Technology solutions can help small and medium businesses grow quickly, but not if they’re implemented incorrectly. You could end up spending too much on tech solutions you don’t need or does not adequately secure your computer network. For SMBs, here are a few IT hacks to support growth.
Set a clear policy for BYOD
In the past, standard operating procedure dictated that offices provide everything workers needed, including a workstation or mobile phone if the job required it. BYOD allows professionals to introduce their own personal productivity devices into the network. It helps smaller businesses and startups by lowering equipment and maintenance costs while enabling employees to stay productive in and out of the office.
Despite those advantages, many business owners choose not to implement BYOD due to security risks and privacy concerns. Customer data could be stolen by unscrupulous employees; employees can accidentally leave a laptop or phone with sensitive company information in a public area—these types of scenarios keep security-minded business owners up at night.
Business owners that want to support BYOD need to set a clear policy that is transparent and educate their employees on it. Formulating a BYOD policy starts with a few simple questions. For example
- What devices are allowed to be brought into the business’ device ecosystem?
- What happens to the business data when the employee leaves the company?
- Will a device purchased by the employee strictly for work get subsidized?
Both the business and employee need to agree on a policy to avoid potential issues from arising in the future.
Forego a dedicated IT staff
For the most part, small business IT infrastructure does not require a formal technical background to operate. Having an IT generalist on staff is not always the best use of resources, especially if your company is under 50 seats. In place of a dedicated IT staff, consider enlisting pay-per-use IT support services instead.
Third party technical support services typically offer two types of pricing models
- Single-use – The most cost-efficient model, in which you purchase a one-time session with a tech support professional to resolve an issue
- Subscription – For a larger business that needs troubleshooting more frequently, a subscription plan offers the most bang-for-buck.
Purchase with scalability in mind
The first step in creating an office network is to purchase workstation systems and networking equipment. Instead purchasing systems and networking equipment that might not be compatible together or scale with growth.
One way to help your startup or small business purchase scalable office and networking technology is to use the NeweggNET Office Starter Solution. It gives you all the hardware you need to put an office together while allowing you to add devices at your own pace. And by choosing an easy to set up solution, you don’t need dedicated IT staff on hand to setup the equipment equipment and get started.
Save on frequent purchases with Rewards programs
As your SMB grows, a sizable portion of your budget will likely be taken up by technology purchases such as new computers, networking equipment, and other essential items. Even your day-to-day operations will require you to purchase consumables such as ink and toner cartridges, stationery, and more. Make those purchases work for you by joining a customer loyalty or rewards program.
If you haven’t joined already, the NeweggBusiness Rewards program lets you earn discounts towards your future purchases and reduces shipping costs. It is a free program valued at $49.00, so there is no cost to you. In addition, members also get free return shipping labels and rush order processing, reducing downtime. It is an IT hack you can’t ignore.
Security isn’t a concern just for large enterprise
Despite the fact that only the largest corporations get the limelight when hacked, small businesses should also be concerned. According to a report by the Guardian, hacking costs the American economy $100 billion a year.
For more tips on network security for SMBs:
Leverage cloud solutions—up to a point
With cloud solutions, you can focus on rapid growth by freeing up capital and resources. According to a study done by Google and Deloitte, SMBs using cloud solutions grow 26% faster and earn 21% more profit. For a small business, it makes more sense to use cloud-based e-mail such as Gmail or Office 365 than it does to purchase an Exchange server in addition to multiple Outlook licenses. And you don’t need to have IT staff on hand to set up a cloud e-mail account unlike a server.
There can be security concerns with cloud programs, but proper management and a solid security policy will protect you. Instead of using a service such as Dropbox for storage of customer information, invest in a NAS appliance with cloud capabilities so that you can have your own private cloud.
Read more about small business data storage resources:
Technology solutions can accelerate SMB growth, but only if implemented correctly. The IT hacks above will allow you to grow quickly but also safely and at lower cost. Let us know in the comments, what technology principles do you follow for your SMB?