Advancements in technology have influenced the way entrepreneurs and small business managers now handle operations. Over the years, storage of data, for example, has gone from paper files to hard disks and the more recent cloud hosting. These solutions and many others have made it easy for business owners to thrive more and provide more efficient services.
A report from the Institute of Chartered Accountants Of England and Wales states that over 70% of businesses used technology to grow their operations and reach a much wider audience. This underlines the importance of maximizing the power of tech in your business to realize your brand goals. Here are 5 ways technology is transforming small businesses today and that you can also utilize in your enterprise.
1. Business transactions from anywhere
Technology has made it easy for business owners and customers to stay connected (to the internet) from anywhere. There’s also the possibility of connecting your office phone number to your mobile phone. This way, there’s no need waiting till you “get back to the office” before meeting a client’s needs. You can check emails, take and make calls, update your online store and confirm payments – while on the move.
2. Effects on traditional business methods
It will be difficult to ignore the effect technology now has on the traditional methods of running a business. There’s been a notable fall in patronage of “brick and mortar” retail stores. Since most customers believe it’s easier to just purchase goods online, small retailers who own brick and mortar investments are struggling to keep up. The rise in digital marketing, technology, software apps and the internet in general are the reasons for this transformation.
Technology has made business operations a lot faster than it used to be. Most businesses now provide a 24/7 email, website and even phone number – to ensure services and products can be provided at any time of the day. As stated earlier, an entrepreneur doesn’t have to get to the office first before meeting client’s needs. The internet has revolutionized business operations; emails have replaced faxes and memos; while a good smartphone can even serve as an “executive assistant” – by keeping your schedule, sending notifications and do on. Organizational bureaucracy has also been cut down with the help of automated tasking systems.
4. Networking has been made easier
The way small business owners connect with their clients has changed – thanks to blogs, email and the social media. The likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have made it easy for businesses to remain in the sight and mind of prospective customers and loyal clients – since almost everyone has an account on either of these platforms. It has also made it easy for businesses to create a bond with customers through interaction and posting of relevant content that meets the needs of the consumer directly. Consumers can also compare prices quickly, share opinions, recommend to other consumers and also ask for support.
5. Virtualization and cloud hosting services
Virtual offices, storage, servers and even desktops are taking over. With private cloud computing becoming the order of the day, it’s apparent that data will now be stored more on remote servers. This also means that access doesn’t require physical presence. Thanks to wireless networks.
We are virtualizing our desktops, our servers, and our storage – which means data is stored on remote servers and accessed in a wired or wireless way.