5 Technologies Every Small Business Needs
The digital age has revolutionized the way businesses conduct themselves across the globe, transforming productivity, the internal workings of companies, and customer relations. However, in this era of fast-paced technological evolution, it can be difficult for small businesses to know which technologies will offer the best return on investment.
This list breaks down some of the most useful and cost-effective technologies for small businesses.
1. Specialized Software
In order for a small business to succeed in the long term, a clear and effective administration system must be in place. However, the importance of these tasks does not mean that they are widely undertaken. A poll conducted by SCORE showed that 47% of small business owners disliked the financial costs of bookkeeping, with 40% of them stating that bookkeeping and taxes are the worst part of running a business. Using specialized software services such as QuickBooks can help eliminate this burden, by showing all of a company’s finances in one place and allowing for quick and easy transfers and payments.
Investing in an automation system is one of the best ways to use employee time more effectively, by using technology to perform mundane, repetitive, or data-heavy tasks. For example, The Telegraph describes how retail workers can spend approximately half of their working hours communicating with customers, answering routine and transactional questions. This illustrates the power of automation systems such as Chatbots, which would allow an employee to spend their time on more useful tasks that would promote company growth. It is worth noting the price of these systems since they are often costly. It is recommended a small business spend time finding the most appropriate solution for their needs.
3. Data Security
Data breaches are growing year on year and so does the threat to the health of businesses, particularly, small ones. Research has found that the number of small businesses that experienced data breaches in 2019 grew from 30% to 36% in 2019, compared to a growth of 46% to 48% experienced by small to medium businesses.
The main reasons for these data breaches stem both the cost of security and lack of expertise on the subject, meaning that small companies choose not to adequately invest in data security systems. However, since the loss of customer data can incur crippling fines, legal action, as well as damage to a brand’s image and customer loyalty, it is a necessary investment.
4. Improve Communications
Updating phone systems can prove cost-effective, functional, and enable an unprecedented seamless stream of communication. Virtual hosted pbx is a cloud-based phone system that is quickly becoming the most popular choice for small businesses. This is due to the freedom and flexibility they offer. Unlike the traditional office phone, there is no hardware required, meaning no costly installation and update; the system can also be used in any location, at any time.
5. Customer Relationship Management Systems
CRM technology manages the experience of customers and potential customers, creating a streamlined system that frees up staff time and improves customer experiences — all with the focus of increasing sales. CRM applications work as a form of a customer database. They analyze the behavior of customers and potential customers, resulting in more effective marketing, sales, and data management methods.