Small businesses always have been and always will be the beating heart of the US economy. As of 2018, it is thought that there are over 30 million small businesses in North America with over 8 million new jobs created by them from 2000 to 2017. This shows just how vital these smaller organizations are to the health of the whole country. Not only do they provide jobs, they also protect employment levels and help people to earn the money needed to live. In short, if smaller US businesses do well, then we all do well.
However, running a successful business is not easy – in fact, at times, it can be very challenging. As well as sheer hard work and dedication, you also need to take advantage of all the tools available to give you that competitive edge. Modern business technology is superb for this and there are lots of handy modern advances in this area that you should be using to support your small business as below.
Perhaps the biggest change around how modern businesses work, and also the biggest opportunity for smaller businesses, is cloud technology. This simply means that your business will use online small business technology to store data and deliver services or applications. Rather than relying on a local network or personal computer storage, your data and services will be hosted on the internet via a number of remote servers.
But why is this so good for small businesses? To begin with, it is a low-cost solution that gives you the flexibility to work from anywhere while always having access to the files you need. Cloud computing is also very secure and software updates are done automatically so you do not have the responsibility of doing them. When you add in the increased collaboration it offers by allowing shared online work on the same document, it is clear what boosts to productivity it offers. Modern cloud computing is always evolving thanks to industry-leading organizations. Led by cloud tech guru Charles Phillips, Infor continues to help small businesses thrive through the cloud tech solutions they deliver.
As a small business, you may not have a huge budget for core activities like marketing or customer engagement. This is why social media is such a great piece of modern tech to use. Not only does it give you direct access to your customer base, it is free to use. Big platforms like Twitter or Instagram marketing have literally millions of users globally, which makes them perfect for expanding your customer base or retaining those who already do business with you. It is also great for letting people know about any promotions or new products you have, quickly and with maximum exposure.
Another cool piece of modern tech that can really help a small business out is video conferencing. From Facetime to Skype, there are a few pieces of software you could use here – once again, most are free, which is great news. Using this type of tech can help you save money on covering travel and hotel costs for field staff or external people to attend meetings with you in person. It can also save you lots of time by allowing you to attend important meetings that may be far away, without having to leave your desk. This means that, once the meeting is done, you are not tired from traveling which will boost your productivity levels for the rest of the day.
Voice Recognition Tech
We all know popular digital assistants like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa. They are revolutionizing how US citizens shop and find things online. This could make them something to get on board with for your small business to help capture more sales or customers. A great way to do this is to focus on building website content around how people ask their digital assistant for things. This will help your site show up higher in the results the digital assistant then returns. Of course, this modern tech is also great for making your life easier and your business simpler to run. Cool business applications like tracking to-do lists and schedule management can help you get much more organized.
Don’t Get Left Behind
If you are running a small business, it is key to keep up with changes in business technology. While you do not want to be following every single fad or changing how you work constantly, it is important to move with the times when necessary. When major modern developments in tech that are clearly here to stay and are useful occur, it is vital to get involved with them. This will not only help your small business grow, it will also mark you out as truly forward-thinking company.