When small business owners (SBO) move from the planning stage to launching and maintaining a new business, technology plays a major role in the fate of the company. With the best new business technology available today, it is possible to create ingenious websites, select multi-functional CRM’s, launch inexpensive ad campaigns and utilize social media to buoy new business.
As technology continues to morph the way companies operate, some new platforms have helped small businesses compete on the same level as larger firms. By using the latest technology, and innovative software, SBO’s are developing small, but powerful ways to appeal to major clients. According to a survey by the Center for an Urban Future, small companies that were suppliers to large corporations reported average revenue growth of 266.4% between one year before and two years after their first sale to a large corporation.
Now, business owners with a limited background in information technology can use computer hardware and software more readily than in previous years. At the same time, successful business owners realize the important role a dedicated IT specialist plays— whether in house, or out-sourced— in keeping systems running efficiently and prevent costly down-time.
David’s Secret Weapons
To begin with, SBO’s have lower overhead costs. Small companies have fewer employees, lower expenses, offer fewer benefits and use more out-sourcing to keep a tighter rein on expenditures. In addition, the most successful SBO’s are using new technology to reduce business costs by automating back-of-office work like record keeping, accounting and payroll, with easy-to-use programs.
Also, there have been several technology advancements to empowered SBO’s and eliminate the need to pay for professional services such as website developers, graphic designers ,and marketing campaign managers. New software makes is easy to bring the projects in house to create and monitor success.
On the Battlefield
Analytics are an integral part of latest technological weapons. You can now split test websites to see which layout gets the most hits, monitor the number of “clicks” and “open” rates of ad campaigns, buy programs to improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO), automate a welcome series for new clients and much more. (See below)
Business technology can help small businesses schedule mass emails, group texting, and social media posts months in advance, allowing companies to saturate the market with their message in a multi-pronged fashion. Companies can also retrieve consumer feedback, acquire contact information, and target specific demographics for the product or service they offer. It is now possible to discover and target an SBO’s ideal client list, leading to faster and more profitable returns on investments (ROI’s).
Taking Byte-Sized Pieces
There are so many ways that new technology saves time and money that it would be hard to list them all, but I’ll break down some additional ones into byte-size pieces. New technology can:
- Analyze how you spend your time and offer ways to become more productive.
- Explore applications to replace costlier "name brand" alternatives.
- Streamline your work processes with digital dictation and automated transcriptions.
- Use project and task management tools to stay on top of your responsibilities.
- Create filing systems to sort, save, share and find documents.
- Start a blog related to your business and target audience.
- Create video marketing.
- Conduct teleconference calls.
- Create and host webinars
- Provide automated business training and testing for employees.
- Share files and data remotely.
- Communicate effectively through instant messaging.
- Set up an online help desk or ticket system to handle customer issues.
- Allow clients to choose automated appointments.
- Conduct online surveys and questionnaires for customer feedback.
- Create a virtual office.
- Use remote desktop applications to access files.
- Go paperless to save money on supplies and storage in your office.
- Have a free virtual phone line.
- Have third parties store, package and ship on-line products.
In short, new business technology makes it easy for you and a (much smaller) staff to process more information faster than ever before. It also allows you to reach new and broader markets. Rather than just selling consumer goods or services in the local market, small businesses can reach regional, national and international markets. This means smaller investments and bigger payoffs for businesses that research and utilize the technology tools that will best serve their small business needs.
Remember, none of these tips will help, in the event your system crashes and you haven’t backed up the information. An IT expert is basically an insurance plan for your business. It’s always best to have a reliable professional in place before you have a problem. During a crisis is NOT the ideal time for a new technical support person to understand your business practices.
The right IT personnel— whether in-house, or out-sourced— can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars by proactively monitoring your systems on an ongoing basis. They will help you with updates, prevent viruses and malware, and insure your systems are operating at optimal speed.
Need IT support? Contact www.adaptiveoffice.ca today!