Getting your IT services right and working hard for you is an important part of any small business. The right computer IT support can help you work more efficiently and give you more time to focus on building your business.

IT needs for small businesses

1. Microsoft Outlook. As well as the usual Microsoft programmes, like Word and Excel, Outlook is a great part of the Office suite, which can help you stay organised. Outlook can help you organise file,organise emails by priority, manage your calendar and speedily send attachments.

2. Cloud storage. Storing important files outside your own computer makes sharing them much easier. Anyone with credentials can access the files, meaning multiple people can work on and from the same document, allowing for easier collaboration on projects. It also gives you the freedom to work away from your office computer, as you can access your files from your home computer, your phone or your laptop on the go. Cloud storage is the best way to allow for flexible, remote working for your whole team. Storing documents this way allows you to track changes, revert to previous versions and your files are protected if your own computer has issues or breaks.

3. Network security. A lot of cybercrime is directed at small business, as there’s an assumption that their network security won’t be up to scratch. Don’t let this be you by investing in network security to protect your files, customer information, and your emails. Maintaining your security also protects your reputation, as it will reduce the risk of customer information being leaked. Keep your anti-virus software up to date all on company computers. If you take customer payments, ensure you’re using a secure platform, like PayPal.

4. Accounting software. The right software will help you to keep track of your business finances, without needing to rely on a consultant to manage your accounts. Keep track of income, expenses, tax liabilities, and other financial information. Create reports to stay on top of the details, and have instant access to your financial information. 

5. Inventory Management. You can keep track of inventory costs and product profitability. Track shipments with the right software, and integrate with the systems of suppliers to use automatic order processing systems.

6. Payment processing. IT systems will ensure that your business can accept credit and debit card payments. Few customers use cash or checks to pay now, so it’s important to be able to accept cards without it costing your business money. If you have a physical location, you’ll need the ability to read cards at your point-of-sale systems, while for online, you need a secure payment gateway. Make sure that any customer data taken during the payment process is being kept securely, to avoid data breaches.

7. Communication. Communicating effectively is essential for any small business. You need a reliable infrastructure to allow access to the phone and internet, so you can keep talking to customers, suppliers, employees, contractors and relevant stakeholders. Maintain your company website, and make use of the internet for finding job applicants, researching suppliers, marketing and online networking.