Sam Yoshida is EVP and GM, BICG & HSG, Canon USA; Chair & CEO, Canon Financial Services; Chair & CEO, Canon Solutions America.
May was Small Business Month, a time to recognize the resiliency and contributions of America’s entrepreneurs. While most businesses have faced immense change during the pandemic, a survey by the U.S. Census Bureau indicated that roughly half of all small businesses reported a significant decline in business over the past two years, especially as a result of dispersed employment.
In many ways, ongoing change has forced small businesses to become more agile and connected to their employees and partners as they help them thrive through difficult times. Thankfully, new technology can make this task easier.
Here are a few tech considerations for your small business checklist.
Get in the cloud.
Cloud adoption accelerated during the pandemic as businesses shifted to hybrid or remote working. As cited by Solutions Review, a report by Flexera, an Illinois-based computer software company, noted that “90% of IT decision-makers said that their cloud usage exceeded projections following Covid-19.” In organizations with disparate workforces, this technology has been invaluable, as a cloud network can make the management of a hybrid workplace easier and allow for better collaboration.
If you haven’t already considered revamping your cloud strategy, try investing in new solutions that offer built-in security features that protect company assets such as data and intellectual property, regardless of task or location. In the long run, embracing cloud solutions can help save costs, increase security and productivity and enable central control of all copying and printing from the office or at home.
Seek out tech with all-in-one features to help save time and money.
When building your small business, it’s crucial to invest in solutions that enhance the quality and care of your products or services and aid employee productivity. Some of the latest all-in-one laser printers have large LCD touch screens for easy navigation. Many new inkjet printers have a high-volume continuous ink supply system that cuts down on the cost and time associated with replacing ink bottles.
Other solutions can also offer personalized features for your small business without slowing down the production process. Rather than outsourcing design, businesses can use free software to access hundreds of ready-to-use templates that can help anyone easily create unique eye-popping images and posters efficiently—and with a touch of personal branding such as printing in textured gold and silver colors.
Help safeguard your network with cybersecurity features.
Cybersecurity is top of mind for many small businesses. According to a Verizon report, 43% of all data breaches involve small- and medium-sized enterprises. Luckily, there are simple ways to enforce safety practices. Focusing on sound processes and educating employees on potential threats can make small differences that add up to a more secure network.
Start by exploring new devices that streamline security protocols or take a step with IT to evaluate everyday habits. One example is to ask if your team has enforced multifactor authentication (MFA) systems, which can support employee flexibility by providing access to the information they need, regardless of device or application, while offering an added layer of protection.
Some devices and printers on the market even automate the document verification process by allowing information to be encoded securely, creating efficiencies across workflows. These devices also include the option to attach a security wire lock, helping to minimize theft of cards and unauthorized usage.
Find the right tech solutions to refresh for the future.
For nearly every problem, there are a variety of solutions to help meet your business needs—from software that gathers and sorts data to automation and customer-facing solutions and more. With an open mind and an eye on the future, consider revamping your tech offerings so you continue to see success for years to come.