Most small business don’t have time to focus on their critical IT needs. Despite the fact that having the right systems in place will help fuel their growth and enable their future success, small business owners are stretched too thin to make the time to get their small business technology systems and infrastructure in order.
Consulting companies like Agrei Consulting, partner with small business technology owners to help them focus on the core elements needed for a solid IT foundation. Once the solid foundation is established, companies can easily grow and expand their IT as their business grows.
Every small business needs to have the following four foundational systems in place in order to present a professional appearance and to ensure that customer service is maintained as a high priority.
- Professional Hosted Email – Many small business owners don’t realize the importance of representing themselves and their companies using a professional email. These days having a company email address such as firstname.lastname@example.org is arguably more important than having a physical address. While small business owners are tempted to use free email services such as Yahoo and Gmail, professional emails hosted in robust environments such as Microsoft’s Office 365 are very cost effective with plans ranging from $5 -$20 per month and provide a professional platform along with numerous other productivity benefits. Agrei Consulting offers a 30 day free trial of Office 365 so small businesses can try before they buy.
- IT Help Desk Support and Managed Services – Small businesses, whether they are a one person shop or have hundreds of employees should strongly consider outsourcing their IT Support and Help Desk. When they get into IT trouble, most small businesses will either attempt to fix issues themselves or have a local IT guy with high hourly rates come in to save the day. Both options are costly in either time or money. Signing up for a managed service plan allows business owners to offload their IT headaches permanently to a third party who is incented to keep the infrastructure in an optimal state and proactively monitor and maintain IT systems to prevent issues before they happen. Managed Services and IT help desk support can be offered to small businesses for a low affordable monthly fee that remains consistent regardless of the number of issues encountered. Offloading the IT risk to a qualified managed services provider (MSP) helps small business owners focus on their core business and allows them to have IT experts readily available to properly handle IT needs without the need to hire specialists in house.
- Website and eCommerce – given the numerous affordable options on the market to create basic websites, there is no excuse for a small business not to have a web presence. The web has become a standard communication medium where customers expect to learn about the company and their products and services. Small businesses without a web presence risk losing credibility with web savy consumers. Agrei Consulting helps small businesses create basic websites starting at only $495. Selling products and services to customers online via eCommerce is a great way for small business to invest in their growth and keep their operations running and working for them even beyond business hours.
- VoIP phone system – Many individuals have opted to forgo their home landlines, as their cell phones have become their primary communication vehicle. While Small business owners on the go often take the majority of their calls on cell phones, investing in a VoIP phone system, especially a hosted one, still remains extremely relevant as it helps companies promote better customer service and allows busy owners to ensure their customers are greeted professionally and have an easy way to contact them.