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Investing in tech may sound overwhelming to small business owners who already have a lot on their plates. You may be worried about making the jump and whether it will pan out, or you may not be confident in your ability to work it into your budget. However, there have been so many advances in recent years that you really can’t be without some of the newest software and devices on the market — in fact, many of them will actually help you make money.

There’s a lot to choose from, so you’ll definitely need to narrow down your needs. Depending on your business model, you might need anything from an updated security system to a platform that can host your website and business app with minimal fuss. You might need to take a cue from fellow local business owners, so it can be beneficial to network with them and talk about how they’ve handled tech upgrades in the past.

Here are a few ideas to help get you moving in the right direction.

Branch Out

It can be daunting for many small business owners to think about branching out into new territory, but making a few changes to your inventory or business plan can help you expand your income. One of the easiest ways to start is by using dropshipping, which will allow you to offer many different products to your customers without having to keep inventory on hand. You can sell items that customers really want, like fitness trackers, organic teas, or tote bags, then ship them directly to the customers.

Develop Your Site

One of the most important aspects of a small business is web presence since this is one of the best and most cost-effective ways to reach out to both new and existing customers. That’s why your website needs to be professional and up-to-date, so consider hiring a web developer through an online job board. Because WordPress is a free platform that can be customized, it’s a great place to start when you need to make sure that the e-commerce side of your business is well taken care of. Therefore, make sure the web developer you want to hire is skilled in this platform, as well as HTML, JavaScript, and basic Photoshop.

Social Media-Influenced Marketing

In recent years, social media marketing has made millions of dollars for various companies, some by utilizing influencers to vouch for the brand. Even small businesses can benefit from this type of marketing — you just have to do a little research to figure out who the best influencers are for your particular business. Once you’ve narrowed down the field, take a look at their social media pages to find out how many followers they have.

Project Management

Even the smallest business needs tools to improve project management, and there are many resources available online to streamline your team’s communication. Whether you need something to help with secure file-sharing or organizational tools that will keep everyone on track, there are many sites, apps, and development tools that can assist you. Keep in mind that there may be a learning curve for some of these tools, so some training might be necessary.

Strengthen Your Security

If you want to remain open for business, you need a strong security system. Firewalls, anti-virus software, and strong passwords should all be implemented. However, if your business handles data submitted by EU citizens, you’ll need to appoint a data protection officer (DPO). This person oversees security methods and ensures that the company complies with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements. A DPO’s responsibilities include training the staff on data processing, keeping track of data processing activities, and letting customers and clients know how their data is being handled. With the right security tech tools and methods, you can prevent incidents of cybercrime and keep your business running smoothly.

Finding the right tech for your needs may take a little time, so try to be patient during your search. Talk to other business owners to find out what worked for them, and make sure your budget can handle a change before you make a final decision. With careful thought, you can find tech that will help you keep your business on track without spending a ton of money.

Guest post by K. Conroy

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