Technology's impact on business is immeasurable, and this is a trend that seems as though it will only progress. Small businesses can't just ignore this trend as if it only applies to big business; if anything, a strong cyber-defense system, e-commerce capabilities and a strong and positive presence online are even more integral for a small business than a major corporation. It is important to have the necessary information systems in place and to be able to protect and maintain them as well. Here are some reasons that every small business should have a war chest set aside for technological needs.
More people are shopping online now than ever. The proof is in the pudding. Now, every holiday season, "Black Friday" is promptly followed by "Cyber Monday", where you can get "Black Friday" deals without being a black belt in taekwondo. 96% of Americans shop online; without the proper e-commerce infrastructure in place, your business could be missing out on a lot of profit.
There's nothing like walking into an establishment and being told that they cannot serve you at the moment because their system is down. In a world that is so bound to technology and its constant developments, it is paramount that your small business is able to keep your systems up and going. It is wise to have money set aside for rainy days like your computer crashing or your scanner going belly up. The last thing you want is to have one of those problems occur and you not be able to mitigate the damage that it could potentially do because you are financially incapable of doing so. The state of your equipment speaks volumes to your customers.
It is always wise to have money set aside for new equipment, not just in case something breaks, but in case something really awesome comes out. If a new gadget or device drops that can revolutionize the way that you do business, you don't want to be behind the curve while your competition takes full advantage of this new technology. If you make saving for new equipment a priority for your small business, then you could build your brand's reputation for being able to provide the best service because you have the best technology.
Security is the most important reason to designate a technology budget for your small business. Hackers don't just lie in wait, they stalk their prey online and spring an attack that could hold your network hostage or just rob it of all of its information. If your cyber-infrastructure isn't secure against attack, then they won't feel secure about handing their information and money over to you. You want the best possible protection for your small business. According to reports, 14 million small businesses were hit by a cyber-attack over the course of a year. Given the need for companies to keep their networks secure, measures for cyber-security can be costly, but they certainly are worth it. Whether you choose to go with top-tier software or the top-gun from your local IT staffing agency, it is important to make sure that your network is safe and sound.
As a small business owner, you know the importance of keeping overhead costs to a minimum. However, it is also important to be willing to spend money to make more, and also to protect your investments. Your company's cyber-presence and security are of the utmost importance to the success of your small business. So, when doing your next spreadsheet or budget plan, make sure you designate a special spot for technology.