In the technological era it is easier than ever for businesses and entrepreneurs to put their ideas into action. From social media marketing to AI chatbots, technological innovations have changed the way small businesses operate. However, even with these advances in technology, every small business still needs some basic items. Many of these items work hand-in-hand to help your business run smoothly. Below are the top 6 must-have items for every small business.
This is the starting point of almost any small business regardless of niche or industry. Additionally, this is likely to be a crucial component of your business operations throughout. Often when choosing a business desktop or laptop computer, many go for the latest and greatest. However, this isn’t necessary, instead, businesses should focus on what they need the device for. Your computer is a business tool, not a multimedia hub for entertainment. For most businesses, a dual-core processer with 2GB of memory should be enough to meet the basic needs of a business. Better yet, these computers are often within a small business's budget.
Any new or growing business should utilize collaboration tools. Some of the most popular options are Asana, Basecamp, and Monday These tools can help with productivity, organization, problem-solving, and more. Businesses should look for a collaboration tool that allows users to produce and access documents, chat and assign tasks. You may also want to integrate calendar tools, address books, and email management. The added bonus of using a collaboration tool is that your employees can work remotely and still interact with each other to complete tasks.
Now, many businesses may think they can just store things locally on their computer. However, having a physical backup is crucial in case something goes wrong. Hence, investing in a portable memory storage device or hard drive can save your business. A hard drive also ensures your files are protected and allows you to easily transfer files as you need. For smaller files that various employees need to save, consider investing in several password-protected flash drives. These are cost-effective and allow each employee to have a backup device. Beyond this, we recommend you also use a cloud storage service for files as well since that guarantees a non-physical backup.
Having a well-designed CRM or Customer Relation Management system is key as your business expands. As your business grows, so will your client base. Thus, you need a place to track all transactions, conversations, and client preferences. CRM systems like Salesforce or Zoho allow you to create profiles for each client. These can integrate with email management systems, allowing you to track everything in one place.
As a small business, you may think you don’t need an accountant just yet. However, you still need to track your expenses and income. Accounting software can help you effectively do this, and makes tax time much easier. When choosing accounting software, look for a system that can grow with your business. Consider the ability to track payroll, expenses, product sales, invoices, and products costs. Utilize affordable options like Quickbooks Simple or Microsoft Office Accounting Express. Once you hire an accountant, the data from these programs also help to make their job faster and easier.
In the technological era, cybersecurity is a must for all small businesses. As such, using a VPN is a great way to protect your business and employees. A VPN or Virtual Private Network can hide online activity from hackers while limiting who can access your network. Remote employees also benefit from VPN services as they can log in to your secure network from anywhere as long as they have internet access. This allows them to access any resources they need by connecting through the VPN while ensuring data is secure.
Having the right tools to operate your small business can make a huge difference to your success. Utilize the must-have items above for your small business to ensure your business runs smoothly and employees are safe and productive.