Startup Advisor, Freelance Writer and Marketing Specialist
Every business owner today, young or old, knows that technology is essential in facilitating organizational growth and making standard tasks and procedures easier.
If you’ve got some extra room in your budget this year, one of the first things you should evaluate is whether to upgrade and add new technologies, devices and software. Depending on your specialized needs, check out the following technologies in particular.
1. Marketing automation software
If you’re still handling any facets of your online marketing manually, you’re missing out on a major opportunity to save time and money — not to mention increase your flexibility and accuracy. Among the specific advantages of marketing automation are email marketing campaign management, website analytics, budgeting tools, ROI calculations, landing page builders and more. You can easily spend thousands of dollars a month, but there are basic versions available for as little as a couple hundred. For a look at some of the top solutions, check out this customizable database.
2. Responsive web design
Google has announced that starting April 21, 2015, the mobile-friendliness of a website will serve as a primary ranking signal for mobile results. There are certainly ways to make small tweaks that will align with these requirements, but it would be more worthwhile to go ahead and invest in responsive web design. Paul Mosley, marketing manager at Bluehost, encourages customers to invest in responsive design for months. “This will make it very easy for them to make the switch with very little effort. If you’re interested in learning more, speak with your designer and ask about whether you can make the switch before the April deadline.”
3. Dual display monitors
If you’ve never seen the benefits of dual display monitors on your desk, you don’t know what you’re missing. Not only do two screens give you more room to work, but they also allow you to keep multiple applications open without having to close and minimize tabs all the time. For example, with two 27-inch displays, you could realistically work with an open email account, Internet browser, spreadsheet and Word document simultaneously.
4. Standing desks
If you sit in front of a computer all day, you probably feel the negative consequences on your back, neck and shoulders. Another office addition that could change your life is a standing desk. Most models rest neatly on your existing desk and can be lifted to allow you to work from a standing position then lowered to permit you to sit again. This can help you stay more productive and improve your overall health.
5. POS system
For retail store owners, a point-of-sale system is an extremely cost-effective alternative to traditional cash registers. It makes it easier to process transactions, track sales and produce reports. Depending on the solution you choose, most can be operated totally from a tablet or smart device.
6. Bluetooth security cameras
If you run a physical retail store, you have to have some level of security in place. Although you might not be able to afford a high-level, professional video monitoring system, there are cheaper options. For example, the Netgear VueZone retails at right around $200 and lets you monitor video from any Internet-connected device with no cord.
Whenever you purchase a new technology, device or resource, you’d be wise to keep integration and maximization in mind.
In other words, don’t neglect to consider how that investment will work alongside preexisting solutions, software and technologies, as well as how much of it you can actually use.
While some technologies offer a huge array of features and capabilities, not all of them will be useful to you. Be realistic about your needs and find solutions that work with you, not against.
In most cases, the investments above will help business owners streamline processes, increase productivity and protect assets.