After a roller coaster of a ride in 2020 and into 2021, businesses just like yours are looking to the future. Their eyes aren’t just on recovery. Many businesses are eager to make up for lost time, and they want to bring new customers into the fold.  There are countless growth strategies out there, but one area offers a lot of options you can dial into your specific business needs: technology. Under the umbrella of tech, you have plenty to choose from. It really comes down to finding the right solutions that fit the current or future needs of your business.  This month, we’ll dive into two ways you can utilize various technologies to grow your business in the second half of 2021 and in the years to come. Let’s get started.

 

Using Automation

Many businesses have yet to crack the code on automation. They aren’t sure how to implement it and make the most of it. And that’s okay. Automation comes with a few hurdles, like just getting started for one. It’s an investment of time and money. However, once you get started, it does the rest.  A majority of daily business activities can be automated. One increasingly popular form of automation is artificial intelligence (AI), often used by chatbots. In the past, chatbots were useless. From the user's standpoint, they never worked as expected. But those days are over; thanks to major strides in AI technology, chatbots are automation kings.

Chatbots are highly customizable. You can use them as the first “person” a customer or potential customer sees when they visit your website. From there, a chatbot can ask questions and mimic a real person. But here’s where the automation really comes into play: if a potential customer has a specific request or question, the chatbot can instantly direct them to the person within your company who can help. It saves a lot of time.

Automation is also useful when it comes to collecting data. Now, you can rely on numerous apps to collect different types of data and have it all sent to one place. For instance, you should have forms on your website where people can input data, such as their name and email (and other similar data you may be interested in). You lock-free content (such as special reports, books, videos, demos, offers, etc.) behind a “data wall.” Once a potential customer gives you what you want, they get access and you have a lead.

 

Investing In IT Security

Many businesses went through huge changes last year. One common change was the shift to remote or hybrid work models. In the process, these businesses had to figure out a lot of things on the fly, from how to get their employees up and running to making sure their data was secure.  Unfortunately, many businesses, particularly small and medium-sized businesses, struggled to balance getting their employees up and running and staying secure, due to a lack of resources, support, or know-how. They ended up having to focus on one or the other – data security often got left in the dust. And in the mix of it all, growth completely fell off their radar.

We’re going into Q3 2021, but many businesses still lag behind when it comes to their IT needs. Not investing in network security, and an overall IT security strategy has the potential to hold your business back and prevent the growth you’re looking for. Not only is your data at risk from both internal (hardware failure, data loss, etc.) and external (data breaches, cybercriminals, etc.), but there are also other issues to be aware of.

Here are a few questions to consider:

  • Do your employees have strong end-point security? (Are their devices and network connections secure?)
  • Are they trained in IT security protocols? (Do you have protocols in place?)
  • Are your network and IT needs scalable? (Do they allow for growth or are they static?)

These questions are a starting point. If you aren’t happy with the answers, it’s time to fill the gaps and give your business the advantage it needs for the future.

 

Getting Started

If technology still eludes you, you want to jump into the cloud or automate parts of your business, or you need to boost your data security, your best next step is to partner with a managed services provider (MSP) or a firm that specializes in IT solutions. You never have to do any of these things on your own – especially if you have questions or aren’t sure how to get started. This is the kind of partnership that can put your business on the path to hitting your growth goals and set you up for tech success!

 

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