Flashback to 1993 - the world wide web first went public. A year later, the first ever chunky smartphone, Simon, was invented. A decade later, we have gmail and facebook. Today, our phones are flooded with social media apps and are practically an extra limb to most of us.
At the exponential rate in which it’s growing, It’s safe to say that technology is never going to stay the same. If you aren’t ready for it, brace yourself as you are going to be swept away in an unsympathetic tidal wave of progression.
Change is inevitable. Time doesn’t wait for us to keep up.
The effects of technological change on businesses are as drastic as they are on our personal and social lives. The most noticeable changes in the recent years include:
- Online shopping & worldwide shipping
- Advanced payment methods - online banking, credit cards, etc.
- Social media, marketing tools and specified softwares
- Cutting edge technological devices - computers, smartphones & modern machinery
For this very reason, traditional businesses are struggling to keep up with businesses that are more technologically innovative.
As a small business owner, you may be hesitant to upgrade or adapt to new technology. The cost of upgrading and the idea of change may seem daunting. Well you’re not alone as up to 48% of small companies are hesitant to accept new digital technology because they can’t grasp how it works or the potential benefits of it.
But did you know that you can actually save more by taking advantage of the readily available technology?
Regardless, we are here to convince you why it is an incredible idea to keep up with technology. For the sake of your business at least.
1. Save your precious minutes with the right tools
We bet you saw this coming. Think about the level of productivity within your workplace. Could things move along faster with the help of modern tech?
Surely recording data manually is going to take a lot longer than keying it into a software that is specialized to do certain tasks for you. With just a few clicks you can access specific data, do calculations and track your progress.
Imagine having to go through stacks of papers just to look for one document.
But owning technological infrastructure alone just won’t cut it. According to a study
conducted, 44% of workers claim that issues with technology is a reason why they waste
10 minutes in every hour which led to 80% of them using their own devices to
compensate. The key here is to use:
- The right kind of devices and softwares required for your tasks
- Up to date systems that run smoothly without any kind of lagging or disruptions
10 minutes an hour is equivalent to 80 minutes in an 8 hour work-day.
Let that sink in.
2. Simplify your job (every task doesn't have to be a headache)
Going hand in hand with the previous point, why make your life more miserable when you can take advantage of technology?
Studies have shown that over a third of employees struggle with basic administrative tasks. This shouldn’t even be something they struggle with. Administrative tasks shouldn’t take away from the core of your business.
Take payroll for instance. Payroll softwares automatically keeps track of pay days, pay cuts, sick leave and overtime pay for every single employee. Without the software, you’d likely be stuck in a mess of disorganized data, especially if you have a larger number of employees.
3. Let the world have access to your products/services
Due to the pandemic, 2020 has been a year of accelerated digitalisation and it is believed that that change is here to stay. Most e-commerce companies predict that the growing trend of online shopping will remain even after the pandemic is over.
Does your business sell online?
Online shopping diversifies your business and helps you reach more customers. Let customers come to you. Let delivery services transport your products across the world.
During lockdowns, most people didn’t have a choice other than to shop online. Should such an event come about once more, ensure that your business is ready to thrive.
Alibaba, the World’s Largest B2B ecommerce marketplace, made a revenue of approximately 109 billion U.S dollars in 2020. Working with these huge platforms will give your business the boost and recognition it desires. In the world we live in today, you can’t go wrong with online shopping.
4. Strengthen your brand's name
If you don’t already have a social media page for your business, why? Your competitors are out here having business accounts on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and many more ---- you could always start with one.
With over 3.8 billion people worldwide using at least one form of social media, it is a powerful tool that you shouldn’t dismiss. Here’s how you can use it to your benefit:
- Reveal the launch of a new product/ service
- Gain more exposure and attract new customers
- Answer your customer’s FAQ’s & queries
- Seek feedback and suggestions for improvement
- Understand your audience’s wants and needs
- Share positive reviews and ratings to strengthen your brand
If you’re still struggling with the conventional methods of advertising such as cold-calling and emailing, time to switch it up a little. With 54% of social browsers using social media to research products, customers will have more faith in your products based on what they see on social media.
5. Save yourself from legal trouble & expenses (which can cost a fortune by the way)
Three years ago, a major data breach at Equifax, which held data of over 800 million individuals caused a ruckus. It was later revealed that the incident could have been avoided if the company had just updated it’s security systems.
This is a reminder for those of you who already have your data in digital or online platforms; keep your security systems up to date.
“But who would want to hack into my system? I’m only a small business owner.” We hear you, but you’d never know. It’s always best to keep client information safe. Losing this info or leaking it to unauthorized parties can get you into legal trouble.
Not to mention that efficient record-keeping is beneficial for you too. Imagine storing all your info on paper. 32% of small businesses actually still use paper to store sensitive information. The chances of it getting stolen or destroyed is pretty high. What would you do when it’s all gone?
6. Don't let distance disrupt your communication
Making use of social media and cloud based communication apps such as zoom, can boost communication within your organization as well as with clients and customers.
Did you know that 16% of companies globally are fully remote? And that number is increasing. Understandably, not all jobs can be done remotely, but for those of you who can, learn how to make the best out of online communication apps so that you can handle situations like lockdowns effectively. You want to be ready for any kind of situation.
Video communication apps are better than texting and emailing in the sense that they allow you to foster a more human connection, despite not being able to work in the same physical space. It also ensures that you are getting your messages across clearly.
Besides that, with the help of social media, saturating the market with your brand has never been easier. By using a variety of platforms to communicate your brand, you can reach out to a wide range of consumers.
7. Recruit talent effectively (Hire only the best!)
Recruiting the right talent is often a challenge for small businesses. There is a 50% chance that your business is concerned over the insufficient number of candidates available for hire.
It’s true, good talent is scarce. But by making the best use of social media, you would have a better chance of finding a reasonable candidate. How are you going to hire if no one knows you’re hiring?
Most SMEs also suffer from high turnover rates. You want to be able to find new recruits within a short frame of time so that your business can run smoothly.
Get on LinkedIn, build a page for your brand. Get onto pre-existing job sites and advertise your openings. It’ll get you a lot farther than recruiting through your existing pool of connections.
A tech-savvy organization is one that understands the link between its business and the technology available in the marketplace. Keeping up with radical changes can be nerve-wracking, but being left behind while more and more tech-savvy businesses thrive is probably worse.
That’s not saying that you have to rebuild your business from scratch, but rather, understand how technology affects your business and make the necessary changes as you go.