Technology can be a great asset for small businesses. It can help you save time and money, and it can also help you reach new customers and grow your business. However, technology can also be a bit overwhelming, and it’s important to know how to use it effectively.
Here are some great tips on how you can use technology for small businesses to boost sales:
1. Use Social Media
Social media is an important tool for small businesses because it lets you build connections with new customers. When your company has a presence on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you have the ability to interact with potential customers on a regular basis. This makes them feel more connected to your business, which can lead to increased sales and brand recognition.
2. Get a Mobile Website or App
More than 50 percent of Internet users access their favorite websites via mobile devices like smartphones or tablets. It is essential for your business to have a mobile presence so that customers can easily do business with you from anywhere. Your mobile site or app should be easy to use and powerful enough to give your visitors the information that they need.
3. Create a Blog
Blogs can be incredibly useful for small businesses because they help you establish yourself as an authority in your industry and allow you to build a reputation as someone who can provide valuable advice and tips.
You can use a blog to let your customers know the latest news about your business, and you can also offer them valuable content such as product reviews or how-to articles.
4. Offer Online Promotions
Online promotions are a great way to get new customers and to increase sales. Rather than struggling to attract new customers with traditional advertising techniques, you can simply use your website or social media channels to promote your deals and special offerings. You can also use email marketing software, such as Constant Contact or MailChimp, to send out special offers directly to your current list of customers.
5. Let People Pay Easily with Paypal
Paypal is one of the best ways that you can accept payments from customers while saving yourself time and money. Rather than processing payments by hand, you can use Paypal to process your transactions automatically and keep track of all of the details of your sale in one place. Paypal can also reduce the risk of fraud because only you have access to your financial information.
6. Try Automatic E-mail Responses
An automated email response system is a great way to always provide your customers with an accurate answer when they need it most. This system can be used to help customers find the product or service that they are looking for, and it can also be used to let them know about any promotions or special deals that you may be running.
7. Encourage Feedback and Reviews
Once you have achieved success using technology for your small business, you will want to continue growing your company. One of the best ways to do this is by encouraging real-life customer interactions and reviews.
Yelp and Angie’s List are two examples of sites where you can get customer feedback. These sites can help you improve your business practices, and they can also give potential customers confidence in your company.
8. Create a Mobile App
A custom mobile app allows people to keep track of the things that interest them the most, whether it is news about your industry or special offers from your company. You can use a mobile app to provide ongoing value to your customers and keep them coming back for more.
9. Use Social Media Advertising Campaigns
Social media advertising offers an affordable way for small businesses to reach large audiences in just minutes. You can use social media network advertising like Facebook ads to get more customers while also boosting your brand awareness.
10. Try SEO Tools
There are many SEO tools that you can use to help you grow your online business. You can use a tool such as Long Tail Pro to help you find keywords related to your industry, which is a great way to attract customers who are interested in what you have to offer. Other SEO tools, such as Wordtracker, can help you find the best keywords for your website and guide you in creating relevant content for your audience
How Technology Can Improve Small Business
Business owners must commit to using technology as a way to stay efficient, obtain more leads, and establish themselves in their market. The success of most small businesses is dependent upon staying connected with customers, whether through the internet or physical locations.
It is important for business owners to understand the ins and outs of marketing and sales. Digital tools can help create a better customer experience for small businesses, but it takes dedication to use them effectively.
To deliver information to their clients, 84% of small firms use at least one sort of digital technology.
In order to harness the power of technology, business owners should consider creating a mobile app or acquiring an online presence through social media marketing. While live webinars are becoming increasingly popular, some business owners prefer using platforms like YouTube to promote themselves.
Tech should be applied to enhance customer service and sales via social media marketing, website analytics and email marketing. All business owners have to have a good community and web presence for their company.
Business owners should use online tools like social media or Facebook ads that promote their business needs. A local small business should go with FaceBook advertising options so the owner can stay updated on the site’s results and feedback from his pressing customers.
10 Must-Have Technologies for Small Businesses
Small businesses are often intimidated by new technology, but finding the right tools can make all the difference when it comes to improving your business. According to a recent Gartner poll, the following technologies are being used or will be implemented by small enterprises in the next two years.
By learning how to incorporate these 10 technologies into your small business, you will be able to do more with less.
1. Mobile Apps
We all have smartphones, and they’re an essential part of life in the 21st century. So why is it that so many small businesses are still ignoring technology in this area? If even a fraction of your customers are mobile users, then you need to have a mobile app for your business.
Create one for iOS and Android — or both — and provide them with value by linking it to your website or blog content. Don’t just ask for the sale; provide them with something that will keep them coming back.
2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
CRM systems are great ways to manage your customers, keep track of their data, and provide marketing automation. You can use CRM software from companies like Salesforce and Marketo to help you manage your customer relationships without having to do it manually.
Apps like Salesforce’s Chatter can make it even easier for you to keep in touch with customers outside normal business hours, as well. Don’t just think about how these apps will benefit your sales; think about how they will benefit your employees as well by creating a more cohesive team feeling.
3. Social Media Marketing
If you’re not using social media marketing to promote your business, then you’re missing out on an incredibly powerful opportunity. Most small businesses use Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to build their online presence by providing useful content to their followers.
Platforms like Facebook are also useful for building your customer relationship management: when you tag them in a photo or mention them in a post, they’re more likely to engage with it and respond.
4. Website Analytics
It’s important to keep track of how people interact with your website. You need to know where people are leaving your site, how long they stay on the page, and what types of pages they visit the most often. Google Analytics is a great tool for this type of analysis, and it’s free to use.
5. Email Marketing
Email marketing is a great way to introduce your readers to new products and special offers. If you haven’t been using email marketing yet, then you’re missing out on an incredibly effective way to promote your business and generate sales.
By keeping track of who you’re sending your messages to, which messages perform best, and when they are most likely to buy your products or services, you’ll be able to keep things fresh in their minds while also generating new leads for your business.
6. Customer Service Tools
Many small businesses assume that customer service is their responsibility, but it’s not. A great way to improve your customer service and get more repeat business is to use tools like Zendesk and Helpscout to manage your customers’ requests.
You can also use tools like Intercom, which turns automated emails into live chat messages, as well as Salesforce’s Chatter and Zendesk’s Chatter to keep in touch with your customers outside of normal business hours.
7. Low-Cost Cloud-Based Solutions
Cloud solutions are becoming very popular for small businesses because they are so affordable for those who aren’t banking on an immediate return on their investment. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on computer software like you used to; instead, you can use platforms like Google Apps, which comes with Gmail, Drive, Calendar and more for only $5 per user.
8. Social Media Platforms
Facebook is a great way to connect with your customers, but you can also use Twitter to promote deals or discounts. If you’re using social media tools for this purpose, be sure that your updates are interesting and relevant.
You don’t want to waste your time or theirs by just spamming them with random updates every day. Instead, think about how your posts will help people as well as grow your business — and only share things that fit those two goals.
Benefits of Technology for Small Business
As social media advertising continues to grow in popularity, businesses are turning to digital marketing to reach their target audiences. Digital technology and artificial intelligence are playing a big role in helping businesses to create more effective social media campaigns.
1. More Opportunities for Growth
Small businesses should use technology to help them grow and expand their business. The reach of small businesses can be increased through social media, email marketing, and mobile apps.
Many small business owners also choose to accept online payments, which has opened up a lot of opportunities for them. Technology has improved the way that small businesses operate to make it more convenient and efficient.
2. Government Assistance
There are some programs designed to help small businesses succeed that aren’t available to larger companies or nonprofits. The Small Business Administration offers loan programs and grants, while many state governments offer tax credits and incentives as well. These programs can help entrepreneurs get started with a low-risk business plan and give them the opportunity to grow into a full-scale corporations.
3. Lower Startup Costs
It’s possible to run a small business on the cheap, especially if the owner has his or her own product or service that’s in demand. Of course, anyone who wants their business to be successful will need at least some capital for marketing and advertising. However, technology has created new options for marketing on social media and in various online forums that don’t cost as much money as traditional advertising did in the past.
4. Low Overhead Costs
E-commerce has made it possible for small businesses to run their own websites that can be easily updated and managed by a tech-savvy owner. This makes it easier for a small business to increase sales and reach customers.
Automation software also helps keep overhead costs down, so that owners can expand the number of employees they have without worrying about paying for office space or other employees’ salaries.
5. Easy Access to Customers
As technology becomes more advanced, there will be many more opportunities for small businesses to expand their customer bases and build relationships with existing customers by using social media marketing tools like Facebook ads and Google AdWords programs.
Desktop computers and the internet have made it possible for small business owners to have close, personal relationships with existing customers through email marketing campaigns, social media, and more.
Small firms with fewer than 250 employees can use digital tools to enter new markets and target new customers at a low cost.
6. Accessible to All Kinds of Businesses
Small businesses are able to gain access to a wider range of customers across all kinds of lines of work. Technology has also made it possible for small business owners to find assistance from all kinds of sources, including government agencies and websites that offer assistance to small businesses in their fields.
Technology has also made it easy for small businesses to create and update their own websites, which is the most important aspect of operating a successful business in today’s market.
7. Improved E-commerce
E-commerce platforms have made it possible for small businesses to run their own online stores and sell their goods. This has opened up a whole new spectrum of opportunities for small business owners to reach customers. In some cases, they will also want to make use of mobile apps that are able to support mobile commerce.
8. Increase in Social Media Audience
In recent years, social media has become an important aspect of marketing a business. Businesses that have the ability to leverage social media effectively can expect to see improvements in their business and targets. Small businesses also have access to tools that help them better interact with consumers and boost the number of people who may be interested in purchasing their goods or services.
The Risks of Technology for Small Business
It’s possible for small businesses to fall behind with technology in some unexpected ways. If your business uses a lot of manual labor, you may not want to invest in robots or other highly-advanced forms of technology.
While it’s good to make use of technology where it will help your business grow, you don’t want to waste a lot of money on it if it doesn’t fit in with the rest of what your company does.
1. Costs May Be Higher Than Expected
Technology can be expensive to buy, especially if you’re going to purchase a tool or machine that you plan on using for several years. You should also factor in the cost of any training that you’ll need to get employees up to speed with new technology.
You’ll be spending a lot of money on your enterprise, so you want to make sure that it’s a good investment. Firms with fewer than 20 employees accounted for 89.4% of all American businesses, according to the Small Business Entrepreneurship Council (SBE) and 2014 US census data.
2. Overly Technical Staff Needed
Technology exists in different forms, and some people will not be able to handle all the functions of this system effectively or efficiently, especially if they’re not tech-savvy. You’ll also want to work with your operations staff and other managers if you’re taking on more responsibilities for running the day-to-day business shifts, as your time for doing other tasks may increase significantly.
3. Difficulty in Maintaining Workforce
Small businesses need to have a good number of employees working at all times. Technology can be very expensive, and you may be forced to hire more workers or use part-time staff instead of full-time employees. This will make it harder to manage the work and your overall finances, so you want to make sure that the money you’re spending on technology is well spent.
4. Misuse of Technology May Lead to Wrongdoings
Technology can also be used for illegal purposes, especially if it’s available online or through applications that are able to link with social media and other networks without being monitored by law enforcement agencies. With this in mind, you’ll need to make sure that your business is using technology for legal and ethical purposes.
5. More Work for Small Business Owners
Because employees will be able to accomplish more with the help of technology, small business owners may have to work longer hours or feel more stress from being stretched too thin. When this happens, it can be difficult for owners to keep up with everything that needs to be done.
6. Big Companies May Gain an Advantage Over Smaller Businesses
If a small business doesn’t use technology effectively, they may struggle against larger companies that do use it well. For example, a small business doesn’t have the resources or the staffing to have a full-time employee that manages the company’s finances and other day-to-day operations. Big companies are also able to use technology from more than one source, which means they can potentially spend less money on each aspect of technology.
7. Limited Access to Customers
If you’re using technology for your business, then you won’t be able to easily reach out and interact with your customers in real-time. You may also miss out on opportunities to expand your customer base and open yourself up to new customers who don’t know about you yet.
8. Could Use Up Resources Too Fast
If you don’t have a good budget, then your business may have trouble expanding as fast as you’d like it to. Without the budget, you may not be able to invest in technology that could help your business grow and thrive.
Small businesses are expected to prioritize hardware when allocating budget this 2021, sparing 35% of their annual tech budget for it. 31% will be spent on software, while 22% will be spent on hosted and cloud-based services.
Challenges for Small Business Owners
The small business owner must be aware of the latest technology trends to remain competitive and provide the best customer service. They need to adopt project management software to efficiently manage tasks and deadlines. Customer relationship management software will help them keep track of their customer base and handle any issues that may arise.
According to Salesforce, 55% of small firms mention lack time as a significant concern.
Revenue growth can be a challenge for any business, but by streamlining operations and making use of a business website, even small businesses can see a significant increase in revenue. This was the finding of a recent study by the chief marketing officer of software as a service company.
As businesses strive to provide better customer service, they are turning to influencer marketing and digital tools to help them keep up with technology trends and automate their processes. By using these tools, businesses can connect with their customers more effectively and efficiently.
The Future of Technology and Small Business
Technology will continue to advance in the coming years. Facebook and Snapchat are creating virtual reality options for users, but new software is also being developed for teleconferencing.
Virtual reality headsets will be readily available in the coming years, as well as improved versions of these communication devices that people can use from anywhere in the world.
The mobile app industry has exploded over the past few years, and it’s likely that there will be more demand for smartphone apps in the future. Not only is there likely to be more demand, but technology is making it easier than ever before to create your own app.