The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) always unveils drool-worthy new gadgets. And while “consumer” is in the title, the trade show also produces technology that is geared toward business. This year’s show, held Jan. 7-10 in Las Vegas, featured small-business tech such as netbooks and presentation tools, according to PC World. These products tend to be smaller, more portable and less expensive than their full-size counterparts. Are they items that your business would find useful?
Small businesses don’t necessarily require a lot of gear to sustain themselves. A computer is usually vital, as well as a smartphone such as a BlackBerry or an iPhone for mobility. A good printer might be needed for producing contracts, proofs and correspondence. A high-speed Internet connection is important for productivity. But every company is different, and what one business finds significant might not be so esteemed by another. However, everything seems to be evolving these days, from how we keep our businesses going – and even growing – to what role technology plays. Think small. If you’re a streamlined business, you might opt for streamlined technology. It’s not unheard of to possess a smartphone – even a superphone, as Google’s Nexus One is being touted – that is more powerful than your computer. You don’t necessarily need a printer if you aim for a paperless office; keep as much of your work in digital form, such as invoices, and opt for an online printer such as PsPrint for your marketing materials. It’s more cost effective than if you printed your products yourself since the price can be low while the quality is higher. Plus, it’s more environmentally friendly since PsPrint uses soy-based inks and offers 100 percent recycled paper. Think big. But maybe you prefer a desktop computer with a giant monitor. A lot of graphic designers need that kind of power and vision. At least seek out an all-in-one printer-copier-fax machine. Keep in mind, though, that you have to do it all yourself. Do what you’re good at and outsource the rest. Leave the printing services such as producing marketing materials and sending via direct mail to others. That way you’ll have the time to focus on growing your own business.