Technology has had a massive impact on our everyday lives, and when used properly it can help your small business startup in many different ways. For small business startups, in particular, it has the potential to make or break them. If you’d like to grow your business and become more effective here are ten ways technology can be used to your advantage.
1. Productivity Apps
For your small business to be successful productivity has to be maximized. Being able to monitor what is being accomplished means you’ll be managing the time and productivity of your employees much better. Technology can help by providing you with a range of different time tracking and management software. You’ll be able to quickly and easily monitor and record working hours, vacation and sick leave, expenses, invoices, customers and individual projects.
2. Web Hosting
For a small business to survive in the modern world, an online presence is essential. You need a website and to get one up and running, web hosting is needed. A web hosting service stores files that make up your website and then uploads them directly to the web. There are a number of different options, and it pays to compare what’s available very carefully before making your decision.
3. Social Media
With the help of social media, you’ll be able to watch what your target audience is doing, thereby becoming a better seller. You get an insight into what motivates your customers and direct your marketing strategies accordingly. It also provides you with a platform to build your authority and communicate with your customers. Creating your own business social media pages is important because you’ll be able to stake your territory, manage your brand and engage with customers. Be careful not to come across as being too aggressive with your marketing because the soft sell is what works best.
4. Cloud Storage
Storage in the cloud has revolutionized the way in which your small business stores data. There’s no longer any need for huge storage devices because your business data can be stored using an online storage account. Thanks to cloud storage you can access your data from anywhere in the world, store unlimited amounts of it, back up information automatically, and allow collaboration on documents in real time.
5. Digital Marketing Campaigns
A digital marketing campaign has the potential to reach an audience far greater than anything else. It offers specific targeting, instant results, ways to test the effectiveness of the campaign and the ability to have two-way conversations with your audience. Another benefit that’s important for the small business owner is that they tend to offer a higher return on your investment than many more traditional forms of marketing. There are various types of digital marketing, but for the startup business owner, the most important ones to concentrate on are, search engine marketing and PPC, search engine optimization, social media marketing, email marketing, and content marketing.
6. Analytical Tools
Technology has brought analytical tools to the startup business table, and they can be used to define the strengths and weaknesses of your business and your marketing campaigns. Because these tools are online, you’re able to find out important information almost instantly. You can see, for example, how many people are visiting your website, what devices they’re using to access your website, how long they stay on different pages and how long each page takes to load. With the help of digital technology, all this and more is at your fingertips.
Keeping in touch with customers and suppliers is now easy thanks to technology. Gone are the days of using postal systems, because everything nowadays can be done online. Communication is now lightning fast and affordable even for the small business owner. Thanks to modern communication methods such as WhatsApp and Skype you can keep in touch and do business with people and companies all over the world.
8. Payment Systems
Sending and receiving payments is now much easier thanks to technology. Thanks to the host of payment options you’re now able to offer your customers it’s possible for you to reach new customer segments. Being able to accept a wide variety of payment methods means you can offer your products and services to more clients. These payments aren’t standalone options either. There are payment platforms that can be integrated into the most popular accounting programs effortlessly.
9. CRM System
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is a type of business management solution that can be used to acquire, grow and retain customer relationships. It’s a way of bringing together information about your customers, sales, and marketing from all aspects of your business. It helps to improve customer service, sell more by uncovering opportunities, automate the sales and marketing process, track and manage business performance, streamline account management, save time and provide your field sales force with instantly accessible information via their mobile devices.
10. Tech Security
When you’re using technology in your business, you have to make sure you have an ICT security policy in place that covers things such as acceptable use, password guidelines, security practices and rules for downloading software. The policy has to be available for everyone to read and you have to ensure that everyone in your company follows it. Another vital aspect of tech security is to make sure your data is backed up regularly. Technology doesn’t save time if you find you’ve lost valuable information.
This list of ten ways in which technology can help your business shows you how easy it is for you to do so much more with less. Try a few of the tips to start with and then assess the effectiveness of what you’ve done before moving on to adopt more strategies. Nobody has ever said running your own business is easy. It requires a lot of hard work. However, your workload and that of your employees can be lightened. Your productivity will increase, and your business grow.