Whether you’re at the beginning stages of starting your own company or want to grow your decades-old business by double digits this year, one thing is for sure — you can’t get very far without the right tech infrastructure. From faster Internet speeds to mobile work solutions to comprehensive apps that help you manage it all, the right technology is essential to help keep up with your competition and keep your customers happy.
Here are some tech solutions that are vital to any growing business.
You've heard it before: communication is key to any kind of relationship, including the connection you have with your customers, prospects, vendors, and employees. In today’s high-tech world, that means the ability to communicate quickly.
So, you’re likely wondering: How fast is my internet? Will it meet the needs of my employees and partners? Securing a service provider with fast and reliable Internet service is a critical first step in making sure effective communication is at the core of your business. If your business has multiple employees who manage and send large files, or rely heavily on Internet-based meetings and other activities, you may need to upgrade your Internet speeds to work for you. Test your current Internet speed to see if you may want to upgrade.
Meanwhile, WiFi is becoming more important to businesses in order to power everything from mobile employee devices to point-of-sales systems. Also consider providing free WiFi to your customers to increase engagement during visits. Studies show that customers and clients tend to hang around for longer and spend more money if a business offers free WiFi. With the right service provider, you should be able to easily set up and manage your employee and guest WiFi.
Perhaps most important, you’ll need to consider the reliability of your service. After all, you may not be able to do business at all if your systems are down. Put yourself in the customers’ shoes: Would you be a repeat customer with a business that has difficulty following through on communications or transactions? Choose a service provider that offers around-the-clock assistance if something goes awry. If you can't rely on your business Internet service to keep you online, your customers may not be able to rely on you. With a service like Comcast Business Connection Pro, your Internet automatically switches over to the 4G LTE wireless network during an outage to help keep you up and running.
With today’s mobile technology, you can stay connected anytime, from anywhere. But as a business owner, you need more. Whether you're traveling to meet with clients, attending a conference, or just running errands around town, you've got to keep the business moving forward.
The great thing is that you can stay in touch with your employees, customers, and vendors all while leveraging a mobile network. With services like Comcast Business Internet and Comcast Business Mobile, you’re covered with 5G and 4G LTE, on a fast, reliable network and millions of secure WiFi hotspots nationwide. Further, flexible data options and compatibility with the best phones and tablets, create a tailored and seamless mobile service designed for business in the office or on the go.
You may also need to remotely access files from your office desktop while you're away. By setting up a Virtual Private Network (VPN), you can securely access your office computer from wherever you are — and also allow access to specific customers or employees.
For an even more comprehensive solution to collaboration-on-the-go, you can use remote access software to run meetings and presentations. Online conferencing tools allow you to share screens and conduct video meetings with remote employees or customers.
The power of automation can feel like magic if you're an overworked business owner. Besides cutting down on expenses and saving you countless hours of work, automation solutions collect and manage large amounts of data and complete routine but complex tasks.
One of the most popular examples of automation software is CRM, or customer relationship management software. Many small business owners have adopted CRM systems to gain deeper insight into their customers and prospects. Understanding your customers is key to forming a relationship with them, bringing in repeat business, and generating referrals. CRM platforms can help you manage customer contact information, keep track of all interactions with customers as well as potential leads, and schedule future communications.
But as any good business owner knows, the customer relationship is one that needs constant nurturing. Posting regularly and engagingly on social media networks is a never-ending effort, but it's a marketing strategy you can't do without these days. A social media management tool takes over much of the increasingly time-consuming task of updating your social media profiles, monitoring social media stats, and scheduling posts for each platform. Just set it and forget it!
As a small business owner, you've got plenty of things on your plate — and there's always something more that needs to be done. Whatever you don't have time for or want to do faster, there's definitely an app for that. The best part? A lot of basic versions are free.
Project management apps help you tackle those clunky projects gracefully across a team (whether in-house or remote), while accounting apps remove the hassle from your invoicing process, tracking expenses and income and those dreaded tax calculations. Communication tools give you the ability to instantly and effectively connect with your team and share files anytime.
Given the importance of consistent customer communication, you need to make sure you can monitor and troubleshoot the flow of communications across your small business. Having an easy-to-use solution to manage your business internet, WiFi, and voice solutions is crucial. A centralized app will help you monitor for any issues across your services and make it easier to troubleshoot and enlist support.
If there's one particular technology for business growth that’s a game-changer, it's the cloud. Storing your data in the cloud can help you more effectively manage IT costs and it can provide a reliable backup of your information in case anything happens to your local devices. It also makes business applications and data more easily accessible for workers that may not be onsite.
Beyond basic cloud storage, working in the cloud is an increasingly popular option that offers real-time collaboration between you and your employees, which can help boost productivity and efficiency. Cloud-based business solutions bring flexibility and scalability that wasn't possible before, especially for small businesses. As the world of work continues to move away from the office desk, you and your employees will need the ability to get work done from anywhere, anytime.
Comcast Business has the solutions to help small businesses stay ready for what’s next. See how Comcast Business can help.