Small business technology: stories from around the web in December 2014

We’ve been tweeting a story about a business saved by technology that really grabbed our attention – an IT services company in Buffalo that kept its business running as usual, even in seven feet of snow! Only half of TxMQ’s staff could get into the office during the recent monster blizzard (understandably enough!) but the miracles of cloud computing kept all running smoothly.

With cloud computing, of course, your employees don’t need to actually be in the office to use your software or data. And, TxMQ had made sure that employees knew how to remotely access this data. Plus, they use Skype to communicate with one another – rain, shine or snowstorm of the century.

Best quote from the management at TxMQ? “Don’t wait until something scary happens. You’ve got to make sure you have a plan in place.”

Now, here’s more tech talk from around the web.

Small giants weigh in on small business technology

In this article, three experts share their insights, with Norm Merritt (president and co-CEO of ShopKeep) listing cloud-based computing benefits beyond telecommuting ones that give small businesses access to the services once enjoyed only by the big guys. These include accessible affordable data analytics and marketing tools to discern best sellers, manage inventory and employees, and spot new opportunities.

Ed Rodriguez (VP of SMB sales and marketing for Citrix) points out how cloud computing technology also allows companies to hire top talent, unbounded by geography.

Meanwhile, Allison Checchi (chief marketing officer of YP) urges small businesses to optimize their sites for mobile searches, with faster load times, easier reading capabilities and an overall better experience. “Businesses that don’t take advantage of this,” she says, “are missing an opportunity to reach customers.”

Back-up plan

On December 1, Entrepreneur published an article about preparing your site’s small business technology for the holiday season. Although this article will probably be more useful as you prepare for the 2015 holiday season, here is a scary statistic that matters right now: in a survey of small business IT professionals, 45 percent say their organization has experienced data loss, with an average of almost $9,000 in recovery fees. So, “Make sure that you have a plan in place that allows you to back-up and restore your information with a minimal amount of downtime.”

Transform your small business through technology

This article by Fox’s Small Business Center lists five key technologies for 2015. Not surprisingly, cloud computing and mobile top the list.

Feeling overwhelmed yet? You’re not alone.

A Brother International/SCORE survey found that 64 percent of small business owners frequently feel overwhelmed by the number of technologies available to them. Meanwhile, an SMB Group study lists where owners get the information they need, hopefully to reduce the feelings of overload:

  • Vendor/service provider websites: 43 percent
  • Professional advisors and/or consultants: 42 percent
  • Colleagues in similar businesses: 41 percent

The sky is the limit – or maybe it’s even beyond that

Finally, we read an article by Investing in Small Business that shares three ways that technology offers unlimited boundaries for your small business. If you’re not yet convinced that cloud computing is the way to go, read this article.

What plans do you have to improve your technical capabilities in 2015 to grow your small business? Please share in the comments!

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