Whether you’re just starting out or have been running a successful business for years, your tech needs are ever changing. The kind of technology a small business requires is largely dependent on both industry and the size of the company. Some business’s tech essentials may be a handful of laptops, while others may need their own dedicated server. That being said, there are four staples every small business should invest in.
VoIP Broadband Phone
A reliable phone system is essential for communicating with customers and suppliers alike. Many small (a large) businesses are switching from traditional hard-line systems to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services. When using a VoIP system, calls are made through the internet rather than via the public switched telephone network. VoIP has a whole host of features that benefit small businesses such as:
- Ability to make calls from a computer or laptop
- Call forwarding to mobile phones
- Voicemail to email transcription
- Call screening
- Do Not Disturb
- Area code selection
New features can be easily integrated into your existing VoIP system – all without having to deal with grumpy technicians and hardware installation.
The smartphone is one of the greatest tools of our time, benefiting both business owners and consumers. Small business owners can sync their phones with their work computers to stay connected no matter where they are. The ability to organize calendars, contact information and task lists only further adds to the features that make the smartphone an absolute must-have for business owners and their employees.
While desktop computers are excellent, a laptop is far more beneficial to the businessman who travels often. Your laptop’s features play an important role in your productivity and efficiency, so take time to compare the attributes of different devices and choose the one best designed to support your small business needs. Some features to consider are:
- Processor Speed: Modern laptops are much faster than their former incarnations, so basic processor speed shouldn’t be where your focus lies. The number of cores in the processor is far more important. Dual-core processors usually offer more than enough power for conventional business tasks such as email, web browsing, and designing presentations. If you have more intense graphic needs, choose a quad-core processor, which will offer stronger computing capabilities.
- Memory: The amount of RAM (Random-access Memory) built into your computer correlates directly with its speed and performance. Your absolute minimum should be 4 GB of memory. If you are likely to perform multiple tasks at the same time, think about upgrading to 8 GB.
- Security Features: Laptops designed for business users often come with advanced security features such as built-in encryption. It’s a good idea to install remote hard drive data destruction software, so if your laptop is lost or stolen, you can protect the personal information of your customers.
- Storage: A solid-state drive is a fantastic investment for business laptops, as it’s durable and boots faster than a magnetic drive. If the lower capacity seems off-putting, try pairing a solid-state drive with an external hard drive to meet your storage needs.
Tablets are a popular choice for many small business owners, mainly due to their portability. They’re compact, have a long battery life, and boot almost instantly. If you’re out in the field all day, a tablet allows you to be connected without lugging around a laptop. What’s more, some small business owners are using tablets to replace traditional equipment such as a cash registers, fax machines, and scanners.
Running a business requires a lot of hard-work and dedication. With the right technology, not only can you boost performance and efficiency, you can make your life a whole lot easier.
About the Author
Ron Oliver is a tech junkie and jazz lover from Boise, Idaho. When he’s not busy playing the latest Angry Birds game on his iPad, he’s writing on behalf of Today’s Closeout, a top provider of wholesale mobile phones.