As a small business owner life can get pretty hectic - you’re wearing multiple hats and spinning several plates at any one time - so any technology that can ease your load has got to be a good thing, right?
Whether you’re a veteran small business owner looking to increase your productivity and let’s face it, make your life that bit easier, or you’re a total newbie getting ready to launch your small business and want to arm yourself with all the tools you’ll need, we’ve got you covered.
Supporting small businesses in reaching their goals and flourishing is our jam, so buckle in for our guide to the eight gadgets every small business owner needs in their arsenal.
A computer is essential for any small business owner - whether it’s for accounting, managing your website, mastering marketing or just pinging off a few emails, a computer soon becomes every business owner’s best friend.
Laptops offer all the functionality of a PC without the clunky machinery and instead offer flexibility and portability - you can take them with you while you run important tasks.
You’ve got heaps of options when it comes to choosing the right laptop for you, and you certainly don’t have to break the bank to bag a great one. Here are our top tips for what to look out for when deciding which one to purchase:
Remember: if you think a tablet would come in handy for your business too, you can now purchase two in one laptops and tablets which would tick both boxes in one, and save you a pretty penny while you’re at it.
The payments landscape in the UK has been changing dramatically over recent years and propelled by the pandemic of 2020, digital and contactless payments have become all the rage.
Consumers now not only expect but demand to be able to pay in a way that’s convenient and secure, so it’s super important your small business is set up to accept this new way of paying.
The takepayments beepaid app is a brand new and super simple way to get paid on the go. All you need is your smartphone to start accepting payments, and it allows for totally contactless payments no matter the transaction size.
You simply open the app, send a custom invoice to your customer, and once they enter their card details you get paid, plus installation and set up is a doddle - what’s not to love?
Whether you run your business from an office, a store, or your home, it’s critical all your important software and documents are safe and secure.
No one likes to think about it but it’s an unfortunate fact of life that small businesses are often targetted by criminals who perceive them to be an easier target than their larger counterparts.
So, to protect yourself you need to invest in security gadgets - if you want to keep it simple you can go for an alarm system which will alert you of any intruders. To take things one step further why not invest in a surveillance system too?
The surveillance market has become increasingly competitive in recent years so you might not pay as much as you’d expect, and you’ll have access to footage showing you who’s coming and going, allowing you to rest easy in the knowledge your small business is safe.
Remember: always take out building and contents insurance on your premises!
Even in this digital age where more and more companies are going paperless, it’s inevitable you’re going to need to print paperwork now and again, whether it’s a letter, invoice, or sign for your window, investing in a printer is a sensible, long-term solution.
When you think about a printer for a business you might immediately envision a big clunky grey monster machine taking up half your premises, but thankfully modern-day printers are the opposite of that; sleek, compact, and wireless.
With a wireless printer you can print straight from your laptop, smartphone, or laptop with ease, all you need is an internet connection (more on that in a moment).
Many modern printers also come with an inbuilt scanning function, so if that sounds like something that’d come in handy for you, be sure to look out for scanning functionality when purchasing.
Top tip: some printers now on the market don’t require you to change ink cartridges when you’re running low and instead top up your levels using a little bottle - more environmentally friendly and fewer ink-stained fingers for you.
This one might sound obvious to those of you who already have your business up and running, but for those new to the field you’d be surprised to learn just how many elements of running a business are now reliant on the internet.
Whether it’s your EPOS system, printer, guest WiFi, surveillance system, card machine, laptop, or smartphone - if you found yourself without an internet connection you’d very quickly be up the creek without a paddle.
So, be sure you sign up with a reputable and reliable internet provider that offers competitive speeds and fast service should any issues arise.
Top tip: to set yourself up for success both now in the future, opt for fibre-optic broadband - the speeds it offers are unrivalled and should keep you going no matter how many devices you use.
On the subject of the internet, if you’re going to need access to the web on the move, whether that’s on a business trip, long journey, or just when you’re out of the office, and you don’t want to rely on flaky WiFi hotspots, it’s a good idea to invest in a USB dongle
They plug directly into your laptop’s USB port and provide mobile internet from anywhere.
You can opt to pay as you go or pay monthly with these nifty gadgets, and they’ll ensure you never waste a valuable minute for lack of connectivity.
As a business owner, you’ll be responsible for filling your own tax returns at the end of each year and there are certain things you can list as business expenses in return for a discounted bill.
One of them is fuel, but how do you accurately differentiate between how much fuel you used for work and for pleasure when you’ve filled up £30? Enter Car CheckUp.
It’s a gadget that plugs into the diagnostic port in your car and automatically tracks your mileage. Once you’ve returned to your workplace you simply connect it up to your laptop and your travel info will download into a spreadsheet.
You can easily indicate which journeys logged were for work purposes and which weren’t, making keeping track of your business trips a doddle.
Getting caught short on the go is a thing of the past thanks to modern-day mobile power banks. Can you imagine anything worse than missing out on a potential deal because your phone was out of battery? It’s enough to send shivers down your spine.
Mobile power banks are compact and powerful little gadgets that you carry around in your bag or car and pull out in case of emergency - just plug in your device’s cable to give it a boost on the go and you’ll never run the risk of missing an important call again.
For heaps more useful guides and information designed especially for small businesses head over to our jam-packed blog, or to discuss your payment options reach out to our friendly experts today.