In this digital era, businesses must embrace technological advances to compete favourably. From streamlining customer interaction to better managing employees, technology can enable small businesses to grow by leveraging limited capital in smarter, more effective ways. By leveraging technology in their processes, small businesses benefit from greater efficiency and versatility necessary for better return on investments (ROIs).
The good thing about technology is that it's easily accessible. With just a small investment, businesses, no matter the size, can access different technologies and enhance their productivity and returns. In today's technological age, there is absolutely no excuse for a business not to use technology. Below, we explore the top six technologies that have become a must-have for any small business these days.
Cloud computing refers to the on-demand availability of computer system resources encompassing servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and intelligence. Cloud computing enables businesses to become more scalable and agile. With the advancement in technology coupled with the reliance on computing more than ever, cloud computing has become a critical factor for any business. Of particular is cloud data storage which enables businesses to safely store crucial data online and be able to access them anytime, anywhere with an internet connection.
In essence, cloud computing is essential for small businesses as it reduces overall operational costs and brings speed and accuracy to the businesses' day-to-day operations. By leveraging cloud computing, businesses would be able to optimize their budget more efficiently and use only the services they'll need to grow and compete on a global scale. Besides, cloud computing enables small businesses to avert surprise unbudgeted expenses such as emergency server repairs or computer repairs. If not resolved immediately, such situations could bring the business operations to their knees, amounting to unprecedented losses.
Now more than ever, small businesses should be concerned with data security thanks to a significant rise in costly data breaches. While data security has often been left to "big" organizations, small businesses have recently been increasingly targeted by cybercriminals. As such, small businesses cannot afford to neglect data security. Data security products such as anti-virus software and data security software are necessary for small businesses to create an impenetrable fortress in the online world and secure their growth.
Customer Relationship Management(CRM)
Gaining and retaining clients is mandatory for any business. When it comes to enabling businesses to gain and retain clients, customer relationship management (CRM) tools such as Hubspot, SalesForce and Insightly are indispensable resources. CRM tools enable businesses to track customers' actual behaviour and communicate accordingly, allowing businesses to nature and personalize relationships with their patrons. By using a CRM tool, a growing business can track their potential, current, and previous customers from the first interaction via their marketing and sales funnels. Besides, CRM enables businesses to nature the relationships with potential customers translating to higher ROIs.
Using a CRM consistently can enable small businesses to make solid decisions based on actual data rather than just estimations. Businesses can establish how many customers they have gained or lost in a certain period and geographical location. CRM benefits businesses in several ways, including revenue growth, CRM usage growth, lead conversion and decreased marketing costs. As a small business proprietor, you may want to try out different CRM software and then decide on the one that fits your budget and suits your form of business.
While it may seem like a far-fetched technology, AI is already being implemented in several organizations. For small businesses, AI is being used to track customer behaviour and provide insights on trends. AI can enable small businesses to streamline their eCommerce platforms, enabling better customer interaction enhancing ROIs in return. A good example of how small businesses are using AI is Chatbots incorporated into eCommerce platforms to facilitate real-time customer interaction and better site navigation. Even as AI advances, small businesses need to embrace this technology and find a balance between AI and human interaction to enhance functionality and customer satisfaction.
Next Generation Payments Solutions
Business clients are diverse therefore prefer different payment methods. While some customers may have no problem with online payments, some may prefer offline payment methods due to security concerns. Customers these days are looking for convenient and safe payment methods. Therefore, businesses need to offer them the flexibility to choose their preferred payment methods.
As such, mall businesses need to implement several innovative and next-generation payment options to facilitate safety and simplicity in the online payment process. By implementing several safe payment options, customers would start trusting you and buy more frequently from your business. Online payments are becoming quite popular considering that most people avoid carrying too much cash and credit cards thanks to the COVID pandemic.
Most small businesses are implementing the shopping cart software, a comprehensive online payment solution that enables businesses to accept payments via their websites via credit card processing or other online payment solutions such as PayPal and Stripe. The software also enables customers to calculate the cost of shipping and taxes plus enables businesses to track inventory, and generates sales reports automatically.
Time Tracking and Management Software
To be successful, small businesses must be keen to enhance the productivity of workers. Time tracking and management software are excellent tools for small businesses to map out how employees spend their time and what tasks are being accomplished at certain times. Time tracking and management software enable small business proprietors better manage the time and productivity of their employees. The software monitors and records employee hours, including work hours, vacation time, sick leave, overtime and projects. Besides, the software can seamlessly track individual projects as well as expenses, invoices and sales (if applicable). By using time tracking and management software, businesses can ensure all employees stay on top of their daily work responsibilities for continuous growth and higher ROIs.
Technology advances have made the world a better place. By implementing technology in their daily processes, small businesses can effectively compete with established organizations and realize growth as well a higher ROIs. Small businesses transiting to modern technology such as the ones discussed above can be a major headache attributed to the high cost of such technologies plus the disruption in daily processes. However, the good news is that the benefits of modern business technology outweigh the short-lived challenges of the transitional process.
At House of I.T, we're concerned about the profound technological transformation of businesses and the immense benefits it confers not only to the business but also its customers. This is the main reason we offer comprehensive IT solutions to small businesses to enable them to compete favourably against established organizations. Talk to us today to find out how we could transform your small business using favourable, highly-effective technology to facilitate growth and high ROIs.