Technology is always being developed. Whenever a new device is released, there’s always another in development, hot at its heels. Software can constantly be updated, and glitches are consistently being rectified. Sometimes it can seem hard to keep up with everything! But not to worry. For now, let’s focus on the benefits that developments in technology could have when it comes to your expanding business.
Communication has come on leaps and bounds over the past few decades. Previously, business owners would generally be contacted on a working landline (or particularly high flyers may have had a large, chunky, portable phone). However, nowadays the majority of us have the entire world in our pockets. The proliferation of smartphone ownership means that we can be contacted through all sorts of apps and programs by both people we have shared our contact details with and strangers alike. As technology improves, people are spending more and more time on their phones: some will even spend hours scrolling through Facebook posts, Twitter feeds, and the Instagram explore page. So it only makes sense that businesses are upping their mobile game too! After all, if you wanted to make a positive name for yourself in any field of commerce, you have to place yourself exactly where customers are already directing their attention. Getting to grips with modern social media can put your small business one step ahead of the rest of its competition. A good place to start is setting up social media feeds for your company. This way, you can showcase your products and services, ensure that people have easy access to your store location as well as opening and closing times, offer customers a space to leave feedback and recommendations, and open up a direct means of communication between you and your potential customers. Further to this, you can also use other communicative smartphone features to your benefit. A good example could be using Face-time or Skype to conduct an interview. This allows you to observe a potential employee’s general demeanor and composure without you both spending time and cash getting to and from a designated interview location.
Long gone are the days when you’d have to file all of your business information away in dusty folders and files. Technology has taken care of the issues inherent in the physical storage of tangible documents by introducing the cloud. The cloud is essentially a network of servers, many of which store data. You can now digitize your documents and files and store them in “the cloud”. This has plenty of benefits. First of all, you don’t have to worry about your information being physically damaged. You can’t spill a hot drink over the cloud. Secondly, you can find the information that you need in a much shorter period of time. Rather than leafing through pages and pages of documents, you can simply type a few keywords into a search bar, and the files will be pulled to your attention before you know it. Most cloud servers also have a backup, meaning that all of your files have a spare stored away too, just in case something does happen to go wrong.
Once you’ve improved communication with your customers, you can conduct market research more easily. This allows you to understand who your target audience is: their general demographic including location, interests, queries, complaints and how much disposable income they have to spend with you. Having acquired this information, you can start focusing on targeted marketing. This is essentially ensuring that your goods and services are effectively brought to the attention of your target audience, encouraging them to make purchases with you, thus increasing your profit margin. Whether you outsource or keep things in-house, you should focus on things like SEO (or search engine optimization) and online advertising as well as tangible or physical advertising “out in the real world”.
These are just a few ways that improved technology can benefit your small business. As you are able to communicate more effectively with customers and suppliers, store more information, and target your marketing, you will begin to see the profits pour in. This combination of effective interpersonal skills, profound organizational skills, and pro-activity when it comes to raising brand awareness, after all, will improve your relations with the consumer market and earn your brand a positive reputation. You could be well on your way to a major business expansion before you even realize it. So, if you haven’t already, it’s time to embrace technology within your small business.