New technology can help you promote your business, reach more clients and save money. Yet modern concerns include online security and affordable energy, as well as economic survival during a recession that has lasted longer than many predicted. The idea of sustainability has become key in many areas of business, as well as reaching global audiences without the help of big-budget advertising firms.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Internet connection
- Business plan
Practice simple energy efficiency, such as switching off equipment when not in use and cutting down on excess packaging. This can cut energy bills and help to keep your business afloat in tough times.
London businesses can get dedicated help with energy efficiency and creating a sustainable business model from the Go Green Plus project.
Monitor the energy efficiency of appliances to see where you could be making savings or cutting down on energy bills.
Safeguard your business from new technology threats such as phishing attacks or hacking. Consider getting an assessment from a business specialist rather than relying on generic anti-virus software, or firewalls more suited to home use.
Keep customers’ data safe to ensure undisrupted business and a reliable reputation. This is especially important for businesses with e-commerce sites, who might store the payment details of shoppers.
Safeguard your company's own intellectual property, which is now often stored in digital archives or using cloud computing. Electronic forms, such as staff contracts and business forecasts might be of particular interest to cyber criminals.
Use social media to create a buzz around new products or services. Informal reviews and recommendations help build business without the need to spend money on expensive advertising.
Monitor your successes and failures while using social media, to get it to work better for your business. Speaking to The Guardian, digital media consultant Jennifer Begg recommends using Google Analytics to see how much and what kind traffic social media generates for you.
Research clients using their social media profiles, on sites such as LinkedIn. Using the emerging global communication network to get to know your clients and customers is becoming the norm in business and will keep you at the forefront of your field.
Tips and warnings
- Catering businesses can benefit from the use of e-Cubes, which use wireless technology to monitor actual food temperatures and regulate thermostats on fridges. This keeps energy bills down and slashes co2 emissions.
- Digital technology evolves fast, so always keep up to date with the latest developments. To help with this, the UK government and local councils offer advice regarding business security.
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