Running a small business is a risky endeavor, no matter how much preparation you make. Markets can be volatile, competitors can be cunning, and business owners could overlook important tools that could give you major advantages. Because of the confluence of different factors, as many as 21 percent of small businesses shutter up during their first year of operation.
This can be devastating to a small business owner. Your company is more than just a source of income. It also represents years of hard work and thousands of dollars of investments. You can ensure the success of your small business by embracing the advantages offered by technology.
Technology and Small Businesses
Many business owners have seized the possibilities presented by technology and have reaped the rewards. However, as many as 42 percent of small businesses don’t take advantage of available technologies. Some benefits your small business can enjoy include the following:
- Smoother operations. You can have an easier time managing the logistics and operations of your business to prevent delays and unexpected problems.
- Information management. You can keep track of orders, accounts and customer information so you can manage and analyze them with ease.
- Marker expansion. You can reach a wider customer base and connect with them to expand your revenue streams.
- Simplify processes. You can simply how you run your business and have more time to devote to personal efforts or focus on improvement and expansion.
A survey of a thousand small and medium businesses revealed that 85 percent of respondents reported digital tools and technology helped their enterprise. Your enterprise can enjoy these benefits as well by leveraging the right technologies.
5 Technologies You Should Be Using
You don’t have to expend a lot of effort to integrate advantageous technology into your small business. The following technologies are flexible enough that a small operation can use them with little difficulty.
Millions of apps are available online. Most of them are designed to entertain users, but ingenious small business owners have already created apps for their respective fields.
Some are more general in their approach, such as group messaging apps to enable smoother communication between employees. Others are more targeted, catering to the needs of a specific group of small businesses. For example, enterprising apiarists can use a beekeeping app. Apps are rarely expensive, and you can install them on your phone or laptop for easy access.
A business website is necessary to keep up with demand and reach out to customers. Websites act as your digital storefront and help convert visitors into paying customers, as well as allow people to find you online. However, 35 percent of small business owners think their operations are too small for a website.
You may think that building and designing your own website is too difficult or expensive, but that may not be the case. There are plenty of software for designing websites and hosting platforms with affordable payment plans. You can use them to quickly create an attractive and effective website for your business.
3. Smart Payment Options
Contactless and paperless options are now all the rage, considering the current health crisis and the emphasis on reduced face-to-face contact. Smart payment options are more convenient for you and your customers as they deposit payment digitally. This will make it easier for you to tally income and deduct expenses. They’re the preferred payment options for website transactions and let your business appeal to more customers online.
Cashless transactions also let your customers pay for purchases via their phones for added convenience. Some smart payment options even connect directly to your bank account for smoother bookkeeping.
Enhanced customer interaction is key to building a loyal and dependable market base. Customers may have questions about your business or encounter problems with your products. When you expand online, you may receive questions from users in completely different time zones. However, small businesses don’t have the manpower to answer every phone call or query.
Chatbots provide the perfect solution for you and your customers. These programs are accessible via your website and are ready to answer customer queries at all hours. This means your small business has a way to connect with your customers and curious site visitors to improve their experience. Some, like a nightbot app, are designed to do more than automate responses and allow businesses to serve their customers better.
Necessity is the mother of invention, and business has always been a fast-paced facet of society. Embrace the technological innovations available to your industry and stay ahead of your competitors. A simple app or well-designed website may be the key to your business’s survival and eventual success.