Technology is having a huge impact on how businesses operate in the 21st century. Small businesses that embrace technological advancements are better able to compete with established businesses. Technology makes business operations efficient, convenient and economical.
Wondering how you can use technology to improve your small business? Whether you’re looking to build your own website or improve operations in general, read on as we outline seven of the ways you can use technology to advance your business.
1. Reach customers
Businesses need customers to grow. Unfortunately, most small businesses often have limited financial resources. As such, it’s crucial that you find ways to reach your target audience in a cost-effective manner.
By using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, you can profitably connect with potential customers. Use these digital platforms to interact with customers and showcase your products. First, determine which social media platform your niche frequents.
Also, you can set up online surveys to get necessary feedback from your customers and perfect service delivery. By using digital marketing platforms, small businesses can dramatically improve customer engagement.
2. Create brand awareness
To compete effectively, your business must have an online presence. Having a website is imperative for every small business to be taken seriously by potential customers. If you don’t, your business could be seen as unprofessional and untrustworthy. In most cases, potential customers check to see if a company has a website to find out more about the company and its products.
As a small business owner, you can use a website to communicate your company values, increase brand awareness, and promote products/services. As a result, your site visitors will not only learn more about your brand, but may end up making a purchase or engaging your services.
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3. Improve service delivery
Customers are demanding convenient and seamless user experiences from businesses. You can use technology to effectively communicate and connect with your customers.
Through the use of tools such as mobile apps, your business can provide information to customers at their fingertips. Instead of physically coming to your business to schedule an appointment, why not allow customers to do so online through customer portals?
4. Increase productivity
Do you still use paper-based systems in your business? Automating your business processes will help streamline your workflow and operations, resulting in increased efficiency and overall productivity.
As a small business owner, you often have to take on multiple roles on your own. This includes everything from human resources to accounting and marketing. To avoid getting overwhelmed and doing haphazard business, use time-tracking apps and to-do lists.
Plus, the integration of project management tools helps you stay on top of your day-to-day responsibilities and ensure your employees do the same.
5. Protect important business data
Not everyone has access to information about your business, such as sensitive financial data. Unfortunately, hacking is real. As a small business owner, you can use technology that protects your business information. Use firewalls and password encryptions to protect valuable data.
6. Financial management
Nevertheless, financially, you need to use technology that helps you track and manage your finances effectively. You certainly cannot afford to overlook or miss a payment.
Using online billing services will help you collect what is owed to you in a systematic way. In addition, the same system significantly reduces the costs associated with collecting payments from customers.
Budget tracking systems prevent small business owners from overspending and help minimize overall expenses. Using online accounting software will also help you streamline your business finances.
7. Stay in touch with employees
Although it’s a small business, you still need to ensure employee engagement, regardless of the size of your workforce. This is especially true if your employees work remotely or in different locations.
How do you ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards the same organizational goals? Using webinars or teleconference calls is an effective way to stay in touch with your workers. You can use the intranet, which allows all employees to access company information, regardless of where they work.
Additionally, you can use remote desktop applications that allow employees to access information from their computers wherever they are.