Many owners need help finding the best IT solutions for their small businesses, as it can take time to understand the needs, scale, and options available. Some industries may use technology uniquely, while others may have strict IT compliance requiring more work. The more moving parts a small business has, the more vulnerable they become to cyber threats. With only 13% of companies assessing the IT risks of intermediate suppliers, it’s essential to understand the impact at every level when choosing new IT solutions.
1. Look at Your Needs as a Small Business
To better understand the best IT solutions, you must start by looking at the needs of your small business. That means checking overall functions, employee workflow, resources, current technology, and areas needing improvement. Some industries and markets may have more specialized needs, requiring an IT consultant to assess. Taking the time to better understand how you operate is also important. Doing so provides extra context for what kind of IT solutions can help the most.
2. Define the Goals for Your Technology
After understanding your needs, the next step is looking towards the future by defining goals. Those objectives can be anything from doubling profits over the next five years to adding new technology to better serve your customers. While many owners are ambitious, keep goals grounded and achievable. Setting unrealistic expectations can lead to overspending and a higher chance of failure. Knowing where you want to head makes it easier to choose the right IT solutions for small businesses.
3. Study Your Successful Small Business Competitors
If you’re familiar with other local businesses that provide similar products or services, it’s worth checking what the competition is doing. Maybe they have an inviting website or a clever approach to engaging with customers on social media. While it’s difficult to judge every IT solution they may be using, any successful company has many front-facing moving parts. You can get new ideas and see growth opportunities where competitors have room for improvement, allowing you to fill that gap before they do.
4. Get Customer Feedback to Create New Ideas
Another way to create new ideas for IT solutions is through customer feedback. Whether it’s a confusing website, a lack of social media presence, or a new product request, customers will always have thoughts on what a small business should offer. Not every idea will make sense or appeal to everyone, but it’s a valuable way to get outside input from the people whose payments keep the company afloat. Gathering feedback can be as simple as providing a contact form on a website or casually chatting with customers in person.
5. Create a Budget for Your IT Solutions
Smaller companies often run on tighter margins, meaning that any increase in expense could have a far-reaching impact by limiting money for other areas. Yet, investing in yourself isn’t always a bad thing, either. Technology is proven to increase productivity, which means greater profits when used well. That means the key is finding practical and cost-effective IT solutions for small businesses, ensuring spending has a positive impact. Just make sure that it falls within your planned budget.
6. Don’t Change Only for the Sake of Making Changes
It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of innovation and embrace every technology change you encounter. Not every IT solution is a good fit for every small business. They can be expensive, require a high technical knowledge, or add nothing new that organizations can’t already do without extra time or cost. For example, if your company only manages a Facebook page, you probably don’t need a tool like Hootsuite capable of handling a dozen different accounts.
7. Partner With an MSP to Get the Best IT Solutions for Small Businesses
Technology can be challenging to handle for many small businesses. As IT solutions become more straightforward, their use has become more complex in other ways. For example, 46% of companies manage their websites in-house, but having one doesn’t guarantee it’s getting traffic that can generate sales. It requires technical expertise to improve page performance, optimize for SEO, and design it in an appealing and valuable way for customers.
That’s why many small businesses are now partnering with a managed service provider (MSP) like ITonDemand. They can advise on IT solutions, analyze competitors, and do all the legwork to set up and improve your technology. Not only that, but they’re also able to manage and troubleshoot issues thoroughly. That means if a website goes down, a phoneline isn’t working, or someone is having computer software problems, they can help. That’s why partnering with an MSP is one of the best ways to get effective small business IT solutions.