Small businesses are the backbone of the US economy. But they face numerous challenges. The biggest challenge for 33 percent of new businesses is lack of capital. That is why only about 50 percent of small businesses survive for more than 5 years.
Most small businesses find that technology offers workable solutions for many of the tasks. By using technology to manage different tasks, small businesses can cut down on costs. Most technology needed for small businesses is found online. So a standard Spectrum internet connection is enough. Additionally, small businesses are operating with a limited workforce. So automated technology can free up a lot of time for employees.
How Do Small Businesses Use Technology?
Technology has developed to a point where it can be used in many aspects of a business. It can help increase productivity and improve collaboration. Additionally, it can be effective in marketing strategies as well as customer service. Some businesses also use technology to analyze and manage their financials.
Productivity and Collaboration
Most official communication takes place via email. So most small businesses use email management systems. Email management systems can help organize your mails and contacts. In addition to managing email threads so that email back and forth can be efficient.
Maintaining records is one of the most important tasks for any business, big or small. So to manage them, businesses needs document management systems. These programs make saving and sharing easier. More importantly, they make it easier to find documents later as well.
Small businesses use project management tools to assign tasks to employees. Some of these tools also double as tools for daily or weekly reporting.
4. Time Tracking
Time tracking tools can help small businesses, especially startups. These tools can help employees manage their responsibilities as well as time. It helps increase productivity as well as accountability.
5. Web Conferences
Web conferences are an effective way to collaborate. Teleconferences offer the same connectivity, but there is no alternative to face-to-face time.
6. Cloud Storage
Cloud services are one of the most innovative sharing solutions. They have allowed businesses to share documents with external parties.
7. IM Services
Many small businesses invest in internal messaging systems, like Skype for business. They increase employee communication as well as productivity.
8. Internal File Sharing
Most small businesses also set up an intranet network. Using this network, employees can share files locally and maintain security protocols. It is difficult for cybercriminals to make their way into an intranet network.
9. Webinars and Training Programs
Many businesses find the need to train their employees. Webinars and online training programs offer businesses the flexibility to select suitable times. And without the pressures of a classroom setting, employees are able to retain knowledge better.
Websites are not a new technology. But there are many new technological developments that make websites more interesting. Almost every business today requires a website.
11. Social Media
Social media is another thing that has become crucial for businesses. Without social media, most businesses won’t be able to develop relationships with customers. Social media platforms also offer a make-shift customer service portal.
12. Online Advertising
Marketing strategies today are focusing more on online advertising than traditional. Of course, traditional advertising still has its benefits, but online offers immediate feedback. Plus the most crucial advantage of online advertising over traditional is the cost savings. Traditional advertising annual budgets are usually high. Online budgets don’t even come close.
13. Video Marketing
Video marketing is the latest trend to hit businesses. Platforms like YouTube have made it possible for businesses to reach billions of people directly. And with advanced targeting protocols, businesses can select their exact demographic.
14. Online Customer Service Portals
Many businesses have set up online customer service platforms. The biggest advantage of online customer service portals to a business is cost savings. And the biggest advantage of them to customers is ease of access.
15. Telecommunication Technology
Traditional customer service also integrate state-of-the-art communications technology. From the best hardware to dialing software that can record each conversation.
16. Artificial Intelligence
AI is vital in improving customer service. From chatbots to voice recognition software that can automatically flag conversations. Professionals later analyze these flagged conversations.
There are comprehensive accounting and inventory software available online. These work out to be cheaper than hiring an accountant, even if it is part-time.
Using online invoicing services, businesses can enjoy cost savings. There is usually a cost to a business of collecting payments. By collecting payments online, businesses can reduce these costs significantly.
19. Budget Tracking
Using programs to manage budgets allows businesses to cut down on unnecessary expenses.
20. New Income Stream
By setting up an online sales platform, businesses can easily generate new revenue streams.
Technology has revolutionized the way businesses operate. It has been integrated into every department. From marketing to strategizing, customer service, and even financing. Some businesses depend entirely on technology, like online SEO marketing businesses. Or even platforms like Amazon.
More on this topic: 10 Ways Technology Helps You Save Money