With new tech solutions hitting the market every day, it’s hard for small business owners and startup founders to decide which ones to invest their money into.
The truth is – chasing the latest tech solutions can cost a fortune and lead to unrealized ROI. On the other hand, sticking to traditional ways and ignoring the newest technical solutions can put a startup in an unfavorable position and decrease its chances for success.
But which options are the best for startups?
Here are the top five tech solutions that can provide your startup with the competitive edge it needs to keep growing.
We’re grown so accustomed to the cloud that we can hardly remember the days our data was tied to our computers before this revolutionalizing technology kicked in and transformed the way we do business.
The fact that 94% of enterprises already use cloud services and 30% of all IT budgets are invested in cloud computing, show just how essential this technology is nowadays.
So, instead of investing your money into expensive physical infrastructure, such as bulky hardware and IT servers, cloud computing paired with fast fiber internet will give your startup immediate access to all needed hardware resources, with no significant up-front investments.
Using cloud computing, a six-employee startup can now have access to the same technology as an industry giant that hires more than 5000 employees.
One of the hardware resources you now have access to via cloud is data storage, where you can safely back up and keep your files, at the same time making them accessible to all your employes any time, from any place. All of the data that you store online is encrypted so that any unauthorized access is prevented.
Besides data storage, cloud computing can offer many other resources on demand, such as various services, applications, and computing power. For example, some cloud-computing solutions can give you invaluable insight into large amounts of data related to your business and your customers, so that you can analyze your business processes, and plan to improve them.
Your startup can save significant resources by automating certain menial, time-consuming processes, especially if you’re understaffed. In fact, some estimations show that lost productivity and poorly managed leads cost businesses at least $1 trillion every year.
There are loads of mundane, repetitive tasks, that your professionals waste their time on. By handing those tasks over to computers or machines, your employees will be able to do more high-quality, productive work.
For example, you can use an automation email tool to nurture your leads through the marketing/sales funnel successfully by sending segmented and highly personalized email campaigns that will fit the needs of your target customers.
Or you can automate your customer service by using AI-powered chatbots, that can be trained to successfully answer up to 80% of most common customer queries, and free up your human reps to deal with complex issues only. Plus, your customer service will be available 24/7/365, improving the customer experience and increasing their satisfaction.
Automation tools we’ve mentioned above are usually powered by artificial intelligence, and thus, even more powerful.
But apart from such use cases, there are many other applications of AI that can be crucial for the success of your startup.
The power of Artificial Intelligence lies in its capability to collect large amounts of data, that come from many different sources. Even though data it gathers is usually unstructured, AI can find the meaning, as it can analyze it and identify the patterns.
This means that using data AI tools deliver, you can single out opportunities using data and finally make decisions based on relevant and accurate information.
Every startup has organizational and administrative tasks that need to function smoothly for the business to stay afloat.
For example, improper inventory management can put small businesses and startups in severe cash-flow problems, especially if they overstock certain items.
Dedicated software can give these business insights into how well their products are selling, which products need to be marketed better or revised.
Furthermore, various project management software, such as Asana, Slack, Trello, or Basecamp, can help startups streamline their workload and organize their business processes and tasks even with the remote workforce.
Many startups are taking advantage of the recent trends in mobile tech. Since 2017, half of the Internet traffic comes from mobile devices, meaning that more transactions are done using smartphones and tablets, than on desktop or laptop computers.
In such circumstances, startups have to consider new ways of bringing their content closer to their target audiences.
Creating mobile apps has never been easier, and the opportunities these apps can bring can be endless – starting with improved and personalized customer service, easier shopping, etc.
However, since the fourth of mobile apps are used only once, your app should deliver exceptional user experience, offering an appealing design and great functionality to your customers.
As you can see, technology can give you that competitive advantage that will stimulate the further growth of your business. If you’re still not using some of these tech solutions to improve your business processes, consider which would fit your current needs the most, and try to keep your startup ahead of your competition.
About the author:
Jacob Wilson is a business consultant, and an organizational psychologist, based in Brisbane. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for Bizzmark blog.