasonably-priced collaboration/task management tool will not only make your project management easy but also help you to finish every project efficiently.
- Make your business website more mobile responsive
The smartphone is the most used device – being portable and easy to use, people prefer to access websites or information, even making online purchases using mobile phones. Therefore, it is essential for SMB owners to have a mobile-responsive website to be widely accessible and compete successfully. Mobile phones allow users to find, view and purchase your products or services conveniently and anytime. Customers can even read about what you offer on their mobile when they are on the move—this is important to improve your product/service sales.
To check your website’s mobile responsiveness, you can simply try the online tool offered by Google and test your website. If Google says it’s mobile-friendly, you are safe. But if you still need to, you must convey the test report to your in-house development team to upgrade your website. You can also ask your employees to use your website on mobile for a certain period (suppose one week) and document every issue they face, including prolonged periods to load, inactive buttons or wrong active areas, if anything is showing up wrongly, an incomplete vision of your website on screen, etc. Then you can make a comprehensive list of all visible issues with your website and ask your developers to address them. You can also consult with your managed IT services partner to help you improve your website and make it mobile-friendly. Along with a mobile responsive website, you can also go for a mobile app to offer your services or products to your consumers. Professional IT service providers can even help you with mobile app development to make you more reachable to your customers.
- Check for any service overlaps
When budget is a concern, checking for misuse or lower utilization is pretty helpful. Sometimes, organizations may subscribe for, or purchase licenses for multiple services and some of them are either not needed or less utilized. So, it is essential to keep checking the subscriptions and paid licenses and eliminate redundancies(if any) in them.
You may review your existing licenses and activate unutilized services and all features that are included in your package. During this re-checking process, you can find those solutions that may lead to dual licensing fees. Cancellation of unutilized subscriptions can free up your budget for some better purpose.
Sometimes, different platforms offer features and benefits that coincide with the services provided by another vendor. To check if you are paying double for the same service, you should list or catalog the service packages, their details, and your resources. Then conduct a thorough audit. You can take the help of a managed IT service provider for the same. Through asset assessment and audit, you can uncover opportunities to consolidate platforms and accurately calculate return on investment (ROI) – this will not only frees up your IT budget but also lead to increased efficiencies in infrastructure and management.
- Reinforce cybersecurity strategies
According to a study by Cisco, in 2021, a considerable percentage (62%) of SMBs in India suffered cyber incidents, and those cyberattacks cost more than ₹3.5 crores. Even very small businesses, with ten or less than ten employees, are under attack. Therefore, cyberattacks and data breach has become a massive concern for SMBs, and they need to take precautions.
Surprisingly, human errors are more prominent in initiating a data breach compared to security gaps in your infrastructure. Nowadays, cybercriminals prefer to capitalize on one of your employee’s momentary confusion, attraction to a good bargain, or urge to explore attractive offers to attack their next targets. Only one of your employees’ unaware clicking can shut down your business.
Therefore, it has become vital to focus on finding and repairing all your vulnerable access points (through access restriction, encryption, bi- or multi-factor authentication, etc.) and prevent any intrusion attempt.
Multiple simple tech solutions can help SMBs manage their workflows, analyze data, improve ROI and more, all at a reasonable cost. These four low-cost, high-impact IT initiatives will enable SMBs to manage their infrastructure and business more efficiently, along with lowering expenses. You can consult managed IT service providers to know about your organization’s most suitable tech initiatives.