By Chloe Hashemi

Information technology and the internet are gradually dominating every aspect of our lives; and businesses are no exception to this. This revolution seems to have happened overnight, and occasionally it seems almost impossible to keep up with the times and keep your business relevant to the online world. Grasping a couple of simple modern approaches can help your business remain competitive.

Embrace New Technologies
Technology is changing at the speed of light.
Keeping this in mind though, it is easy to fall into the trap of complacency. If you fail to keep up for too long, you may find that your competitor may have the ability to do the same work with more ease, and at a much lower cost. A more superior computer system will allow you to process more information more quickly, which will ultimately increase your cash flow and improve your profitability. Additionally, the right software can avoid duplication issues and prevent bills from being paid more than once.

Ensure Proper Virus Protection
Computer viruses are becoming ever more frequent and robust, which means your data is at risk more than ever. Let’s not forget Heartbleed which affected around half a million ‘secure’ web servers in April of this year. Always assume the worst. Don’t wait for a virus to strike to purchase your anti-virus software. As cliché as it sounds, it’s definitely better to be safe rather than sorry. Make sure your employees are aware of the risks of opening email attachments which may carry macro-viruses.

Online Marketing
As obvious as it sounds, don’t forget to advertise on the internet itself. In terms of affordability, the reach online is unrivalled by all other media. There are no restrictions to how far your reach can be online. The main advantage of technology’s global dominance is the ease in which messages and ideas can be spread to the millions. It was estimated at the end of 2013 that 1 in 5 people own a smartphone. This means you can now advertise your business to people on the go, in the office, and at home, 24/7.  Norwich Accountants, Farnell Clarke regard online advertising and marketing very highly, as the “national (and international) coverage means that smaller businesses can compete with their larger rivals without having recourse to the sort of advertising budgets demanded by such conventional media.”

Assess Your Competitors
The beauty of the internet is that you can access information on essentially everything, and that includes info on your competitors. Use their websites to determine what products or services your competitors are selling, how much they are selling them for, how customers or clients are relating to them, and what they have planned for the future. The internet is such a powerful tool in the respect it can allow you to avoid being wrong footed by a competitor. It allows you to stay updated and acquire the information you need, and it’s all at your fingertips. 

Chloe Hashemi is a recent graduate from the University of East Anglia. She is interested in social media, photography and cinematography.