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Give your business a technology tune-up: five ways to make you and your business run smoother.

We all want the freedom to roam free from our desks, find a better work-life balance and increase our overall productivity. If it seems you're not reaping all the benefits of being a small business owner, having the right technology could be the answer.

1. Unchain Your Workplace

It's now common for small business owners to bring work on the road, to client meetings and back home. Take your business wherever you want to go by finding an energy efficient, fast-processing laptop with dependable wireless capabilities, and a mobile device that can serve as a secretary, bookkeeper and personal assistant.

Recent mobile applications make working remotely much easier by allowing you to review sales quotes, access business intelligence reports and assemble a human resource department in the palm of your hand. You can also choose mobile applications that let you review your business expenses from the airport, manage and track time over coffee and conduct conference calls from a park bench. Many mobile phones now offer turn-by-turn navigation, which is necessary for stress-free travel and saves you the cost of a new GPS. By selecting the best phone for your business, you can cut unnecessary expenses and gain constant access to exactly what you need.

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2. Make Friends with Social Media

In today's economic climate it's imperative that small business owners capitalize on the power of social media to build relationships, generate leads and stay connected with their customers. To do that, more and more business are investing in software that can monitor web traffic and compile metrics to increase their online presence. Once gathered, this information is often used to better inform clients and interact with potential customers. Most importantly, these new services can save you loads of time and stress by presenting the data in an attractive and easy-to-use format.

3. Spruce Up Your Storefront

It's no secret that winning new business often comes down to how you present your company to prospects. While a high quality printer is a given, investing in up-to-date design software can go a long ways in giving your company's image a fresh new look. Most businesses can get just about everything they need from a 3-in-l printer. If you want to print from anywhere in the office or your home, the extra investment in a wireless printer might be well worth it. Also, investing a little more in your printer might allow you to reduce or even cut out the need for a professional printer all together, while giving you the freedom to put out last minute presentations.

4. Not All Software is Created Equal

Even the latest technology can hold you back if you're not operating with the most current software. Investing more in software that can handle your bookkeeping and time management could mean more time spent in front, of clients. Updated software also guarantees you have the most capable programs available to produce quality presentations, organize data and promote compatibility with other operating systems.

5. Think of Tech Support as a Silent Partner

Timely maintenance and support is the best way to keep your technology running smoothly. Building a relationship with a trusted technology professional is worth its weight in gold. Best, of all, quick access to tech support can provide peace of mind and an immeasurable sense of assurance if and when the inevitable crisis arises.

Your local technology retailer is often a good place to start. When deciding where to buy, go with the retailer who's willing to stand behind their products. A good tech provider should also be able to offer focused solutions unique to your business. You might also consider investing in an external hard drive that can back up software and self-update at least every 30 minutes.

Your technology needs will change as your business develops in the next few years. The idea of running a business completely online was unheard of 10 years ago. Now, many small business owners incorporate e-commerce and operate from a mobile device. Access to helpful technology allows you to better serve your clients and customers. Having the right technology will also help you find a better work-life balance.
COPYRIGHT 2010 Utah Business Publishers LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2010 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:How-To GUIDE
Comment:Give your business a technology tune-up: five ways to make you and your business run smoother.(How-To GUIDE)
Publication:Utah Business
Geographic Code:1U8UT
Date:Oct 1, 2010
Words:692
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