There’s a popular assumption that commercial IT solutions are unreasonably expensive and only suitable for large organizations with complex operations.
As a result, small and medium-sized business (SMB) owners often regard IT investments as an extra operating cost rather than a necessity.
The truth is that technological solutions exist for every business size and budget, including your small business in Mississauga.
The trick is to locate the ideal IT partner to assist you in implementing critical IT solutions without breaking the bank.
That’s where Wingman Solutions enters, we offer your business smart IT solutions at a fair price.
The Current Landscape Of Technologies For Small Businesses
The pandemic has been overstated as the point at which the world stopped functioning as a set of systems and a new normal was established. But that was three years ago.
It is now 2023. The time for technological integration and advancement has come and gone. Small businesses have no choice but to go digital, offering a variety of services to attract customers while also meeting their current needs.
Small business owners should embrace digital technology, which provides quick and innovative solutions in all areas of business management, such as workplace administration, marketing strategy, customer relations, and sales.
Only a company willing to convert anything physical in a business setting to digital can survive the current competition.
Technology For Small Business Owners – A Competitive Advantage
Enhanced Communication And Collaboration
The right technology solutions enable any small business owner to collaborate closely with clients to provide them with products and services that add value to their lives.
From an idea to a finished product or service, small business owners and their employees must collaborate with one another and with outside vendors.
E-mail and instant messaging tools paved the way for online collaboration and sharing. E-mail and instant messenger apps like Microsoft Teams are valuable technological tools for small businesses because they allow them to connect instantly, share information, and receive feedback.
Meeting the Needs of Customers
Today, customer service is critical for both large and small businesses, and the customer experience frequently begins when a prospect visits a company website.
Web chat software can assist small businesses in reaching out to prospects in a personalized but automated manner.
Prospects may be able to make a purchasing decision sooner if businesses can offer assistance and answer questions via a chat solution.
Many businesses use the power of social proof to captivate their audience by asking customers to leave online reviews.
This process can be automated using review-request software, which can be set up to automatically email or text customers and ask them to leave a Google review about their experience.
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Our IT security solutions are here to help.
Most modern businesses are vulnerable to security threats like phishing, among other social engineering threats.
Financial data, confidential executive decisions, and other proprietary information that leads to competitive advantages can be protected using technology.
Simply put, technology assists businesses in keeping their ideas separate from their competitors.
By using password-protected computers, a company can ensure that none of its future projects are copied by the competition.
Enhancing Work-Life Balance
While technology can lead to overworked employees, it also allows many people to maintain a work-life balance. Employees can now work from home thanks to improved network connectivity.
Many organizations have full or partial remote offices, while others have policies that allow their teams to work remotely in the event of inclement weather or outside appointments.
This saves many employees time spent commuting.
Because most businesses are now paperless, employees can work flexible hours outside of the office if they have a work-life conflict.
Collaboration, project management software, and video-conferencing tools keep colleagues connected even when they are not physically in the same room.
What Managed Services to Get?
Small businesses often struggle to decide between break/fix vs managed IT services.
Break-fix companies focus on fixing a problem while managed service providers (MSPs) focus on preventing a problem.
MSPs provide regular, proactive IT maintenance and monitoring, which helps to prevent problems before they arise. This is beneficial for small businesses as it can save them time and money in the long run.
Additionally, managed services are easier to budget for because they are consistent, whereas with break-fix support there may be unexpected costs. For these reasons, small businesses should opt for managed IT services over break/fix.
The 9 Essential Technologies for Small Businesses
1. Unified Communications Solutions
Unified communications (UC) combines communication tools such as phone, video conferencing, screen sharing, data storage management, and more.
These different communication solutions are assembled into a single interface and integrated into a single management system, helping enterprises to overcome the inefficiencies and challenges that were previously soiled and fragmented.
The result is a virtually seamless communication experience that allows your company to become more efficient and productive.
2. Robust Cybersecurity Measures
With the rise of cyber threats, organizations can no longer afford to ignore their data handling and security. Cybersecurity is essential for businesses for a variety of reasons.
We rely on technology to support so many aspects of business operations, including financial transactions, email correspondence, professional networking, document collaboration, and more.
Therefore, businesses must focus their efforts on protecting all these software solutions with the right cybersecurity measures and helpdesk services.
The cyber threat landscape is also a decisive factor to consider when looking for security solutions for your business.
The number of cyberattacks against businesses in 2021 saw an unprecedented increase compared to the last few years, resulting in a considerable increase in cybersecurity investment by companies of all sizes.
As a result, businesses should think about implementing a cybersecurity solution that protects interconnected IT systems against a cyberattack.
Experts advocate establishing a multi-layered cybersecurity solution stack to combat the random and complicated cyberattacks that firms face daily.
3. Back-up and Recovery Solutions
Data backups consist of making several copies of your data to be used if the original document becomes unavailable, lost, or destroyed.
One of the most important safeguards a firm can have to prevent long-term damage following any type of business disruption is having reliable backups.
Most people believe that ransomware attacks or natural disasters would be the only reasons to need a data backup.
The truth is you don’t have to wait for those extreme scenarios to happen to get copies of your data.
Backups are still necessary even if your business is never compromised.
Accidents occur frequently, and physical equipment may be destroyed, stolen, or simply approaching the end of its useful life and shut down unexpectedly.
Picture the following scenario. If someone accidentally deletes an entire folder of data you may only lose one week’s worth of information or less if you have solid backups, depending on how frequently you back up data.
Unlike a company that only does it every 6 months or never. That’s the power of relying on a strong backup strategy for your business.
4. Data Management Solutions
Data is a critical component of every organization. Many businesses have discovered that data management software is critical in their quest for success.
When a person is unable to effectively manage data, this can affect the completion of everyday tasks and therefore, deadlines become harder to meet.
Businesses must adapt to the different technological changes that surround them as a result of increased competition.
The usage of good data management software provides an organization with important, reliable, and relevant information.
The success of a corporation is intrinsically linked to the improvement of data management.
A Managed Service Provider (MSP) like Wingman Solutions, will assist you to handle your day-to-day IT tasks, such as data management, so you can focus on growing your business.
Wingman Solutions also provides 24/7 monitoring, ensuring that your systems are always monitored and that no interruptions, discrepancies, or unwanted access occurs.
5. Password Management Solutions
How many different passwords have you used on various websites thus far? Do you recall the number, much less all the passwords?
We live in the Internet age, and we must log in to hundreds of websites using usernames, passwords, and other credentials.
A password manager is a software program that collects all your passwords from numerous websites and stores them in one place.
The password manager is extremely secure because it stores passwords using data encryption techniques. As a result, any form of unauthorized access to your accounts will be prevented.
Password managers not only protect your sensitive information and credentials but also create unique and strong passwords for you. That way you avoid reusing the same ones across devices and platforms.
6. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Customer relationship management (CRM) software can be a game changer for small businesses. It can assist them in streamlining their entire customer management processes.
From automating repetitive tasks, and improving team communication. With the right digital tools, small businesses can do the following:
Maintain a record of customer information: A good CRM system enables small businesses to centralize all customer information.
This includes contact information, purchase history, preferences, and other information.
Better customer service: Small businesses can create more impactful customer relationships and increase their sales by having all the information they need about customers stored in one place.
This will allow for tailored, personalized support which helps better understand potential buyers’ needs and preferences – improving chances of closing deals!
7. Inventory Management Systems
Small businesses face unique challenges when it comes to effectively managing their inventory.
Fortunately, the right inventory management system can help them quickly and efficiently streamline operations in order to stay organized and productive.
By providing a centralized platform for tracking stock levels, automating tasks such as reordering supplies when needed, and reducing manual paperwork errors – these systems are essential business tools that every small company should consider leveraging.
Improved Inventory Accuracy
Inventory management systems use barcode scanning and other technologies to ensure accurate tracking of inventory levels.
This helps small businesses avoid stockouts and overstocking, which can lead to lost sales or excess carrying costs.
Increased Efficiency: Inventory management systems automate many manual tasks such as data entry, order processing, and reporting.
This saves time and reduces errors, allowing small businesses to focus on more important tasks like growing their business.
Better Decision Making
Inventory management systems provide real-time visibility into inventory levels, sales trends, and supplier performance. This information helps small businesses make informed decisions about purchasing, pricing, and promotions.
By optimizing inventory levels and reducing waste, inventory management systems can help small businesses save money on carrying costs and improve cash flow.
In summary, leveraging inventory management systems can be key to small business success.
These powerful tech tools provide an invaluable source of insight, helping businesses cultivate accuracy and efficiency while driving cost savings and delivering stratospheric revenue growth potential.
8. Project Management Software
Need to keep several projects on track? Specialized project management tools make it much easier than manual tracking, giving you the capability to digitally organize your calendar and corresponding tasks.
Utilizing these productivity aids lets you focus less on when things are due while still ensuring nothing gets overlooked in a sea of competing priorities!
These same automation tools can generate reminders for upcoming tasks and events, including details like when and where your next meeting is taking place.
Additionally, these tech tools can send similar reminders to other team members, ensuring that everyone is aware of what is expected of them and by when.
9. Cloud Accounting Software
With cloud accounting software, small businesses can unlock a whole world of financial management possibilities.
No longer held back by traditional methods, human resources departments benefit from being able to access accounts and manage finances remotely – all with the power of an internet connection!
From online storage to streamlined workflow processes; here are some extraordinary abilities that this software offers businesses today.
Real-time Financial Information
Equipping small business owners with the power of real-time financial insights, cloud accounting software provides an invaluable resource for rapidly assessing their organization’s standing and making data-driven decisions.
Streamlining the process from information gathering to actionable responses puts businesses at a competitive advantage in today’s dynamic economy.
With cloud-based accounting taking center stage, businesses of all sizes can save valuable resources by eliminating pricey hardware and IT support investments.
Make the switch to digital today for an economic boost!
Accurately manage your finances and save time with cloud accounting software.
It eliminates the manual tasks of bookkeeping, such as data entry and reconciliation, giving you more time to focus on growing your business while reducing errors for an improved bottom line.
Remote teams no longer have to worry about scheduling conflicts or data discrepancies when it comes to financial tasks; cloud-based accounting systems enable simultaneous access, making collaboration easier and more efficient.
Leveraging the power of cloud-based systems yields a wide range of key security benefits, from encryption to multi-factor authentication.
These safeguards can help defend critical financial data against increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks.
Overall, cloud accounting software is an invaluable asset to small businesses, providing powerful tools that streamline financial operations and help them stay ahead of the competition in today’s quickly evolving landscape.
Small Business Technology Trends For 2023
As the business landscape continues to evolve, technology is an increasingly important factor for small businesses looking ahead. For 2023 and beyond, these are some of the must-know trends that can help plan your success:
1. Super Apps
Super apps are revolutionizing the way businesses operate by providing everything users need in one convenient, all-inclusive platform.
They have become a go-to resource for small business owners looking to expand their reach and make use of powerful features such as messaging, shopping, banking, and swappable mini-applications that cater directly to customer needs.
With the metaverse, businesses now have a unique opportunity to provide their customers with unprecedented levels of engagement and interaction.
By creating avatars for each customer in this virtual world, companies can create immersive experiences like never before — be it through product demonstrations or hosting interactive virtual events.
3. Cloud Technology
Cloud computing technology allows small businesses to access software and data from anywhere with an internet connection. This can increase productivity and collaboration among team members.
4. Blockchain for Business
Blockchain technology provides secure and transparent transactions, making it ideal for small businesses that deal with sensitive information or financial transactions.
5. Embedded Finance
Embedded finance is revolutionizing the future of small businesses by integrating financial services into everyday products and platforms.
This seamless service gives customers effortless access to payments or their finances without ever leaving the platform they are working on, making it easier than ever for them to manage everything from one place.
In 2023, technology trends like these keep paving the way forward in a steadily developing world.
Leverage Your Business with Technology
SMBs have the opportunity to thrive and stay competitive by utilizing technology. Make it your next step to find the best technological solutions for your company. Chat with us to schedule an IT assessment.