Small business owners are no strangers to dealing with business challenges, especially those resulting from the pandemic. For instance, despite customers being more open to embracing digital experiences, the distributed workforce and recent labor shortages have brought new complications. But in addressing these challenges, small businesses can find plenty of opportunities for growth. An essential component to this growth is technology, which has been proven to help increase productivity, improve processes and better serve customers. Just in time for National Small Business Week, Comcast Business has compiled the following guidance to help small business owners make the most of their technology solutions.
- Use Automation
- Automation is not just a tool for enterprises – small businesses can benefit from it too. By automating manual tasks, small business owners can save time and put more focus on activities that will add value to the business.
- Small businesses can automate email responses to ensure fast and seamless communication, plus a better experience for customers, all while reducing time spent. This includes sending customer feedback surveys after a purchase or encounter. Automatic appointment reminders, self-serve scheduling and cancellation functionality also help cut down on time-intensive manual work, and can help prevent gaps in scheduling.
- Go Mobile
- Business can be done anywhere these days, not just in an office or at a desk. That means a business-grade mobile network is essential to keep up with the rapid pace of business operations, wherever they might be located.
- There’s no one-size-fits-all approach for finding the best mobile solutions, so small businesses should assess their work environments to determine the type of plan they need. Consider how often employees are on WiFi versus relying on cellular data, as well as how much data is involved in day-to-day business activities. 5G coverage is good to consider, as it can support employees as they receive documents, presentations, images and more when on the go.
- Stay Connected
- Given the rise of the distributed workforce, several small businesses now need to support connections for employees spread across multiple locations. A holistic approach to connectivity is key for a reliable connection and critical to supporting the distributed workforce.
- For on-premise businesses, 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. That way, employees and customers alike can stay reliably connected, whether its through a tablet in the hands of a restaurant server, an associate taking inventory or a guest connecting to WiFi.
- Additionally, small businesses should consider a cloud-based unified communications and collaboration system. Using these systems, employees can stay connected from anywhere with just one business number for both desktop phones and mobile devices. Additionally, features like auto attendant can help ensure that calls are answered at any time.
- Despite the rise in mobile business communications, landlines are still just as important to include when considering connectivity upgrades. Using a VoIP system with landlines can simplify call transfers and routing, as well as offer automated attendants, among other features.
- Implement a Cybersecurity Strategy
- Small businesses today face the same cybersecurity risks that an enterprise-level company does – but often, they don’t have the resources that a full-sized security team can provide. That’s why it’s essential for small business owners to implement a cybersecurity strategy that helps keep operations productive and secure.
- Technology plays a big role in helping to reinforce cybersecurity for a business. 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. Measures such as firewalls, passwords, and end-point protection are all great ways to protect a business. Additionally, small businesses should implement regular system backups to help prevent a total loss of information during a breach.
- Business owners should also train employees regularly on how cyber breaches can occur, to help build awareness around real-world threats. Employees are often targets of cyber scams, so building their cybersecurity knowledge is one of the best, and easiest, cybersecurity defenses that small businesses have in their arsenal.
- To stay productive and ready for what’s next, it’s important that small businesses rely on a mix of technology tools. Comcast Business offers a range of solutions to help small businesses achieve their goals, backed by reliable connectivity.