However, a small business can gain a lot of benefit in their operations with the help of technology. Including technology and making use of applications and software can help streamline the processes and operations for your businesses, increasing the efficiency and lowering the costs.
In small business setups, resources are limited;hence they need to look out for options that are easy on the pocket but help them expand and grow as well. The use of technology is getting common every day, and several tools are available online free of cost to help people in need. Collaborative tools are specially designed for businesses to streamline the tasks and facilitate teams.
The Importance of Technology in SMEs – Some Stats and Figures
Several surveys indicate that small businesses are now more inclined towards using technology. Technology helps them save time and cost and also automates processes that take up a lot of their time. According to a few surveys:
- 99% of the small business owners use at least one digital tool in their daily operations
- 23% of these business owners use basic level technology
- 41% of these businesses use intermediate-level technology
- 17% are high whereas 19% are advanced users of technology
- 80% of SMEs use technology for management and logistics purposes
- 40% of SMEs use technology for sales management
From the use of mobiles to laptops, the internet, social media, and several other technologies, small businesses are gaining maximum benefits with lower costs. Technology is used in several aspects, including branding, advertisement, sales, commute, etc. to help aid the process and refine them.
Let’s have a look at how technology can help your small business flourish:
1. Online Stores
After the outbreak of COVID-19 small businesses have also realized the value of an online presence. Having an online store can mutually help you and your customers and can help you reduce your expenses as well. Online stores are one way your small business can gain benefits from using technology.
Having a website with an e-commerce store can enable you to sell your goods from anywhere to anywhere hence increasing your profits.
- E-commerce can help increase revenues
- A Win-win situation for seller and buyer
- Feasible under COVID-19 circumstances
- Easier expansion of business
With the help of technology, you can easily communicate with employees, clients, and team members. There are several collaborative tools available that make it easier for you to manage and assign tasks to your team and receive updates as well. So far arguably Zoom is the best tool for conference. You can perform a video conference with even your whole team. For better communication, you can use a teleprompter app for zoom which will help you with subtitles and your audience will less likely miss any point.
Technology not only eases the communication and collaboration within teams but also allows transparency throughout the team. You can save a lot of time through the inclusion of such tools and focus on other essential tasks.
- Video and audio conferences
- Project management tools for tasks allocation
- Streamlined tasks
- Monitoring and control
Marketing is essential for any business to increase their reach and develops trust and brand recognition. Conventional marketing is costly and is not feasible for small businesses; however, technology has made this even simpler for any level of business.
You can use several social media platforms and market your products or services at very minimal rates.
- With the help of software, marketing plans can be made
- Promote business using social media channels like Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.
- Writing a blog to help increase the reach
- Email marketing and video marketing for digital presence and promotions
- Online advertisements on Google, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
4. Customer Service
Do you know your business’s growth is highly dependent upon the customer service you give to your clients? It costs way more to attract new customers than it does to retain the current ones. You must provide quality services to your customers for a successful business. 77% of people share their good experiences with others, which leads to more new customers.
- Social media can be used for customer services
- Email marketing can be used to a better customer experience
- Online surveys can help you improve
- Client feedback is easier to obtain online
- Bookings and tours can be arranged online
5. Remote Working
With the help of technology, you can create virtual offices, and people can easily work from anywhere anytime. Technology enables us to reduce distances and saves us time and cost while we can work from anywhere. You can also hire freelance or part-time workers to do certain tasks for you.
For example, you can hire a graphic designer on freelance terms for your branding or social media management.
- Remote work applications and software for easier collaboration
- Save money on supplies by doing everything on computers
- Use of tools can help reduce your burden
- Hire teams from around the world at cheaper rates
- Outsource your work
Technology allows you the ease of file sharing and makes teamwork even easier. Several free tools can help you centralize your documents, and file sharing is easier due to cloud technology. Just make sure you get a high-quality network with coaxial cables or fiber optics to ensure smooth high-speed internet for cloud-based sharing. Simply allow access only to authorized people and increase the efficiency of your work.
- Cloud apps allow easy sync
- File sharing with authorized people
- An increased pace of work
- Increased productivity in lesser time
No one wants to work in a strict environment these days. Technology helps you create a flexible environment for you and your team. Having everything online allows you and your team to work freely and report everything on the tools being used.
This ease due to technology enables a good relationship among the peers working together in the same environment and increase efficiency as well.
- Online portals monitor working hours
- Work submission is easier
- Low chances of any fraud or cheating
- Easier to work from anywhere
The collection of payment, making payment to the vendor, signing contracts related to financing, banking, etc. all of these tasks involve money and hence need to be done with full attention. Making use of technology to manage your finances can help you reduce the chances of error and can ease the process for you as well. Similarly, using banking apps can ease the process of payments for your business.
- File taxes online
- Track your expenses online
- Distribute pays through banking apps
- Monitor and track bookkeeping processes
- Manage inventory online
- Track sales and make online budgets
Wrapping it Up
Mentioned above are some of the ways a small business can improve and grow with the help of technology. These tools and platforms help increase the efficiency and productivity of teams and help you save a lot of time which can be used in making strategies and revise action plans for the future.