A business’s goal is growth, and among the top challenges for business owners is how to facilitate this growth in the most efficient way possible. Thanks to technology, many companies can now automate, work remotely, arrange logistics, and a lot more with less hassle. Companies all over the world, be it a multi-million dollar enterprise or a small startup have taken advantage of technology to streamline their business and reach a wider market.
This technology has empowered so many people, which is why more startups are appearing. Is technology leveling the playing field? Perhaps so.
Accounting, scheduling, delivery tracking- all of these things used to take hours to accomplish. Now, it’s as simple as opening an app or a website. Truly, technology has arrived at the point that it’s affordable enough for most small business owners to access but effective enough that it’s also used by major companies. Gone are the days of manual tracking of schedule, now a booked appointment can automatically sync to both the client and service provider’s calendar.
If you are a small business owner or are looking to start your own business, it’s not enough to know what your product is. Major companies are taking advantage of technology and small businesses are paying heed. With the level of connectivity nowadays, it’s also wise to think of how you can utilize technology to help you kickstart your business. Let’s take a look at a few.
Smarter Point-of-Sale System
Back in the analog days, a point-of-sale device usually involved a heavy cash register, with big chunky buttons with a small screen that can only display numbers. Fast forward to today, POS devices aren’t just for the point of sale anymore- they can be used to track just about everything connected to your product. The level of efficiency of these new devices have are astounding- they’re used to track your inventory, compile customer data, help manage your staff, and many others. Their interface is a lot more user-friendly as well, being based on Android or iOS.
Individually, these features are already amazing, but this has another implication: data analysis. Since one device can carry most of the information needed to run your business, you can analyze your business’ growth and see if your strategies are working. This convenience is something that’s hard to ignore, especially in a statistic-heavy time like ours.
Reach Your Customers AND Partners
E-mail addresses and official social media accounts have long replaced the telephone number in connecting with customers (although some businesses still have it). While many businesses simply use this as an online hotline for customers with after-sales needs, social media also serves another purpose: connecting with your customers. You can ask for feedback, observe customers’ behavior towards your products, and even interact or advertise on a more personal level. For a business, this is invaluable because knowing who your customers are and understanding how they will potentially react to your business’ new offerings are crucial to your growth.
On the flip side, you can also discover B2B service providers through the internet the same way your customers may discover your business. Many service providers have a professional presence online, giving you access to a wider variety of ways to improve your business. From logistics companies to raw material providers, from business consultants to advertising firms- they’re all online, just waiting for you to tap their resources.
Remote Access and Remote Work
Among the greatest benefits technology has given us is the ability to work remotely. Five years ago, remote work was something that everyone has heard and thought of trying but hesitated to dive into, maybe because of technology issues or company policies. But nowadays, due to a worldwide health crisis, companies are forced to allow their employees to work from home- we’ve discovered that our tech is already capable of letting us work from home. As a matter of fact, more and more companies are beginning to shift to a more long-term work from home setup. But why does it matter to a small business owner?
Much of the technology that facilitates remote working can also be utilized to make your business more efficient. You can utilize the cloud to store data, take advantage of professional messaging software to stay connected with your employees, and most of all- physically access your business remotely. If you own a physical shop, technology now allows you to control or monitor almost everything about your establishment. From the average temperature of your building to controlling your shop’s Christmas light installation, from tracking your business’ inventory to monitoring your CCTV, these are now all possible.
What all of these imply is that you can now connect multiple aspects of your business to provide a smoother experience for both you and your clients. Starting a business is, was, and always will be hard but now we have technology that helps us.