Are You Still Using These Old Business Technologies?

Business technology is constantly evolving. As new technologies come along, certain old technologies become obsolete. Here are just a few examples of tech that largely become defunct and what you should be using instead.

Fax machines

Fax machines used to be a common way of sending scanned copies of documents to recipients. The internet has rendered them largely obsolete – it’s much more convenient to scan and email a document because a) you can email multiple people at the same time and b) you can send and receive emails at the same time (unlike faxes). 

Some companies still use fax machines today because they are more secure. While an email can be hacked or intercepted, a fax cannot. This may be the only reason to continue using a fax machine. 

Landline phones

Landline phones are still in regular usage. However, most businesses primarily use mobile phones or VoIP to communicate nowadays. This is because they offer more portability and tend to be cheaper. Landline phones do have the advantage of offering a clearer line – you don’t have to worry about internet or mobile connection loss. However, they’re otherwise inferior. It is possible to combine internet and landline based phones as explained at Lingo.com. This could be a way of reaping the benefits of both. 

Digital organizers

Digital organizers were popular in the 90s, helping business owners to stay organized on the move. They offered features such as calculators, diaries, alarms, to do lists and telephone directories. Then smartphones came along, combining all of these features with the ability to phone people and access the internet – rendering digital organizers defunct. There aren’t really any advantages to still carrying a digital organizer in 2020. Any information on it cannot be hacked, unlike a smartphone – that’s about it.

Cash-only tills

If you run a store or a restaurant, accepting card nowadays is a necessity. A lot of people don’t carry cash and you could be driving away customers by not having a working card reader. Owning a card machine is an extra cost, but they are becoming increasingly cheaper. There are even mobile card machines that can allow you to accept card payments on the go. It’s worth buying a modern card reader that accepts PIN payments, contactless payments and mobile payments. Setting up a merchant account could be necessary if you plan on also accepting credit card

Legacy software

Legacy software is a fancy term for old software. Many companies use legacy software out of convenience – they know how to use it and don’t want the hassle and cost of upgrading it. However legacy software could be slower and less efficient than modern software. It may also be less secure – especially if it isn’t backed up on the cloud or if it isn’t supported by the vendor any longer. Any software that is over 10 years old is worth assessing and possibly replacing. There are companies and tools that can help you to migrate your data from one software to another. This site smallbusiness.chron.com details a few signs that it’s time to improve your software.

 

How to Ensure Quality Products for Your Ecommerce Store

Choosing stock for your ecommerce store might seem easy at first. You probably have an idea of what you want and possibly a list of potential suppliers. But once you start looking, it can be a little more complicated than you first thought. The one thing that you need to focus on is quality if you want to satisfy your customers. The quality of your products doesn’t have to be the very best that you can get, but it needs to match your brand and the prices that you’re planning on charging. How can you make sure that you’re selling quality products from your online store, especially if you use a fulfillment or drop shipping service?

 

Get Help from a Third-Party

Sourcing the right products often means finding suppliers in different countries. It can help you to save money and have access to a huge range of products. Sites like Alibaba are useful for showing you a choice of manufacturers and suppliers. However, assessing quality can be tricky when you can’t visit the factory. Fortunately, Leeline is your reliable Alibaba sourcing agent and can assist with finding the right suppliers. They can even negotiate with the factory on your behalf to get you the right deal.

Order Samples

Getting samples of products ensures that you see them first hand. A sample can help you decide whether to order a larger batch of your product to be made or whether to go with a particular supplier for a ready-made product that you’re interested in. Ordering samples can save you a lot of money and prevent big mistakes. It’s especially important to buy samples if you’re going to be hands-off with your products. If you won’t be handling your products to fulfill orders, you should check the quality before they get sent out to your customers.

 

Look for Quality Materials

Are you planning to either make your own products or have your product designs manufactured by someone else? If you want to do this, you need to ensure you’re using quality materials. You can explore different options for materials, with varying quality levels and prices. You need to consider who you’re targeting and what your customers expect. Are they looking for only the very best materials that will last for years? Or are they willing to compromise on quality if it gets them a better price? If you’re the one making your products, you’ll want to think about how easy the materials are to work with too.

 

Regularly Perform Quality Checks

Although it’s important to check the quality of your products when you’re first deciding whether to sell them, that’s not the only time when you should exercise quality control. It’s also important to carry out regular quality control checks, especially when you’re more hands-off with your products. If you don’t, you could find that your customers suddenly start complaining of a drop in quality. Providing quality for your customers is a must. Before you add products to your online store, make sure you know the quality that your customers will receive.

 

What To Think About When Starting A Business

The idea of starting a business is something that appeals to people of all ages, all backgrounds, and all financial situations. There is certainly something interesting – maybe even exciting – about being the owner of a business and therefore being the one who is in ultimate control. After years of working for someone else, this has its merits. 

Or perhaps you want to run your own business because you know you have an excellent idea that is going to make plenty of money and make you a success. It could be you’re bored of what you’re doing now and what to see what it’s like to be the boss. There are so many reasons someone might decide to set up their own business that we just can’t go into them all now.  Yet whatever the reason, there are some important points you’ll need to consider before you get started. Take the time to go through everything at the start, and you’ll stand a much better chance of success. 

 

The Cost 

One crucial element of starting a business that you’re going to need to think carefully about is the cost. This can be surprising since it is often suggested that you can start a business with little to no investment at all. This idea is accurate, although it will depend on the business and the level of professionalism you want to show. You will only have one chance to launch your business, whatever it may be. You’re going to want to look professional and slick, and have everything in place such as a good website, a logo, your marketing plan, a bank account, products, qualifications, and much more. These things will cost money. You can set up a cheap or free website, and you can design it yourself, but would it be better to wow potential customers from the start and have everything ready in advance? Wouldn’t it be better to have had an expert design your logo ready for the launch, rather than add it later when the moment has passed? Understanding how much you want to spend on your business and knowing that, to make a splash right up front you can’t go cheap, might help you to budget more effectively, and if you need to wait until you have the funds, that is a good idea. 

 

What Line Of Work?

If you know you want to start a business but you don’t know what you want to do in that business, you’ve got a lot of thinking to do. The idea of being a business owner is a great one and something to be encouraged, but you also need to have a business to run. Start by thinking about what you’re good at. Is there anything you can already do or that you already have experience and qualifications in that you could do for yourself? If you want to try something new, you might consider buying a franchise through Franchise Direct. Searching here can open up a wealth of possibilities, and many of the franchises can even offer training. Of course, you will have to spend money, potentially more money than if you set up your own business, but having an entire business ready to go with plenty of backup is definitely tempting and could be the perfect solution.