Technology is changing businesses across the board, no matter their size. If you’re a small business owner, you shouldn’t think that the latest tech developments are out of reach or irrelevant to you.
In fact, they’re far from it. As new technological advancements become more and more accessible, they promise to boost the efficiency and output of even the smallest companies.
Technology Trends That Are Helping Small Businesses
Even though it often feels as though technology is changing at breakneck speed, there are several trends that are really making their mark. Keep an eye on the technology included in our round-up if you want your small business to stay ahead of the curve.
Whether you sell products online or in a physical store, contactless tech will likely have become essential to your survival. While contactless shopping and safer shipping have been around for a while now, the coronavirus pandemic pushed them into the mainstream.
Brandon Leibowitz, founder of SEO Optimizers and General Assembly mentor says that “These days, shops that cannot support contactless payments or online scheduling are going to lose out to those that can. The same goes for eCommerce businesses that do delivery, but fail to put the tech in place that allows for drivers to maintain a social distance.”
Physical contact is, unfortunately, less safe than it used to be. This is why consumers will be on the lookout for brands that put their health first and businesses need to adapt to these changes.
The world of work has gone remote, once again in response to the coronavirus crisis. If your business is office-based, chances are that your staff will have worked from home at some point during the last year. In that case, teleconferencing platforms and business communications technology will have been put to good use to keep things running smoothly.
Now that the economy is starting to level out, though, you might be looking to recruit new talent, particularly if you had to let people go early on. But, that isn’t all that easy if people are still working from home. In comes remote onboarding technology to help businesses out of this conundrum.
Automations could prove to be a holy grail for your small business, especially if yours is a relatively small team. What automation technologies are able to do is increase the efficiency of previously manual workflows, by taking over part or all of the processes involved. Investing in automation means that you or your employees can free up valuable time for less menial work.
This is a trend that is gaining traction rapidly for small, medium, and large businesses alike, with a market forecast expected to reach $26 billion by 2025. Considering automation is so effective at saving time, saving money, and improving productivity, it’s not hard to see why.
Since early 2020, it has been more important than ever for businesses to look after their employees. As the pandemic altered everyday life for all, employee wellbeing plummeted. In response, 63% of employers increased the level of support they offered in the workplace, including both physical and mental health support, as well as help for those struggling financially.
In order to offer the best and most effective support to workers, companies began using HR technology. While the term ‘HR tech’ can refer to a number of different digital tools, in simple terms it means the technology that allows businesses to better organize employee data and manage their performance, all as a means of improving communications across teams.
As whole industries moved their operations online, it became harder and harder for small businesses to make their voices heard and stand out from their competitors. Influencer marketing helped many combat this problem.
Basically, by partnering with social media influencers that align with your business’s values, you can bring your products and services to the attention of ready-made and highly engaged audiences.
Given the fact that consumers tend to value brand authenticity and trustworthiness pretty highly, advertising your business through a high-profile figure who already has their confidence could massively boost your engagement.