How Business Owners Can Use IT Services To Make Their Lives Easier
There are many undeniable benefits of utilizing IT services in running a business. Tasks are made easier and productivity can be increased by applying these innovative solutions in different business operations. With new types of IT products and services coming up every single day, it can be very challenging for entrepreneurs to know which ones can really help their business and streamline their operations.
So how exactly can IT services be utilized to benefit a business? Check out these three services that can help increase business productivity.
Managed IT Services
Many small and medium enterprises typically do not have the budget to maintain a separate IT department nor hire specialists to address different IT issues the company might face. The usual move is just to get a generic IT helpdesk employee to assist on daily IT concerns.
However, what many companies are not aware of is that they can actually enjoy the benefits of having an expert IT team without high overhead costs. Business owners can sign up for Managed IT Services usually delivered by an independent company who solely specialize in IT.
When a company obtains this type of service, it is like having an entire IT team at its disposal.
Why is this more advantageous? It is very rare for a single IT person to specialize in multiple areas of technology. Someone who is an expert in network security may not necessarily be the same person who can help fix computer hardware issues. In hiring an independent provider, a company can be assured that all its IT concerns will be addressed by paying a flat monthly service fee.
Another advantage of having this type of service is that it is proactive in mitigating potential issues rather than reactive. Many business owners only call IT specialists when there is an issue like a cyber-security breach or a damaged laptop, but the problem with this is that it is often too late already and by then, it is more difficult to find a solution. With a Managed IT Service, IT experts will routinely perform IT security audits, data backup, updating to the latest software, and other IT tasks.
Managed IT Services do not only apply to laptops and computer networks. There are other specialised IT services that focus on other types of tech in the workplace such as:
Managed Print Services
This type of service is focused on streamlining the printing activities of the company. Many business owners overlook how printer issues like the printer breaking down and running out of ink or toner can actually affect the productivity of the business. By using this type of service, the printer is always maintained and monitored so potential problems are avoided.
Aside from regular maintenance and monitoring, managed print services usually come with remote diagnostics. Using a printer’s remote diagnostics means having the option for experts to resolve the issue remotely as soon as possible, without the delay of having to be physically in the office. This can help in minimising printer downtime and in boosting productivity.
Managed Security Services
This is a higher level of service that deals solely on cybersecurity and in defending a business from targeted security attacks. This can be useful for businesses that deal with sensitive and confidential data such as financial organisations and medical companies.
These services would typically include monitoring, detecting threatening incidents, and responding to potential attacks. While it may be seen as an extra expense, having the added layer of security is much cheaper than trying to recover from a cyber-attack.
When the workload increases, the old-fashioned way to deal with this is to hire more people. However, not all companies can afford to hire more employees so the next option is to overload current employees with more tasks, which more often than not, lead to stress and low employee satisfaction in the workplace.
Now, businesses can ease the workload by automating manual repetitive tasks. By doing this, the business can free up employees’ schedules so they can focus more on activities that directly benefit business profitability. Here are some examples of tasks that can be automated.
Instead of sending sales and marketing emails individually, there are now email marketing platforms that allow users to send to a bulk number of people. These emails are even personalised to reflect the name of the recipient and can be programmed to respond depending on whether the recipient opened or read the email.
Most of these service providers are very cost-efficient. It is much cheaper to sign up for this service than hiring more salespeople just to send cold emails and monitor responses. These are also very straightforward to use and do not require any special training as the services normally have drag and drop templates available.
Another advantage of these services is that they often come with automated reports and analytics so the business can see which of the recipients are engaging with the emails as well as which email campaigns are more effective. This can help businesses when they are creating future marketing campaigns.
Responding to inquiries from customers is another time-consuming task but gone are the days when multiple receptionists are needed just to answer phone queries or emails. This task can now be automated by using IT services. Instead of having dedicated people to answer questions one by one, companies can now utilize automated messaging solutions when replying to frequently asked queries.
Businesses typically receive countless of messages every day and it can be difficult to review each one and see whether these are from real customers. Aside from saving time, automating customer service replies is also a good way to filter out spam messages from serious business inquiries. It allows a business to focus and follow up on legit inquiries that can be converted into sales.
There are many different options to implement this type of service. A business can embed chat and messaging applications on their websites or even use free messaging solutions available in social media. Either way, doing this can definitely lighten the load of employees.
Many business owners do not really have the budget to employ a dedicated digital marketing specialist full-time. This is the reason why many entrepreneurs resort to doing the task themselves. However, business owners are not really saving anything by trying to do their own digital marketing if those efforts do not really produce measurable results.
Hiring third-party marketing specialists who can help the business reach more customers is a worthwhile investment. Not only are these people experts in their field but they can also offer advice on which types of digital marketing solutions will benefit a business more.
Some of the more popular digital marketing services are the following.
Social Media Management
Businesses now recognise the power of social media in promoting their products and services. However, to be able to effectively communicate with social media users, it is not enough to just post whatever or whenever. There are now many different social media strategies that can be used to maximise a company’s social media presence.
There are social media companies that can be hired to help businesses grow their following as well as design effective social media campaigns that will resonate with the target audience. These experts can also advise on what posts to boost and what types of users to target to gain maximum visibility.
To be able to stand out from the competition, businesses need to be found. Even if a company has the best products, it will be useless if customers cannot find this company in the online world. For example, when a person searches for “car rental company in London”, there will surely be thousands of results but chances are, that person will contact companies that show up in the first couple of pages in the web results.
The role of SEO specialists is to advise companies of the best practices to employ so that they can have a higher chance of being on top of the search results when certain keywords are entered. There are different organic and paid SEO tactics that can be implemented depending on the company being promoted.
This tactic is all about offering potential customers valuable articles, white papers, infographics, and videos with the goal of driving them to take profitable action. Keep in mind that it is not at all similar to a television ad or an infomercial because these types of content are not designed to just sell the company’s product directly by enumerating the features and benefits. The priority is to provide potential customers with a more in-depth understanding of a certain topic that may stimulate their interest in the product or service.
So how is content marketing different from product marketing? For example, a car rental company in London running a product marketing campaign will highlight the different cars on offer, the prices, and all the different reasons why consumers should choose that company over the competition. On the contrary, a car rental company utilizing content marketing will release a blog post or a video outlining the different benefits of renting a car versus hiring a taxi when in London.
While the blog post may not really talk about the car rental company itself, it is trying to convince readers to rent a car with the hope that they choose the company who authored the post when doing so. It is a more soft sell way of increasing brand awareness than an in-your-face marketing strategy.
Keeping up with technology
There are countless of IT services available that can support businesses in becoming more productive. These services can also help in saving time, money, and resources, which are all very critical if a growing business wants to succeed. The best way for business owners to determine which IT services to implement is by thoughtfully evaluating their needs and the gaps that they want to fill.