National Small Business Week: 4 Tips for Using Technology to Increase Business Productivity
Small business owners have encountered many challenges resulting from the pandemic. Just as more customers are willing to embrace digital experiences, labor shortages and a distributed workforce have introduced new complications. But with challenge comes great opportunity. Technology has proven to be critical in increasing productivity, improving processes and better serving customers.
In recognition of National Small Business Week, Comcast Business has compiled the following guidance to help small business owners be more productive with technology and take advantage of new solutions.
Automation is no longer just for big businesses. Small businesses can tap into business process automation for many manual tasks, allowing small business owners to focus on more value-add activities.
One example of automation includes automated email responses on a website’s “contact us” button. This ensures a fast and seamless response and provides a better experience for customers, while reducing time spent. Other examples of using automation to cut down on time-intensive activities include automatic appointment reminders and self-serve scheduling and cancellation functionality, which can help prevent gaps in scheduling, or customer feedback surveys sent automatically after a purchase or encounter.
Business extends beyond the office or desk these days. To support business on the road, at home and anywhere in between, a business-grade mobile network isn’t just a nice-to-have but an essential.
Consider 5G coverage that can keep up with the rapid pace of business to support receiving documents, presentations, images and more when on the go. Also consider the variables that affect the type of plan needed from a business mobile provider. For instance, how often are employees on WiFi vs. relying on cellular data? And how data-hungry are day-to-day business activities?
Many small businesses have a workforce that’s spread across locations or a need to support employees and their devices wherever they may be located. A well-rounded approach to connectivity is key for a reliable connection and critical to supporting this flexibility.
For on-premise businesses that need to keep employees and customers connected, whether through a tablet in the hands of a restaurant server, an associate taking inventory or to provide guest WiFi, it’s critical to have access to a solution that’s fast, smart and allows for separate networks for front- and back-of-house operations.
Similarly, a cloud-based unified communications and collaboration system is a must for small businesses. These systems can keep employees connected anywhere with one business number for desktop phones and mobile devices, while offering features like auto attendant to ensure calls are answered at any time. Ensuring landline calls are attended to is still just as important, and a VoIP system can allow for easy transfers and call routing and automated attendants, among other features.
Implement a Cybersecurity Strategy
Although small businesses may not have the resources of a full-sized security team, they face the same risks and should look to implement a cybersecurity strategy to remain productive and secure.
To start, business owners should conduct employee training on a regular basis to show employees how a cyber breach can occur and build awareness around real cybersecurity threats. Keeping employees trained is one of the strongest defense mechanisms for small businesses.
Technology can also help reinforce cybersecurity. Regular system backups prevent a total loss of information during a breach, and measures such as firewalls, passwords, and end-point protection are all great ways to protect a business. In addition, powerful tools that help block threats like malware, ransomware, phishing and botnet attacks can help to ensure business owners that their cybersecurity policy and team are protected.
To stay productive and ready for what’s next, it’s important that small businesses rely on a mix of technology tools. Comcast Business can provide the solutions needed to help increase productivity and ultimately enable growth, backed by connectivity to power it all.