Mar 2, 2015

Smart Business: 4 Contract-Free Tech Upgrades

In the Harvard Business Review's report, "Smart but Safe: How Small Businesses Use Technology to Grow Revenue," 40 percent of small- and medium-sized companies are still not using hosted/cloud solutions. Meanwhile, those same companies are spending $2,000 annually (per employee) for IT needs alone. Small and large businesses alike can reduce IT costs and protect their data by tapping into online and cloud-based resources. Everything from office security to project management can now be addressed in the cloud and save your company time and money. Here are four ways to get started with contract-free solutions that streamline your business.

Online Cloud Backup

It's no longer necessary to hire an expensive IT consultant, stock your equipment room with bulky servers and sign lengthy contracts for data-backup systems. An online system can store all of your data and programs in the cloud and keep them within reach even during a disaster. Use a system like Google Drive for business for automatic backup, protect critical files and give you access to your info from anywhere. That means if your system goes down while you're on a flight to see an important client, you can still log in with your airline's Wi-Fi and restore all of your data right from your computer.

Security Camera Systems

Internet cameras, IP or Internet Protocol cams send and receive data over a local area network (LAN) over the Internet. This gives business owners the peace of mind to see what's going on at the office when you're not around. Check-in to see who's still working or if anyone is in the building that shouldn't be. Lorex is among the first IP cameras on the market that can be set up without the need for an IT guru or complex technology knowledge. Instead, just use your smartphone with Lorex's ping mobile app and QR code located on the back of the camera to get it up and running. Best of all, Lorex offers contract-free service.

Streamline Project Management

Outsourcing your project management needs can be simplified with a tool like Asana. Born within Facebook to help streamline its management needs, Asana rapidly grew and became available to the public. The system now offers an easy way to collaborate with your entire team no matter if they're in the office or working remotely. Users can log in, create a task and invite others to collaborate. Read responses within Asana, approve next steps and upload files as needed.

Get Inbound Marketing Help

Business owners may have in-depth management experience and ideas but lack effective marketing skills. It’s also impossible for businesses to do it all from running a company to finding new clients. Get inbound marketing help with a service like HubSpot to get education and consulting to help your business grow. Choose from packages ranging from inbound consulting to getting priority technical support to help with your marketing campaigns. You can even get the scoop on A/B testing and advanced analytics to measure what's working and what's not.

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