Imagine the business world without technology. It’s probably impossible!
According to a study, 90% of small businesses use digital tools for communications and over 40% rely on these tools to manage sales.
Technology is integral to the success of commerce. It helps businesses in nearly every way, from managing backend tasks like accounting, payroll processing, and inventory, to conducting daily operations and interacting with customers.
The right technology is even more helpful for businesses with limited capital, as it helps them leverage their funds effectively.
Are you using the right technology solutions for your business? Check out these tech solutions that many small businesses swear by:
FILE SHARING & CLOUD STORAGE
In recent years, cloud-based solutions have reshaped businesses, helping them save costs and improve efficiency.
With cloud technology, small businesses can have access to a secure and reliable data infrastructure that was once only available for giant companies.
Today, small businesses no longer have to hire IT professionals or software engineers to build their own IT infrastructure. For about $300 a month, they can have their own cloud server which means they can access and share data across employees and teams on the go.
This also makes managing remote teams a lot easier, as most employees rely on their devices which may not be as high-end as those used in regular offices.
Lastly, with a cloud service, businesses can store as much data as they want without worrying about their hardware capabilities. These services also include data backup that prevents data loss.
COMPREHENSIVE HR TECH SERVICES
The pandemic forced employees to leave their office desks and work from home instead. This led to the rise of comprehensive HR tech solutions that enabled companies to keep track of their employees.
One of the highly relevant technology solutions in the COVID world is time and attendance software. These products come with time-tracking features like screen capture, recording, scheduling, and more.
They usually have a self-service component for employees to view schedules, access the “shift trade board”, and automatically bill their employers.
All these benefit a company by significantly reducing employee absenteeism and tardiness.
These systems also help save labor costs by eliminating excessive overtime. With these tools, HR managers can easily compare budgeted hours to actual time worked.
REMOTE ONBOARDING SOLUTIONS
There’s no denying that COVID-19 killed the traditional workplace. A Gartner CFO survey suggests that even if the pandemic is over, as much as 74% of companies intend to permanently transition their employees to a remote setup.
The future of work is becoming more and more digital. This increased the demand for technology products that help businesses manage their staff effectively.
Great employee onboarding can improve retention by 82%. Unfortunately, only 12% of employees are satisfied with their company’s onboarding processes.
Online onboarding systems provide a company every tool they need to effectively acquaint new hires. For example, managers can formalize check-ins, engage employees, create training modules, and track employee progress.
People live in a fast-paced world.
With so many merchants to choose from, small businesses strive for ways to provide top-notch customer service.
Today’s consumers are impatient. When they purchase a product online, they want it to be delivered fast to their homes. When they have issues, they want a resolution ASAP.
Enter business automation.
This technology allows small businesses to get things done in less time. With automation tools, companies can eliminate repetitive and tedious tasks, saving time, money, and resources. They can focus on more important processes and utilize their manpower more effectively.
With business automation in place, smaller brands can keep up with their larger rivals as they can quickly respond to industry trends.
Nearly every aspect of running a business can be automated. Among the processes that benefit the most from this technology are:
- Marketing. Research shows that 80% of top-performing companies have used marketing automation for at least two years.
- Communications. Chatbots can significantly increase response time for customer concerns.
- Sales processing. Customers can take control of the purchase process with the least intervention from the store.
- Lead generation. Automation software helps businesses find leads and automatically assigns them to a sales rep to contact.
While the digital world offers plenty of opportunities for small businesses, it’s not without some cons.
Cyber threats remain a major issue. According to a 2020 study by BullGuard, 43% of small business owners have no cybersecurity defense plan at all.
As more and more businesses transition to online platforms, cyber threats have become worse. Statistics reveal that ransomware attacks will cost $6 trillion annually by the end of 2021.
With 1.5 million new phishing sites created every month, every business is vulnerable.
It’s easy to assume that hackers are likely to target big businesses with ransomware because they have more money to give. But the thing is most of these companies have a robust IT infrastructure that can prevent and rebuff cyberattacks.
Most small businesses don’t, which means they can’t fight back. Hence, small companies are more prone to hacking.
For small businesses, managed IT services are the most affordable cybersecurity solutions. These are IT services managed by a third-party company.
Unlike building an internal IT infrastructure of their own, it’s way less expensive.
CUSTOMER INTERACTION MANAGEMENT PLATFORMS
Social media has changed the way businesses interact with customers.
With 3.78 billion people using social media every day, businesses must stay connected.
But interacting with customers online is not an easy feat. Statistics show that an average social media user has 8.6 accounts on different networking sites. Customer interaction via multiple platforms can extremely be challenging to manage.
To make it even more complicated, social media is not the only platform consumers use to communicate with businesses. They also use phone, email, text, live chat, and many others.
This is where consumer interaction management systems make perfect sense.
Also called Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, these tools are designed to optimize the way businesses interact with their clients and ultimately, improve customer relationships.
They can have a myriad of features, such as:
- Information-tracking. The software saves contact information like the customer’s address. phone number, social media handles, etc.
- Segmentation. CRM allows businesses to break down data into categories and criteria. Segmentation is very important in creating targeted campaigns and marketing strategies.
- Prompt response. A CRM ensures that all messages from across all media are effectively managed.
- Document management. A CRM can collect, upload, store, and share documents in a centralized location for easy access.
There’s a wide range of tools and tech solutions that can greatly help small businesses succeed.
From tackling daily challenges to optimizing workflows and operations, managing employees, and enhancing customer relationships – companies can leverage modern technology in many different ways.
The great thing about these technology solutions is that they are cost-effective. One thing that limits most small businesses is funding issues. Luckily, many business solutions are specifically designed for small and medium-sized companies.
With the right tools, businesses can get more things done, allocate resources better, manage remote teams effectively, reach a wider audience, and ultimately, increase their sales.
What technology solutions have you used so far for running your small business? Which ones are more effective?