Reply
Highlighted
Contributor

Essential Small Business Technology in 2018

POSTED BY: emmafranklin

board-electronics-computer-data-processing-50711.jpeg

If you are running a business without the help of technology, you will fall behind.  Trends see small business relying on technology more and more. So, what technology can get your business moving in the right direction? How can you improve efficiency and cut costs? The essential technology your small business needs in 2018.

Security

Now that more and more small business relies on technology, the need to secure and protect information moves into the spotlight. Small businesses are becoming more aware of online security and put it as one of the essential considerations moving forward. You want to protect the endpoints of your company, detect threat faster and respond to security breaches in the fasted way possible.

Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation software has made many processes a lot easier. If you think this automation software is only for large companies, you are wrong. A small business can carry out marketing activities with greater efficiency, and remove the need to hire and pay employees.

This software can do a number of things including lead generation, segment messages and trigger specific responses based on actions by a customer. This automation software is easy to implement as well; it will link with most CRM platforms easily. You can bring sales and marketing together.

Real-time Customer Service

Customer service is something you should be focusing on a lot. More importantly, customer success will take over in 2018. What do we mean by customer success? How fast the customer can reach their goal. This starts this communication.

If you don’t have a 1300 number set up, you are falling behind. Telecommunications service providers like eVoice offer this service at almost no cost.  Next, you need to consider a range of digital technologies. SMS, social media, chatbots and live help are all something to consider.  Live support or live chat has been around for a while; however, the technology is actually decent now.  A person can engage with customers in real time and provide recommendations or anything else. Furthermore, with the implementation of AI, it will only get better. The AI will learn from the customer as the conversation progresses.

The Cloud

Cloud-based solutions are taking over from hardware, and it’s never looking back. Cloud-based solutions offer greater scalability, security, flexibility and way more efficiency compared to traditional options.

Mobile Technology is a Must

No technology has become more relevant that mobile. Apparently, more than six billion people worldwide used one mobile device in 2016. This number is expected to grow. It’s also thought that over 50% of consumer traffic comes from mobile devices now. What does that mean? It means your small business needs to be ready for mobile devices.

What do you need to do? A business should incorporate its use in at least the following four ways, website design, applications, payment and use of all-in-one devices.

Mobile friendly websites are essential now. Most people are accessing websites through their phone.  A small business can’t afford to avoid making their site mobile friendly.  A search engine like Bing actually rewards mobile-friendly sites with a boost in rankings.  Furthermore, applications that are well developed and well tested are an effective marketing strategy that gets results. Payment methods are equally important and should always be implemented. People like to have options. 

In the past, this required somebody with a unique set of skills. Now any non-technical user can create apps easily, and that means you have no excuse.

Bring the Workforce Together

With a changing workforce, not everyone is in the same place at the same time. The virtual workforce means that tools which can facilitate collaboration are gaining popularity.  People are working from home, overseas or sitting in a café somewhere.

Many applications and platforms allow this type of collaboration for employees in a business. You can chat, call, save documents and collaborate in real-time. Pretty handy.

 

Take this process slow, implement one thing at a time. You will thank yourself in the long run, especially if you go to sell your business.