Being an entrepreneur and running a small business is no small feat. There is so much that goes into running a business that it often becomes overwhelming for many business owners and they’re unable to maintain operations for a significant amount of time. In fact, the Small Business Administration estimates that only half of small businesses with employees survive their first five years in business, and these survival rates are pretty consistent no matter the industry. But luckily, many operations can be counted among the surviving businesses if they make effective use of the tools that are available to them. There are numerous ways that new technology can improve the operations of a small business to help them stay afloat, get seen, thrive and scale larger or faster than they project. Remember, success is more than a mindset. It also includes knowing when and where to get the right kind of help.
When a business is looking to speed up productivity, technology is the best place to look. Not only does technology help build innovative strategies like a Sustainability Plan for Business operations, but it can also streamline the way you do business. Having the ability to access all of your vendors in one location makes things much more efficient. Having a sales funnel that moves potential clients and customers swiftly along and a CRM that is tailored to the needs of your enterprise is invaluable when growing is at the top of your list. Many of these pieces of technology allow a small business to be more flexible and be on top of customer concerns, questions, and needs. Automation is very efficient, so handing off some of the more time-consuming tasks wherever possible is going to make an impact that is felt by everyone involved in your business. Not to mention that it creates more room to focus on other areas of running a business.
Lower Operating Costs
Taking advantage of the right tech and software can save any business quite a bit of money. A single piece of SaaS software may take care of multiple tasks that are key to the running of a business. You may find that your business does not have the need for certain positions because you can either outsource it for less expensive or have technology handle it for you. Business owners can also feel free to ditch the office. In fact, many small businesses have opted for coworking spaces or to work from home to further reduce overhead costs. Applications like Zoom and Google Workspace have made it easy to have a business meeting from anywhere in the world. This means having the option to access the global talent pool and more easily hire independent contractors with the least expense to the business. Thoughtfully incorporating new tech into a small business will have a positive impact on its bottom line.
Boost Marketing and Visibility
Social media is revolutionizing the way many companies market themselves to potential customers and clients. Most social media platforms are free, although they do have some guidelines on what is acceptable to share. A well-crafted tweet or unique take on a viral video can get your business a lot of visibility that you may be able to turn into profit. Social media allows small businesses to connect and engage with customers, keep the public updated on what’s changing or new in the industry or company and stay on top of new and trending topics within or without their industry. There are even tools that can be employed to streamline your social media activity so you can look like you’re on social media all day, without actually having to be on social media all day. After all, you do have an actual business to run. You may not even need a formal marketing team when you choose the right marketing software.
Technology also comes in handy as a business builds and maintains its website, offers web-based services, e-commerce, and more. Everyone is looking for great customer service, and the right technology pairing will put you well on the path to exceptional customer service. Technology and business are so tightly intertwined that not effectively using it will put almost any business well behind the curve, losing profits and drastically reducing client bases.
Privacy is of utmost concern for most consumers, and it should be for most businesses as well. With so many data miners lurking about, it’s important to have the right cybersecurity infrastructure at your disposal. Whether it is names, addresses, credit card information or more, a data breach is expensive and undermines the trust a business has built. The right tech can encrypt the data, making it very difficult to be hacked. It can offer multi-level password security, monitor who accesses files from where, and more. Improving data security should be very near the top of every small business owner’s list. Another part of safeguarding data is to eliminate human error as much as possible. Having automated systems can minimize errors, and even create a sort of set it and forget it system that makes it easy to feel secure.
Heading a small business takes a lot of sacrifices, research, and ingenuity, no question. But a lot of the headache that comes with being a business owner can fade into the background when all of this new technology is properly leveraged in its favor. There are some costs associated with a lot of technology, but very often the benefits outweigh the cost of doing it all yourself. And many business owners find themselves pleasantly surprised at just how much value is given at a minimal cost. Opening up your eyes to the wealth of benefits incorporating web based services, cloud services, automated calendars and check-in systems, data security software and more into the business model is a great first step to making your small business better prepared to compete in a world that relies on technology to wake them up in the morning and pour their first cup of coffee.