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Small But Effective Ways For Business Owners To Use Technology

2022-02-10 by Adrian Johansen

No matter what your particular industry, there’s no escaping the dominant role that technology plays in business today. The good news, though, is that you don’t have a Master's degree from MIT to effectively implement technology into your business. In fact, by adopting a few, strategic tech tools, you can optimize your workflow, decrease operating costs, and drive customer outreach and engagement. We’ll show you how!

Head in the Clouds

Let’s face it: The world of business today is pretty volatile. From new COVID variations forcing employees to quarantine again to supply chain disruptions interfering with business operations, we’re working in a time of profound uncertainty.

 

And that means that you need greater agility than ever before to keep the work flowing as smoothly as possible. Taking advantage of cloud storage can be a wonderful way of minimizing disruptions, even if, for example, employees are stuck at home or goods and supplies are stuck in the broken supply chain.

 

With the cloud, documents can be securely stored, shared, and accessed. Inventories can be tracked by staff and stakeholders with the appropriate permissions. Project and product status updates can be documented and distributed across the entire team, no matter where they may be located.

Implementing QR Code Capabilities

In addition to capitalizing on the benefits of the cloud, incorporating QR codes into your processes may well be one of the best ways to increase efficiency and productivity in your business.

 

This is due, principally, to the myriad functionalities of QR codes. For instance, QR codes can make warehouse inventory management a breeze. QR codes allow for real-time updates to not only facilitate inventory tracking but also to make inventory planning more efficient and effective, which can substantially reduce operating costs.

 

But it’s not just in inventorying that QR codes can be used to streamline your business operations. Though these technologies are by no means new, with the outbreak of the pandemic, business owners found unprecedented promise and potential in these unassuming lines and squiggles.

 

Specifically, implementing QR codes can help you galvanize your customer relationships in a variety of ways. These codes enable contactless payment, for instance, which can help attract anxious customers and keep employees healthy and safe during these COVID times.

 

But the customer-focused capabilities of QR codes go beyond even this, because, with their easy integration onto mobile platforms, your target customers can simply scan codes using their smart devices both to research the product, link to related items, and even make purchases. In other words, QR codes add a new dimension of customer outreach and engagement, and that is a powerful driver of growth.

Mobile Devices

As can be seen, at the core of the most effective technology upgrades is the capacity to drive communication and information-sharing, both with employees and with customers. In the workplace, this can be especially important because it eliminates the need for employees to be gathered in a single location or to reach out to stakeholders individually to provide relevant updates.

 

For instance, the use of portable data terminals enables employees to securely enter information into a master database which will update data in real-time. This gives employees a locus for accessing status updates and other relevant information they may need to proceed with their work.

 

Scanners, likewise, can serve a similar function, enabling invoices, receipts, and other essential documents to be instantly uploaded to the cloud or another secure database. And not only does this make the workflow more efficient, but it also all but eliminates the risk of human error, as with manually inputted data.

Seeking Out Opportunities

Perhaps the most significant obstacle small business owners may face when it comes to adopting new technology is simply in learning to recognize opportunities for tech adoption. Those who work outside of the tech industry may not understand how vital a role technology can, does, and will play across industries, from manufacturing to education to healthcare.

 

But the reality is that every business, regardless of the type and function, must have a strong technological foundation if it is to survive. At the very least, businesses should be strongly connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) to leverage the technological tools to drive efficiency, capacity, and agility.

 

These internet-connected devices, for instance, can facilitate decision-making by linking healthcare providers to billions of data points as they endeavor to diagnose and formulate patient treatment plans. Or they may be used by retailers to shape marketing protocols by allowing them to access customer analytics from their tablet, smartphone, or PC.

The Takeaway

You may not feel like the most technologically-savvy person in the world, but if you own a small business, then there are a range of tech tools that can help your company survive and thrive. Technologies such as cloud storage, QR codes, and IoT devices are ideal for driving efficiency, lowering costs, and spurring customer retention.

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