As an IT Service Provider located in Pearland that services the Greater Houston Area, Avera360IT has seen businesses of all types and we know what IT tools are needed for a small business to run efficiently.
Small Businesses are under immense pressure to act cautiously due to the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic and a possible recession. Avera360IT has put together a list of some of the essential IT tools for any small business.
Getting Started - Web Hosting and Email
Web Hosting is crucial because every business needs to have a presence on the internet in today's technology driven world. Web Hosting is the service that allows businesses to get a website up and running. Basically, the web hosting service does what exactly what its name says. It hosts the files and data for a website on a server which allows them to be accessed on the web. Creating a website may sound daunting to many people but with services such as Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, and others, it has become easy enough for even the least tech-savvy of individuals. Here is a list of some of the easiest website builders. Most web hosting companies offer domain registration which is how a small business would purchase the name of their website. For example, Avera360IT.com is the domain name for Avera360IT. Email is obviously important. However, not everyone knows how to setup an email that matches their domain name. The domain name for the web site is, in most cases, what the business also uses for its email addresses. Luckily, most web hosting companies also offer a service for email hosting so a business can purchase everything in a bundle and be on their way.
Getting Organized - Customer Relationship Management Software, Project Management Software, Time Tracking and Management Software
Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM) is an essential tool that allows sales, marketing, and customer service teams, manage their relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. CRM's keep schedules and tasks organized which can help businesses retain customers as well as close on leads. CRM's help track interactions with customers, allow teams to share schedules and tasks, and can even analyze sales data, all of which helps businesses operate more efficiently. Customers equal money and CRM's help create customer loyalty and retention which is why they are a crucial IT tool for any business.
Project Management Software allows businesses to organize tasks for a project in order to meet deadlines and the expectations of their clients. Project Management Software is important for businesses that have teams of employees who work together on projects because it allows teams to define processes, assign and track tasks, set timelines, and keep all the project information in one centralized location.
Time Tracking and Management Software is important for business owners who have to keep track of several or more employees. In short, this is software that monitors the actions of employees such as work hours, sick leave, overtime, and vacation time among other things. Some software even allows you to track projects but we touched on Project Management in the previous paragraph.
New Technology Trends - Instant Messaging, Social Media and Content Scheduling Software
Instant Messaging may seem like something most people would associate with the late 90's but it is incredibly useful for a small business. When many employees are involved with various projects the communication begins to become cumbersome. Many people are familiar with the messaging app WhatsApp which allows people to communicate from anywhere as long as their is some sort of internet or cell connection. This is useful for teams that are spread out. However, there is a more productive application called Slack. Slack is a team chat software that was created for businesses. Slack has "channels" which can best be described as sort of searchable meeting for a business. Slack channels allow teams to communicate and when set to "public" the channel can be found by anyone in the organization. A channel gives organization members a conversation platform that also creates a history of the communication for certain projects, departments, announcements, and more.
Social Media is everywhere. It seems like there are 1 or 2 new social media platforms every year. Businesses in 2020 have recognized that a social media presence is a necessity for gaining attraction in the marketplace. With all of the social media platforms available it has become a full time job to manage all of these accounts. Content creation, consistently posting, and replying to customers, are all things that need to be done consistently by a business if they hope to attract a good social media following. Managing these various jobs is where Content Scheduling Software is crucial for a small business. Content Scheduling Software allows businesses to schedule content in advance. Many content management tools allow the user to connect to multiple social media platforms and monitor and schedule posts. The ability to fully manage all the social media accounts of the company with one piece of software will help customer relations as their will be less missed comments and messages from clients or potential clients on the various social media platforms. It will also make the business much more efficient as it will save time and could save businesses money by eliminating the need for a social media manager.
These are just a few of the necessary IT tools that should be utilized by small businesses. We will cover several more in our next post including software for working remotely and applications that allow businesses to be more mobile.
Having a business that has the IT environment to utilize all the tools mentioned in this post is one of the first hurdles a new business has to overcome. It is also vital to keep the IT environment of any business reliable, secure, and functional. This is why many organizations are opting for IT Service Providers such as Avera360IT to implement, oversee, and troubleshoot their IT.
To contact Avera360IT you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 346.212.6476.