According to a Human Resources and Non-Profit Management Expert, Perla Jones, small businesses have to understand the impact of technology trends to help their company find the right solution to stay productive and competitive.
Implementing the right solution is critical to the increasing investment in technology nowadays.
- Complete Mobile Experience- The company website has to be mobile-friendly and accessible. Customers prefer: Mobile payments in-store or online. Customers also have taken advantage of mobile marketing to meet the demands of their customers.
- Artificial Intelligence as a Service– More SMBs have invested in artificial intelligence as a service. This allows companies to outsource tasks through a monthly subscription thereby increasing their productivity.
- Increased Investment in Automation Over IT Staff- Small business owners consider ways where automation can help their bottom line. Modern tools could be integrated with existing software so that less tech-savvy companies can adopt automation. Often, business processes for Accounting, Data Management, Marketing and Customer Service.
- Data Analytics- Instead of using data to align marketing and sales plans, more small businesses use technology to sift through information and analyse.
- Social Media- SMBs focus on data-driven decisions to meet needs of customers while managing costs. Key areas include:
- Social proof. Ways to do this include sharing customer interactions, leveraging employee advocacy, and building online communities.
- Other channels. Other options like Tiktok or Twitter (beside Facebook and Instagram) attract attention. Consider where your target audience play and shop.
- Customer service. SMBs who support clients across social channels develop trust while enhancing brand visibility.
- Collaboration Tools- These software collaboration tools connect in-house staff with contractors across the globe promoting efficiencies therefore increasing productivity.
- HR Technology- More small business owners invest in HR technology that that provides real time data creating a better experience for staff from Recruitment to Employee Engagement and Benefits Administration.
- Voice and Chatbot Enhancements- More small business owners will turn to technologies that direct their website to their users’ specific needs.
- User Reviews- Data from clients provide social proof along with information on competitors, and keywords used in natural language. These are key to creating new products, increasing customer support, and producing effective content.
- Blockchain- Continued investments by FedEx, IBM, Wal-Mart, and Mastercard are signs that interest in blockchain isn’t subsiding. Small businesses may turn to blockchain to help secure sensitive transactions. This results in meeting employees, customers, and stakeholders at their platform of choice, at the right time, and with applicable information.
- Managed Services- 24/7 monitoring and enhanced data security are critical in safeguarding the business from data breaches and identity theft most common in SMB’s.
- Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP)- Telephone set up can be brought to the cloud, uniting your entire business with a single, advanced, hosted telephone system. One can stay connected to his office and customers, no matter where he works.
However, just because these worked for other businesses doesn’t mean it will work for you. Make sure they are suited to your business before you adopt them. Evaluate these changes first, with a thorough comparison of the new vs old to weigh out both the pros and cons. If you’re unsure, external opinion can be very beneficial.