INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Digital Marketing for a Home Service Business

Information Technology (IT) is the technology you use to run your business. It enables you to be more efficient and also accomplish things not possible without technology. Below is a series of articles about how to use IT.

IT Articles

Home Services Business Information Technology

IT stands for information technology.  IT, per Wikipedia, is the use of computers to store, retrieve, transit and manipulate data or information.  IT is usually used as a blanket term to mean all technology used in a business.

Explain IT

Information Technology (IT) is a broad term but is really very simple.  It is all the technology you use in your business.   It is physical equipment like computers, servers, printers and smartphones.  It is also the equipment used to connect all of the physical devices using both wired and wireless technologies along with your Internet connection.  It is any software your install on all of your physical equipment.  Finally, it is the services you use like email hosting, website hosting and cloud services.

Explain IT process

The real power of IT is the interaction of all these physical, software and services.  This is the technology part.  But the information part is where IT has changed the face of business.  Before, the storing of data on paper took a look of time and didn’t make things easy to access.  A good example is a library card catalog.   There is a lot of data in books but if you can’t find what you are looking for, the book doesn’t help you.  When card catalogs were converted to into digital form, there were new possibilities.  First, you could make updates faster then printing new cards.  Next, you could search in different ways.  Finally, when newer technologies were developed you could store all this data in a database and make it available to many computers and eventually even on the Internet for everyone to access.   The possibilities became almost limitless when the progress of technology improvements.

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Develop IT strategy

An IT strategy starts with defining a goal.  Your goal should be about what you want IT to do for your business.  It could be to generate more revenue or it could be to make your operations more efficient.   The rest of our strategy will outline the steps you want to take to accomplish your goal.  Here are some examples of things you may want in your IT strategy:

  • Deciding on equipment to purchase
  • Deciding on software to purchase
  • Deciding on cloud services to use
  • Deciding on hardware support service plans
  • Deciding on information systems to deploy from customer relationship management (CRM) or line-of-business
  • Training strategy
  • Upgrade cycle plan
  • Backup strategy

IT tasks

Once you have your IT strategy decided, it is time to convert that outline in a series of tasks.  These tasks could include:

  • Selecting line of business solution
  • Selecting CRM software
  • Deploying a network
  • Purchasing or upgrading equipment
  • Purchasing software or cloud service
  • Creating backup plan
  • Training employees on IT systems
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Summary on Information Technology

Information Technology (IT) is the technology you use to run your business.  It enables you to be more efficient and also accomplish things not possible without technology.  The key to using IT is to have a strategy of a goal and related outline of steps.  Then, you need to do those steps through tasks.  IT is involved in all aspects of your business.

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HOME SERVICES INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY VIDEO

Digital Marketing Extreme is your source for digital marketing tips and techniques for your home service business.

Why do you need IT for your home service business? This video will go over what is information technology (IT), email hosting, customer relationship management (CRM) and line-of-business solution.

If you would like the video slides as a PDF, click to download “Home Services Business IT“.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

So for this presentation we’re talking about information technology it for small business. Our agenda for this presentation is first to go over what is information technology, and then talk about three specific examples of information technology, email hosting, customer relation management, or CRM, and line of business solution.

What is IT?

So let’s first talk what is information technology or it for Wikipedia, the definition is the use of computers to store retrieve transit and manipulate data or information. It is usually a blanket term to mean all technologies in a business. So we just say technology we just say it but it’s basically the tech the physical technology use in the form of say servers or networks or services, you may hosted a different place so your website your cloud based systems. You’re different things like that. So again, it’s sort of an all encompassing term for all the technology it’s used in a business.

What information technology really brains in addition to providing productivity tools in the form of word processors or email or things like that, is it provides different systems allow you to fully record all of the data that is created throughout your business operations. So again, these could be in the forms of the your computers and servers, also on the forms of wired or wireless networks, all the software that may help to enable your business and services that are actually now stored up into Cloud based systems.

Email Hosting

So the first IT system we’re going to look at is email hosting. Email hosting is basically where you store your email. Traditionally, people come across email first on personal email. So this could be in the form of Gmail or Outlook. com or in the past, AOL or Yahoo. Yahoo or Hotmail. But in the business context, it is important to not use those free email services because it does kind of not give a business appearance to that. If you have a website, you’ve already purchased a domain name for your business, that domain name can also be used to host email. The other benefit that email hosting provides is the ability to use more generic email distribution groups. So in addition to having email for people, you can have it for say sales, or info or service or things like that. And again, these are all subtle things, but that do increase the professional appearance of your business.

Customer Relationship Management

The next IT system we’re talking about is a customer relation management system or CRM. CRM are basically the modern day equivalent of the Rolodex name cards, but they can do way more than that just to store names and addresses. This can actually be a form of a leads database We’re all that those contacts that you have got through either your marketing department or through your sales department can all be put into one central database. The power of the CRM then is to move into actually creating a sales cycle process in the CRM that goes through the different phases from the start of the lead, to nurturing and ultimately to the sales. But at its base level, it is a form of a place to keep your contacts and your accounts that may relate to your business processes.

One of the most important things you can put into your CRM is your sales opportunity that goes through the traditional sales funnels of different aspects. And again, these can all be customized to whatever your sales processes for your business. But in addition to that sales process, efforts related to that sales process can be recorded in the form of activities. So it’s a way for your sales team to record their phone calls their email their meetings and things like that. And because it can be in the future, help them schedule that stuff going out and provide guidance within that effort.

Because all this data is put into the CRM system, there is a chance for analytics within your sales efforts to be brought forward. In addition to the most important ones, which are sales, tracking and sales revenue. You can look at sales, people performance and other aspects. CRM also have the ability to look at customer service aspects. So once you’ve actually completed the sale, a different form different part of the sea CRM solution can actually help with recording support calls and additional efforts that again will help to go back into the sales process.

Line-of-business Solution

The next IT system will look at is a line of business solution. My business solutions are different aspects of using technology. Within your day to day operations, so this could be finding a technology solution help with your work orders, or maybe your appointments if you’re more of a service based business. The aspect of this is to actually store your customer data. So this can serve many purposes. One, you need some of the customer data to help fulfill the work order or schedule the appointment. But also this information can be provided to help with tracking the actual sales revenue and telling him back into marketing efforts. Additionally, line of business solutions can either directly invoice or tie into your invoicing systems and potentially could either take payments or tie into your payment systems.

Conclusions on Information Technology

So some conclusions on information technology. The benefits of information technology is it provides a way to actually record your data. And again, this can be in many different aspects of different processes within your business. Using technology allows you to improve your systems by the fact that they may have reproducible methods or tracking information. And lastly, you can actually improve your processes by using information technology.