We live in an era driven by technology; from ordering food online to building interactive robots, technology is at the heart of every major development. One of the industries that need to understand the potential technology holds and the ways we can benefit from it is the small business sector.
Small businesses, mostly, do not have enough human resources, compared to medium-to-large sized companies. This void can be filled by using technology in smart ways for more efficiency and productivity. Due to its amazing potential, it has and should become an investment priority for smaller companies.
There are many ways to help small business owners explore efficient ways to integrate technology into their business to reward management achievements, employee recognition, and to boost profits, to name just a few. Let’s have a look at 12 unbelievable ways technology can make your business more proficient and give it a performance boost.
1. Save Money with Digital Marketing
One of the major concerns for a small business is to think of cost-effective ways to market their business and reach potential customers. Technology perhaps offers the biggest savings in this regard, thanks to social media and its popularity, which makes marketing a small business less time-consuming and without the need for monetary investment. Even paid marketing is affordable and can show immediate results. With tools such as Facebook Insights and Google Analytics, you can see your audience’s demographics and create tailor-made campaigns.
2. Save Time with Email Automation
Communication is one of the most important aspects of a small business. In this technology-driven corporate world, person-to-person communication has been replaced with emails, text messages and faxes. These emails are sent for marketing campaigns, payment reminders, meeting and other similar tasks.
Now you just need to ask yourself how many hours a day you could save if you didn’t have to engage in email communication. By automating your email system you could use your resources and time much more efficiently. The system will allow you to automatically send emails and set notifications and reminders according to a predefined schedule.
3. See the Bigger Picture with Business Intelligence Software
This kind of software is amazing. It gathers your company’s data, reports useful information and send alerts when an employee is having a great year or when your profits take a hit. Business intelligence software can use this data to generate insights that can help you decide on the direction in which your business should or can go.
To get the maximum benefit from these important tools, you should hire a professional Digital Business Strategy Consulting company that is more familiar with how your business plan and technology can be integrated to get the best outcome. You could call for a free consultation or meet their representatives.
4. Get a Security Upgrade
No matter the size of your business, it needs security. Since computers and cloud computing is used for record keeping, you need reliable security against cybercrime and malware. With the help of security software you can give your files and records a strong protection and potent firewalls against all types of fraudulent activities.
Security for your software is not the only way technology can help you. Instead of hiring security guards or a squad, you could make a one-time investment to install a state-of-the-art security system in your building. This system can play a major role in preventing forced and unwanted trespassers or invaders and help you save big on your security budget.
5. Become a Better and More Productive Manager
Project management is the core of any small business; with limited capital and human resources, it all comes down to how well you manage them. You can use technology to help make your project management more efficient and reliable. By installing time tracking software, you can monitor important details such as the time it took you to complete a project, billing your clients accurately, progress tracking and set-up, managing and sharing your team’s milestones.
This software can also help you track your employees through GPS and keep track of their location; this can be very useful when you have field or door-to-door workers.
6. No More Number Crunching – Let Technology Have its Say
You can integrate tracking software into your account and bookkeeping systems to make them more efficient. These automated systems can help you reduce cost and manpower, which can be used for other projects. This software lets you file taxes online, track budgets, make online sales, streamline business finances, and share information online etc.
7. Give your Employees the Best Training
You can ask any small business owner and they will tell you they simply do not have a big enough budget to send their employees for training workshops. How does this hurt them? Their employees do not stay up to date with the latest market trends and business strategies; this can also have an adverse effect on your business’s growth.
But, once again, thanks to technology, you can use online training courses that can be bought at a lower cost. Online training will eliminate the costs of renting training venues, arranging food, paying for extra hours, using working hours for training and other similar details. Your employees can learn from these courses on the go or from home.
8. Faster Communication, Faster Growth
Technology helps to eliminate most of the loopholes in communication that can cause unnecessary delays in responses, payments and approvals etc., which can cost both time and money. Technology allows you to use multiple channels for fast communication with clients and customers that require an immediate response.
9. Research is the Key to Business Growth
Gone are the days when small business owners had to travel to seek out and explore new business venues. Thanks to the Internet, you can stay updated with all the latest market trends and emerging avenues for your business without setting aside a major research budget. You can use software that sets up alerts and notifications whenever information related to a predefined keyword pops up on the Internet; this will save countless hours spent on manual browsing and searching.
10. Invoicing Software Makes For Good Customer Relations
Invoice tracking takes up more time than small businesses can spare, but wouldn’t you feel relieved if it could be managed on its own? With the help of automated software you can track and request your invoices. This allows you to send automated reminders and payment requests, keep a track of your cash flow, analyze your customer’s spending preferences and customise reports.
11. Make your Office Networking More Efficient
The amount of time employees waste when they have to retrieve information from each other is astonishing. Each time a file is requested from a colleague, valuable time is spent on small chit-chat and file hunting. You can solve this waste with the help of technology that lets you set up an office network where announcements can be made on office messages and file sharing can be done without having to leave your desk.
12. Build a Great Customer Relationship
You can use customer relationship management software to maintain files and keep all their information, including their feedback, in one place. This will help you retrieve their files at a moment’s notice.
Remember, technology is only as good as your ability to use it smartly. Small businesses do not have to buy expensive technology that costs an arm and a leg; all you need is a way to understand how little innovations and upgrades can bring about a major change in your day-to-day operations and management. It is important to integrate technology into your system to save more money and time, which, in the long-run, can be invested in your expansion plans.
Be a smart tech-savvy!
Timothy Allsworth is an experienced specialist web designer, content marketer, and search engine optimization ( SEO, SEM ) expert here at Custom Web Creations Web Design Brisbane. He has over 7 years of real-world experience in the field and loves helping people and their businesses to succeed in an online world through his tried and proven techniques. He has numerous university-level qualifications in Australia. Advanced web programming, database engineering, SEO and SEM specialisations, Google marketing, business marketing are some of his qualifications. He envisions a web design business that prefers quality over quantity and gives the client the best end digital product their money can buy at affordable prices.