If you’re running a small business, particularly one which operates mostly online, then you’ll want to exploit every possible advantage you can grab hold of, in order to properly compete with the big fishes you’re swimming alongside. Fortunately, there exists a larger-than-ever quantity of specialised applications and other software that’ll eliminate wasted time, boost your productivity, and eliminate costly mistakes. Let’s look at some of the sorts of device you might incorporate into your work life.
To run any computer, whether it’s the smartphone in your pocket or the desktop in your office, you’ll need an operating system. This is the large program which acts as a container for all of your other programs. In short, nothing on your computer will work without one.
On your phone, the operating system is built-in and included in the price. This is also the case if you opt for a pre-built system, like a Macintosh. If you’re building a work computer from scratch, on the other hand, you’ll need to buy your operating system separately and install them onto your computer when you first switch it on. If you’re running multiple machines in your workspace, however, you might elect to buy a separate licence for the entire business – it’ll likely work out cheaper that way.
If you’re selling things over the internet, then you’ll need to be sure that the packages arrive at their destinations. Moreover, you’ll need to be sure that they get there in one piece, and as advertised. Unfortunately, this isn’t always guaranteed – even the most careful courier stands a chance of misplacing the occasional package. In the clear majority of cases where the package goes missing, it will be because the address was inaccurate or illegible. By simply improving the quality of the lettering, using a proper label-maker, you’ll avoid a given chunk of lost post.
As an additional measure, it’s important to reduce the quantity of addressing errors. This can be done using data cleansing software, or a postcode lookup system. Rather than typing in their entire address, the customer will be required only to type in their postcode. From there, they’ll be able to choose the correct address from a list. If their home address doesn’t come up, then they’ll have entered the wrong postcode – but at least they’ll be able to correct the mistake immediately.
In order to foster good relations with your customers, you’ll need a presence on social media. This means Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Using an account on one (or preferably all) of these websites, you’ll be able to promote your business directly to people who’ve already displayed an interest in your brand – namely the people who’ve chosen to follow you. Moreover, you’ll be able to address any complaints directly and publicly. One of the most harmful things for an upcoming business is an online public-relations problem – and a social media account, if properly handled, can help to diffuse such problems before they have a chance to escalate.
Naturally, if you’re running an organisation of any size then you’ll need to keep track of the money flowing from one place to another. This means either obtaining high-quality accounting software and learning how to use it, or outsourcing the task to a dedicated accountancy firm. Your decision will largely hinge of the size and complexity of your business, and the budget you have available. You can view an up-to-date and exhaustive overview of the options available here.
When you bring a new computer into your work environment, your immediate priority should be to get security software installed. The role of this sort of software is to guard against viruses and spyware, which will in turn keep your customer’s data secure. The chances are that the survival of your business will hinge on keeping this data private – not only does it have an intrinsic value, but the reputational damage caused when knowledge of a leak goes public can be enormous.
Malign software, like viruses, have a tendency to evolve over time as hackers come up with new and more effective means of exploiting our operating systems. Be sure that yours is kept up to date, and that it doesn’t conflict with any other software you might be running. Two antivirus programs working on the same machine will often conflict with one another as they try to do the same task – and so be sure that existing (possibly freeware) antivirus software is removed before you attempt to install something new.