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Every business, no matter how big or how small, can increase profits by improving productivity. But how do you do that without spending a bundle. Even if you are a one-person business or have a few employees, it is people that make your business operational. If the people can get more done each day, then you will increase productivity.

In previous posts, I have discussed time management and how to grow your business profit while staying small. Improvements in both will improve productivity. This post will focus on the equipment you need to get your business running smoothly and efficiently.

How Can Technology Improve Productivity?

Get more done in less time. Improve safety and lower vulnerable to attacks.

Upgrade Your Primary Compute Device

The pace of technology improvement is exponential. Every year just the devices themselves have more powerful processors, more memory and faster network capabilities. Replace your primary compute devices (desktops, laptops, tablets) every three years. You will reduce repairs and have fewer slowdowns and freeze-ups.

If you use Microsoft Windows, you really should be using Windows 10. It is safer and faster. You will be less vulnerable to attacks. The only reason you should be on an older version is if you are running an older application software that won’t run on Windows 10. If so, try to find new software that will perform your task while running on a current OS.

High quality, full featured printer

Even if you are trying to reduce paper usage, when you need to print you need it quick and easy. Just replacing your older printer could save on toner or print cartridge costs, but new printers can do lots more tricks.

Since you and your workers are mobile, you need to print from wireless devices and even from your smartphone over the Internet. Make sure you have both wired (Ethernet) and wireless (Wi-Fi) connectivity including the newer 802.11 n protocol which is faster.

Newer printers are ready for the new image based communication age. With high resolution scanning, printing and copying you can be ready to dazzle your customers without having to visit the print shop so often.

HP OfficeJet and Epson WorkForce product families have great offerings for every small business, even if you are just starting out.

Reliable Internet Service

Choose an Internet provider that has good reviews. Up-time and speed are two important factors to look for, but technical and account support are also very important. If you have a proposal to get out and your Internet is down, you don’t want to listen to on-hold music for an hour. You need to be able to talk with someone who can help.

Upgrade your Firewall/router

Most Internet service providers supply a router with only basic functionality. In many cases, this is just fine, but if you want more protection for your company network you might consider replacing it with a combined firewall/router. Features you will add are intrusion prevention, deep packet inspection, and anti-malware capability.

A firewall will look at all the data packets coming into your network and going out to the Internet from your network. It can stop attacks and catch malware before it gets into your computers, providing a higher level of security than the standard issue router.

Work Surface and Seat

This one might take a little ingenuity but also might lead to the largest increase in productivity. For many of us, our primary compute device is a laptop. You can work at your desk for a while, maybe two or three blocks of 20-minute task work. (Remember the post on The Pomodoro Technique?) Then get up from your desk with your laptop and go to a counter where you can stand and work for two or three more 20-minute blocks. Changing position is stimulating.

When you buy work chairs, look for ergonomic features. When you are seated while working, lumbar back support and adjustable seat height will reduce stress and discomforts.

Proper lighting makes all work tasks easier. People receive about 85 percent of their information through their sense of sight. Appropriate lighting, without glare or shadows, can reduce eye fatigue and headaches; it can prevent workplace accidents by increasing the visibility of moving machinery and other safety hazards.

Final thoughts

Investments in these areas will help you plan, manage and execute your work faster and more efficiently than before. You will attain higher profitability and deal with less stress.

Investing in the right equipment will let you respond quicker and get more done. You will have less interruptions from equipment failure and increase profits by improving productivity.

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