How Technology is Revolutionising the Small Business Sector
You’d be hard-pressed to find a small business in the Western world that isn’t utilising technology. Since the invention of the Internet and the rise of digital devices, tech has become commonplace across industries, transforming not only the way companies reach their audiences but also how they function at a base level.
For startups, in particular, the digital age has completely changed the game.
To learn more about the current state of technology in business and learn how it could play a role in skyrocketing your startup, here are some of the modern tech revolutions happening right now.
Conversational marketing for stellar service
An age-old problem for small businesses has been the ability to offer the multi-pronged, instant customer service that big-name brands find easy. With a tiny team, it can feel like you’re constantly juggling sales and service whilst struggling to choose which to prioritise. Now, with the use of technology, you don’t have to.
Conversational marketing and web chat software make it easier than ever to help prospective and existing customers. Instant messaging via your website, social media platforms, or even over SMS allows your team to quickly respond to queries using templates and auto-generated replies. Even when a unique response is needed, it can take less than a minute to type one out and send it off.
The end result? According to research conducted by Magic, web chat software can lead to 15x more website enquiries and a 226% boost in sales on average. Convert browsers into buyers, improve customer satisfaction, and free up more time for your team with web chat.
Data analytics lead to informed decisions
Just under 25% of companies are using big data to make informed decisions, marking this as a pretty untapped side of technology. But, for small businesses, it’s also one that has huge potential.
Data analytics involves using automatically collected digital data to help you make better decisions for your company. For example, you might notice that your email newsletters containing images see a higher click-through rate. Going forward, you’ll always include images in your newsletters, and could even start further using data analytics to work out what sort of images lead to better figures.
As a small business or startup, this sort of data-backed decision-making is an invaluable advantage. Rather than wasting your budget on marketing, innovation, and services that aren’t seeing results, you can hone every plan and process to see the greatest return on investment (ROI).
Social media levels the playing field
Social media marketing has been one of the biggest business phenomena of the digital age. Why? Because it’s levelled the marketing playing field.
Whereas before it was only big-name chains that could afford global-reach marketing (like international TV ads or magazine editorials), social media is a free-to-use marketing tool with a worldwide audience that’s open to all. It’s enabled a total marketing overhaul, with any business now having the potential to reach over 4.5 billion people.
Of course, you can channel money into your social media strategy by paying for sponsored posts or hiring a professional to run your profiles for you, but the point is that you don’t have to. As long as you’re willing to put in the time to learn how social media marketing works, you can market your small business right next to the big dogs.
Remote communication and remote flexibility
For small businesses, remote communication can be crucial to success. Tools like the Cloud, Zoom, and CMS platforms enable teams to interact without being in the same place – ever! For a startup, that means you don’t need to hire an office space if you don’t need to, which will save you a huge amount of money that you can funnel into growth.
Remote communication tech also enables you to access a wider pool of talent for your team. By working remotely, you can easily outsource parts of your business model to professional teams or hire staff based purely on talent and not location. It’s good to note, too, that 65% of workers now want to work remotely full-time, giving your digitally-primed startup an edge over old-school competitors.
Business revolutions come in all shapes and sizes, but there’s none bigger right now than the shift to remote work.
Improved productivity and efficiency
Overall, technology in business has helped small companies drastically improve productivity and efficiency. By implementing the right software and tools, a startup CEO doesn’t need to be skilled in every aspect of business. They just need to be tech-savvy enough to allow the digital world to do it for them.
From inventory management to tax compliance, there’s technology to do it all – and if not to do it all, then at least to make it simpler. This creates streamlined small businesses that have established systems in place from the moment they’re launched. Essentially, technology lets you use the knowledge of others to build a startup that’s sleek, streamlined, and (most importantly) works.
AI, VR, and the Metaverse
The technology revolution isn’t over yet! There are upcoming innovations expected to rapidly change the business landscape over the next few years, including AI, VR, and the Metaverse.
VR and the Metaverse still have a lot of untapped potential, though so far, they seem to be largely available for marketing purposes. AI, though, is an entirely different ballgame.
We’re seeing companies both big and small implement AI to automate aspects of their business. In fact, recent research uncovered that 88% of businesses are already using it in their marketing campaigns. AI assistants can schedule calendars for efficient, organised workdays and book staff shifts based on the expected volume of work, too. It can order new products when it predicts you’ll be running low and create entire marketing strategies based on your target audience.
This is likely to be just the beginning of AI, too. As a startup or small business, it’s well worth looking into the future potential to make sure you’re ready for the changing world of industry.
For small businesses, technology has been a game changer in terms of budget, marketing, efficiency, and an almost endless list of important measures of success. If you’re a startup, don’t miss out on the tech revolution! Just make sure you invest wisely in the tools that will help your business where it needs it the most.