As technology continues to shape and reshape the very core of modern business, there is a need for growth-oriented companies to embrace modern tech and overcome certain challenges in order to develop their competitive advantage and minimize extraneous expenditure across the board. After all, if you’re not leveraging technological innovation to make all of your processes more efficient and productive, then you are invariably limiting your brand’s potential while allowing your competitors to stand out and attract your potential customers with their tech-driven features and solutions.
It should go without saying that you have to stay on top of the latest tech trends and developments, identify the ones that make the most sense for your business, and integrate them as quickly as possible to stay one step ahead at all times. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most cumbersome technology challenges that small business owners have to overcome.
Knowledge equals power and success nowadays, and no matter how small your business may be, staying in the know at all times should be one of your top priorities. However, many small business owners still believe that manually extracting industry data and generating reports is a viable business tactic in this rapidly-changing world where trends come and go seemingly overnight. In reality, though, the sheer amount of industry data flowing around makes it impossible to manually collect and collate all of that information without wasting time or money.
This is why small businesses need to adopt and leverage big data analytics along with machine learning in order to make the report-building process as efficient and effective as possible. With AI-driven big data analytics, you can make a many-hour-long process that used to require a team of experts, and outsource it to a machine that can collect and organize all of that data in a matter of minutes. This will provide you with the actionable insights you need to make proactive decisions, and stay ahead of the game.
Speaking of AI technology, there are many applications of it that small business owners should take into consideration, particularly if your goal is to minimize the costs of customer service without sacrificing quality. If you want to boost conversions from customer acquisition as well as retention, then you have to provide your target demographic with top-level customer service that will support your sales and marketing strategy and inspire people to become a part of your brand. However, this costs a lot of money.
Keeping support staff on full time while employing the necessary software and hardware to maintain a seamless operation is inherently expensive, which is why you should consider integrating an AI-driven chatbot. Chatbot technology is becoming more sophisticated by the day, and nowadays you can use your chatbot to outsource menial and repetitive tasks so that your customer service agents can focus on the more complex processes and customer pain-points. That said, with machine learning technology, your chatbot can even take on the more nuanced problems in time, allowing you to streamline customer service as a whole.
Many small companies are running on outdated hardware. As the need for higher efficiency and productivity across the board continues to rise, business leaders are realizing that this is not a sustainable way to grow a company. This is especially true for business leaders who have plans of expanding their operation into new national and even international markets.
If you want your employees to be productive throughout the day and available no matter if they are networking across town or meeting with potential clients in another state, then they need to use reliable mobile phones provided by the company that have all of the necessary features to ensure seamless and timely communication. What’s more, it’s important that you upgrade your office tech as well, as you cannot expect to maintain productivity with old laptops or PCs running on operating systems from the early 2000s.
When everything around the office is connected, business starts to go up. The internet of things (IoT) is an old concept dating back to 1999, but interestingly companies and small businesses in particular are yet to leverage its full power and potential for business growth. When you think about it, though, the benefits that IoT trichology brings to the table are too numerous to pass up.
When implemented correctly, the internet of things can improve almost every process in your company, including customer service and experience, employee productivity and engagement, workplace safety, higher ROI and improved revenue streams, reducing operating costs, and much more. Integrating this technology into your workplace will require you to consult with professionals, though, as you only want to introduce the features that your company really needs.
Lastly, many small businesses are still running on outdated software and systems, even though the benefits of cloud computing are numerous. When you migrate your small business to the cloud, you are opening numerous lucrative opportunities for business growth and development in general.
Some of these benefits include better data security, flexibility and mobility, quick disaster recovery, financial savings, cross-department collaboration and real-time project management, quality control, and much more. With that in mind, consider migrating to the cloud in order to develop your competitive advantage, streamline all processes in every department, minimize expenses, and show your customers that you are keeping up with the times.
Technology is a key element of successful business, and there is really no reason to cling to traditional methods in the face of the technological revolution. In fact, this is your opportunity to leverage tech innovation and execute your growth strategy with ease, so be sure to use these solutions to take your brand forward as a whole.
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.