Many small businesses are tied to the way they have always done business, but new technology emerges every day to offer a more streamlined way to do things. Tech innovations can help small businesses operate more efficiently, which gives them a better opportunity to grow. Here are four technologies that have the power to transform your small business:
- Cloud Computing
In the past, small businesses would need to purchase tangible software and hardware to access technology capabilities. Today, cloud computing gives small businesses the ability to access software incrementally based on need. This provides all the capabilities a small business could want while keeping costs low. One of the greatest advantages of cloud computing is its fast deployment time, which allows your business to get applications up and running as quickly as possible.
Cloud computing also makes it easier for your employees to telecommute. When your data is shared through the cloud, your workers can access the information they need from home, so you can save money on office expenses. Even if your employees only telecommute a few days per month, you could save enough money to start rapidly expanding your business.
- Mobile Technology
Mobile devices become more and more widespread every year. Today, almost all consumers have at least one mobile device, and small businesses should adjust their practices accordingly. For example, mobile apps are a great way to connect with customers and streamline transactions. Many people use their mobile phone more than their computer, so having a mobile-friendly site or app is essential for providing a good user experience.
Mobile technology allows you to work in more locations, too. If you’re the type of business that sends employees out into the field, mobile devices allow you to communicate with them quickly and easily. Service businesses, like plumbers and electricians, use mobile technology to communicate with dispatchers and customers to make sure they are on time.
For example, a plumbing business may have five service technicians in the field at once and their dispatcher has to get them to the next job on time while communicating any delays with the customer. If a traffic accident has occurred in one of the technician’s routes, the dispatcher can send notification to the technician’s mobile device and reroute them while letting the customer know there will be a slight delay due to traffic.
- Automated Marketing
Marketing is essential for your business to succeed, but it can be expensive. Instead of hiring an in-house expert or outsourcing your needs to a digital marketing company, you can take advantage of marketing automation.
Although you can’t automate all aspects of your marketing strategy, marketing automation can save you plenty of time and money. For example, it can take care of email marketing, social media management, and analytics.
- Big Data Analytics
Businesses of all sizes have a massive amount of data to deal with. This can include unstructured content like scanned documents and social media content or structured content like word processing documents and databases. Although your data may just feel like clutter, it actually holds a massive amount of value.
Big data applications sift through your data to find important information that can help you grow your business. Large companies have used data analytics for years, but analytics tools are now becoming more accessible to small companies. With these tools, you can predict sales patterns, determine the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, and learn more about your average customer.
All of these technologies can save you time, money, and energy, so you can focus on expanding your business. While you might feel overwhelmed at first by how many different technologies are available, you’ll be grateful in the future that you incorporated them into your business practices.