According to research published by SEMRush, 80 percent of small business owners admit not leveraging technology to its fullest. And in today’s tech-savvy business environment, this comes as a shocker!
Most small businesses don’t even make it past their first anniversary. A few reasons behind their failure include lack of financial investment, relentless competition from industry giants to thwart any new entrants into the market, and overseeing the latest technology.
Businesses have embraced computers, printers, photocopiers, and other hardware technologies. In this digital era, businesses are transforming their communications systems into more virtual or digital using software solutions. Hardware and software tools and devices are useful in promoting better productivity for small businesses.
Consequently, small businesses need to produce high-quality products and services without losing their competitive cost advantage and other unique features. Fortunately, the emergence of technology in the business industry has effectively acted as a lifeboat for such startups. Technology provides small businesses with effective means to enhance operations while simultaneously reducing business costs.
Yet, there does exist the problem of unfamiliarity with what technologies you need to use as a small business owner. In such circumstances, a quick search on the internet can help you find expert advice near you. For instance, if you’re managing a small business from a town in Leicestershire, England, and need to set up an IT system, search for ‘IT Support in Loughborough‘ to shortlist a few options. Once you vet the choices, pick one that meets your expectations.
With that said, here are some tech deployments that you should consider adding to your small business if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet.
1. Connected online presences
Creating an attractive, user-friendly, and responsive website for your brand serves as your business’s primary online presence. Yet, the importance of creating a network of well-linked profiles on various social platforms is also significant. It provides your customers with a wholesome experience that builds the perception of a well-established and trusted brand in the digital space.
While an SEO-friendly website directly improves SERP rankings, social media contributes to the same effort indirectly. Well-connected online presences also increase your content’s shareability, thus increasing your business’s reach exponentially with the help of good content.
Good content means something people can relate to, helping them resolve their problems. If you want to improve your customer communication, you need to promote your brand using great content in your website, social media pages, and other websites that can give you organic traffic. In this way, you can expect more phone calls, appointments, and closed deals.
2. Cloud technology
The introduction of cloud computing has revolutionized the operations of countless businesses worldwide. It allows employees to access and share business information and resources without worrying about data loss or transfer. Functioning through the cloud relieves small business owners of the responsibility of acquiring and installing hardware machines, along with expensive software.
Instead, they can utilize the advanced resources of a cloud technology service provider through a remote connection from anywhere around the world. Furthermore, you only have to pay for cloud computing resources based on your usage. It helps to save overhead costs and other costs associated with hardware installation and office space.
3. Analytics tools
One of the critical aspects of managing a small business is staying aware of your venture’s performance and acting dynamically. This approach involves using in-depth data and information and a dynamic strategy based on interpreting the data. Incorporating analytics tools, such as Google Analytics and other free or paid tools, into your existing operations is necessary to facilitate a dynamic environment.
Such tools can help businesses extract critical insights and detailed statistics from customer interactions and develop products/services tailored to their needs. Further, BI tools can substantially enhance the business decision-making process and steer the company towards growth.
With analytic tools, you can save an enormous amount of time in gathering and interpreting relevant data in your small business. You’ll also benefit from error-free data, which can help you take your business to the next level when it comes to sales and marketing. You’ll be able to create more effective campaigns efficiently than before, so you can attain your business goals.
4. Shared communication software
The importance of communication in the success of any business is crucial regardless of the amount. Yet, it is also essential for small businesses to be mindful of opting for complex communication systems with extra security features. Small business owners must search for an optimum solution that allows the business hierarchy to communicate efficiently.
For example, businesses can use communication software such as Microsoft Teams to bring the entire workforce on a single platform. Effective communication software provides users a seamless and up-to-date experience with features like video conferencing, document sharing, and mobile responsiveness. It can quickly streamline workflow in the company, increase time management and employee productivity.
You can build a better business communication system with shared communication software. With the power of artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), cloud technology, and agile software programs, business communication evolves and transforms into something better.
5. Artificial Intelligence
It is considerably easy to integrate AI features onto your website and social media platforms in today’s age. Ready-to-use virtual assistants and chatbots are easy to find online and add to your business processes. They can help you automate several manual processes of your business, such as CRM. Such features can effectively minimize business costs by reducing the need to employ human resources for several tasks.
You can also reassign such resources to more meaningful tasks to help your business grow. Furthermore, machine learning and other data sciences aspects of AI can also enable your business to predict future performance allowing you to strategize better and grow your business.
The importance of cybersecurity in the business world is directly proportional to the advancement in technology. The adoption of technology at a mainstream level has induced an entire wave of cyber threats and attacks. Consequently, it is vital for businesses at every stage to keep a tight check on their security measures to avoid data breaches and theft. Traditionally the use of antiviruses and advanced firewalls proved to be effective in providing security.
However, with more complex cyber threats and tech-savvy cybercriminals on the loose, it has become imperative for businesses to upgrade to improved cybersecurity mechanisms. Thus, deploying VPNs and Secure Socket Layer (SSL) connections has become mandatory. Furthermore, the adoption of virtual machines and encryption of communication channels can also prove to be an effective and cost-efficient method to bolster your business’s digital defenses.
The survival of small businesses in today’s competitive markets is challenging, especially without adequate tech integration. However, deploying updated tech systems and software isn’t too complicated, and nor does it have to be financially constraining on your business wallet. This article went over a few tech deployments that can help businesses make their operations more efficient and secure.
These include building a user-friendly experience by connecting online platforms, deploying cloud technology and Ai, and beefing up digital security. With these deployments, small businesses can increase operational efficacy, cut costs, and generate more revenue.