Small businesses, with the aid of technology, can achieve far more than what was possible years ago. Using computers and the internet has definitely boosted the abilities and reach of starting entrepreneurs and business people. But how is technology utilized that business owners find absolutely crucial?
Using the Internet as a Network
Nowadays, it’s more practical to focus on your core business than to try and handle everything on your own. Outsourcing your other needs and partnering with other vendors and services is a much more efficient way of staying afloat and even growing further. Software as a Service (SaaS) is commonly acquired by modern entrepreneurs, and it works very well too.
A great example is how home kitchens and baked goods businesses implore the service of food delivery apps instead of hiring their own delivery team. It’s cost-efficient because you won’t need to buy delivery vehicles, and no need to hire delivery people either.
Connecting and Interacting with Customers
Feedback and communication with customers have become so efficient that clients now have multiple ways to contact businesses for whatever concern they may have. Businesses can also connect with their clients on a more personal level, thanks to real-time chat systems like live chatting or even AI chatbots. Addressing customer needs and concerns has reached an unparalleled height because of this, and many clients expect immediate correspondence.
Better Marketing Measures
Smaller businesses now have access to a wide variety of relatively low-cost marketing options such as SEO services, digital marketing, and content drives to bolster their reach. DIY digital marketing is also very feasible nowadays, as viral marketing has the potential to reach a wider audience- far more than one can expect. No longer are small businesses limited to word of mouth (but it’s still useful), they can employ tactics formerly reserved to larger companies.
Even traditional marketing methods, like direct mail advertising, handing out pamphlets, and similar methods of advertising are easier to accomplish. Designing and printing your own pamphlets can now be done easily thanks to software that provides templates, and ready access to cheap but reliable printing machines.
Allows for Wider Payment Options
Because many of the business processes are accomplished online, financial transactions have also adjusted to the new platform. There are multiple payment options available online, many of them popular enough that most people are readily using them, with their accounts connected and enabling immediate transactions. Making and taking payments can be done entirely through the internet, providing small businesses the ability to create direct-to-transaction ad materials.
Even social media accounts for businesses have a built-in online shop that enables entrepreneurs to funnel all the attention their ad materials generate to a platform that allows interested parties to buy upon seeing it.
Collect and Analyze Data
Maintaining and improving a business can be challenging especially if you do not have the means to figure out pain points. Technology is a great help in educating and aiding people on business data analytics -something many small business owners tend to struggle with the most. Through analytics and software tools, businesses can collect and analyze data.
They can look at their marketing effort and see whether they’re pulling more leads, or look at their 6-month profit margin and see where they are currently. Technology allows quicker and more accurate analysis, making the jobs of business owners everywhere more efficient.
More Efficient Business Operations
When it comes to small businesses, it’s important to be efficient in managing operations. It also pays to know how to operate a business from practically anywhere you are, so you can continuously work on growth. This is where project management software shines because it empowers business owners to get a clear bird’s eye view of everything while at the same time being able to control group and individual tasks on a more personal level.
Encourages Communication and Collaboration
Whether you are running a small business from home or a small team in an office, technology can greatly speed up interactions between colleagues and clients through various communication tools. Technology has come a long way from bulky telephones and mere text messages. Nowadays, there are plenty of messaging tools that integrate various features for clearer and more efficient back and forths.
With communication and collaboration software like Slack or Discord, you can send files, media, and hyperlinks to individuals or post them on a channel for a group of people to see. Not only that, but you can also utilize the video and/or mic features for live video or audio chats with each other.