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Weekend edition December 09, 2022 | Shannon Smith

Top tech tips for small business success

UScellular shares its top six technology tips for small business success.

Small businesses can often see more demand during the holidays, and as they grow, that demand is always increasing. One way to keep up with growth is to lean into the technology available.

UScellular helps businesses utilize technology in a lot of different areas.

“Our sweet spot and one of the solutions that we excel at is IoT solutions, whether it’s fleet management, software as a service, mobile device management, and more,” said Jenn Simmons, Business Account Manager with UScellular.

She shares six top technology tips to help small businesses succeed year-round.

Utilize 5G enhancements

“Enhancements in 5G are going to make it easier for businesses because more devices can connect. You’re going to get a more seamless experience. You’re going to get faster downloading time,” said Simmons.

5G has become the standard in most smartphones, and it’s likely businesses have this technology at the ready.

“It allows users to transmit that data in a faster, more effective method from really wherever they are,” said Simmons.

Stay secure with mobile device management

“Any type of mobile device management is going to allow the business owner to control what their associates do on the devices,” said Simmons. “So it helps to keep their information secure, it helps keep it private.”

This is key for businesses that have just one person or multiple people working across multiple devices.

“If, for instance, I lose my laptop, my company has the ability to remotely log in and wipe that laptop and make sure that none of our proprietary information is stolen,” said Simmons.

Streamline fleet management

Companies that use multiple vehicles can benefit from using technology to manage their fleet.

“Right now I’m working with a plumbing company and we’re putting camera and fleet solutions on all of their vehicles,” said Simmons.

Instead of having to keep track of individual written maintenance records, all that information can be stored in one tablet that automatically alerts the team when something like an oil change is needed.

“It also notifies them of harsh braking, harsh turns, fast accelerations, so it helps them with driver safety,” said Simmons. “And with the front and rear facing cameras, they can also help ensure that their drivers are using safe practices. So you think a fleet solution, yes, they’ll know where their vehicles are. But it’s so much more than that because it’s helping them be more efficient.”

Invest in connectivity on the go

Internet access is seemingly available everywhere, but you need the right tools to access that. Sometimes, the hotspot built into a cell phone is strong enough. But if multiple devices need access, there are more reliable options.

“We have mobile hotspots and we have routers that can be used in vehicles,” said Simmons. “So police officers, EMS, I even have a couple of news stations that use our routers in their news vans to transmit data back and forth when they’re out in the field. So that helps them run more effectively.”

Check with your wireless provider to see if these options are available for you.

Consider an internet failover

So what happens when you’re in the middle of processing a big order online and the internet goes out? That’s where Simmons said an internet failover can be a lifesaver.

That’s when if your primary router goes out, a backup internet connection in another location automatically kicks in, allowing for your connectivity to “failover” to that second source.

“Internet failover is critical, especially because we do have so many people that are working remotely and even remote learning,” said Simmons. “It allows them to have a secure, consistent connection.”

Budget for technology

If your business doesn’t have all these features but wants to use them in the future, make room in your budget for technology.

“As you’re planning your budgets for the next year, talking to your wireless provider or your IT director about ways that technology can help are definitely critical conversations to have,” said Simmons.

That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to break the bank to become more efficient.

“When you’re thinking about budget, a lot of times those devices can actually help you save money, too,” said Simmons. “So especially with the fleet management devices, a lot of the insurance companies will actually give you a discount if you’re using these camera solutions or the fleet management solutions because it mitigates their risk as well.”

Simmons said any business of any size can reach out to their provider of UScellular for questions or inquiries.