How are you using technology in your business? Are you up-to-speed on the latest technology trends and tools? Do you know what technology you need to remain competitive and advance your business?

Technology can help you cultivate customers, improve productivity and increase efficiency. Ultimately, selecting and using the right technology will help boost your bottom line.

As 2017 draws to a close, take time to consider how you can best leverage technology in the year ahead. Here’s five ways small and medium size businesses can get started. Be sure to click on the links for additional information and resources.

Use the cloud

Cloud based services can reduce the need to purchase and maintain on-premise software applications. Cloud services are particularly useful for secure document storage, back-ups and team collaboration.

For example, Future Link IT Cloud Share provides small and medium sized businesses convenient sharing and collaboration across mobile devices and PCs. It’s a file sync and share solution with the security and compliance required for businesses of any size, including enterprises, SMBs, and home offices.

Market with Social Media

Many small and medium size businesses simply cannot afford traditional marketing campaigns. However, social media marketing (when done correctly) is relatively inexpensive and provides a direct line to your current and prospective customers.

Even better – it’s not as hard to get started with social media marketing as you may think.

Market with email

Research indicates that 44 percent of email users make at least one purchase based on a promotional email. Unfortunately, many businesses do not take full advantage of email.

Email is still an effective marketing tool. It’s inexpensive, easy to implement and is a powerful way to target your best customers and prospects.

Invest in an ERP

As your business grows and expands, the limitations of spreadsheets and QuickBooks quickly become apparent. If you find yourself trying to use multiple spreadsheets or documents to forecast sales, plan production and manage inventory it may be time to consider Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).

ERPs merge accounting, financial, inventory management, marketing and sales functions into a single database and user interface. Once implemented, you’ll have a central repository for all information and access to it across departments.

Get the right internet connection

Businesses often find themselves using the same Internet connection for years, even though technology has progressed and needs have changed.

Today, there are many options for Internet service. You can choose between DSL, cable or fiber optic high speed Internet service and the various tiers offered by providers.

Though there are many providers, not all high speed Internet service is created equal. In order to choose the best option, it’s important to clarify how your business uses (or plans to use) the Internet.

For example, are you hoping to take advantage of VoIP or to regularly use video conferencing? If so, it may be time to get a fiber optic connection. Fiber optic is the fastest type of Internet connection available and can easily handle VoIP and video.

Get started

Make your New Year’s resolution early – commit to a review of your systems and hardware.

At Future Link IT, we specialize in helping our clients evaluate their technology needs and processes. Or approach involves consideration of many factors including your company’s:

  • Short and long-term business goals
  • System for data back-up and retrieval
  • Hardware and software needs
  • Recent changes, installations and upgrades
  • Budget and ways to save money on your technology purchases, services and support

Call us now to get started.