How Small Businesses Can Economize by Using IT Operations

Small businesses and brick and mortar stores are poised to take on the American economy in a big way creating 95,000 jobs in a single month from November to December 2015 as the ADP Small Business report shows. Sageworks analyst, James Noe reports, “Small businesses overall showed gains in the key financial metrics of sales and profitability, based on our data. Within major sectors, small companies also produced healthy sales growth during 2015, along with flat-to-wider margins.”

To give your business a boost, as every smart business owner is aware, you need to digitize your operations. If you haven’t already adopted the use of computers, you’ll find that instituting IT operations in your company is not all that cost prohibitive. With some smart thinking and using digital devices and applications, you’ll be able to streamline and contribute to the efficient working of your company. Here are a few simple steps you can take.

Invest in Laptops and Computers

If you think that you’re not ready to invest a large amount of finances in your IT operations, you always have the option of buying refurbished laptops, computers, and other equipment. All it takes is some research and you should be able to find little-used devices for very economical prices. Once you begin using computers, you’ll find that you not only eliminate the need for maintaining large piles of paperwork, but you also free up your employees’ time for more productive tasks. Move all your administrating jobs to the cloud and you’ll find that working and coordinating with your workforce becomes a breeze.

Negotiate with Your Internet Provider for Affordable Packages

Internet servers typically have a range of packages that they offer to small business owners. If you intend to move all your IT operations to the cloud, you can negotiate for affordable rates and packages that allow you a bunch of other perks also. Make sure you talk about efficient internet services that are not plagued by regular interruptions. This factor is especially important when you set up your company website to attract maximum footfall.

Develop a Great Website

Even if you own a store in a small town where everyone knows you well, having a great website is indispensable. We live in an age where customers are likely to search the internet for the closest store for the products they need. That’s why; you absolutely need a website in your IT operations so you can display all your offerings encouraging customers to visit your brick and mortar store. You may also have out-of-town visitors looking to buy some interesting local products that are not available elsewhere and you need your store to be found. Thus, having an internet presence is an essential marketing and advertising tool that you absolutely need.

Download free themes from the internet and develop a website to advertise your store and the products you sell. Since such themes and templates come with step-by-step instructions and tons of community support, you won’t need to hire the services of a digital marketer to help you.

Adopt the System of Email Apps

Using email and voicemail to communicate with your employees as a part of your IT operations will help you save on phone bills and avoid miscommunications. That’s because, employees can always refer back to written mails or play back voicemail to follow instructions carefully. You also save on the cost of memos and notes that can get lost. Above all, you eliminate the need for holding staff meetings from time to time to issue directions and instructions. You only need to create shared space on the company website or an online app where you can put down all important messages for the employees.

Use Digital Methods for Taking and Delivering Orders

As a part of your IT operations, move all your customer communications to the internet. Whether it is taking orders, delivering, tracking shipments, invoicing, or collecting payments, you’ll find that you eliminate a lot of non-essential paperwork, instill efficiency, and remove the possibility of human errors. Information about new product launches, promotional campaigns, sales, incentives and other discounts can be conveniently relayed to your dedicated customer base through emails.

Move Accounting, Banking, and Taxation Systems to the Internet

Once you digitize your company functions, you’ll find that you can move any number of them to the IT operations department. These functions can include accounting by way of the many apps like MAS90, Great Plains, Enterprise, and Business Works, among others. Online accounting can be seamlessly linked to federal taxation systems. As a result, you’ll find that paying taxes and complying with accounting laws is a lot easier. You’ll also avoid the possibility of audits. Link paying utility bills, insurance premiums, payroll, and any other regular dues to your banking app. As a result, you can ensure that all of these expenses are met on time without the need for you to devote a significant amount of time each week and month towards dealing with them.

A Word of Caution

Transforming your company functions into IT operations does have a lot of positives. However, you must always be aware of the possibility of data breaches and other security leaks in the information that your business partners and customers entrust to you. Make sure you install the necessary security firewalls and antivirus applications to protect your business from hackers and cybercriminals. These security measures don’t cost a lot and sometimes, a simple tool like a complicated password is enough to keep hackers away.

Digitization and IT operations can help your small business streamline its functioning and grow quickly. Adopt this tool to ensure the continued success of your company so it can keep pace with the developments of a rapidly evolving commercial sphere.

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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, Founder of Inspired Marketing, Inc., helps overachieving women entrepreneurs conquer limiting beliefs and create marketing plans that grow their businesses. This includes one-on-one marketing plan development, digital product creation, web design and content marketing. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog, Entrepreneur-Resources.net.

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