It’s no surprise to anyone that technology has advanced lives compared to the last fifty years. All we need to do is consult the military for insights into the medical and communications advances on the subject.
While social media and email marketing aren’t necessarily technology, they spring from it. The analytics and marketing functions alone depend upon technology for a return of information to its users. Here are five ways technology can help grow small businesses.
- The Cloud
Back in the day, businesses had ranks of servers containing all their information. Today’s small business has access to the Cloud, negating their need for IT departments:
- Small businesses need no longer store and backup their work on company servers. Consequently, no IT department will be necessary to administer and maintain them
- Remote work. Working from home had become a thing before the coronavirus made working from home a necessity. Accessing the Cloud from anywhere in the world fosters small businesses with remote workers
- File sharing. When the business has teams both at home and in the field, they need to access the same files. Cloud computing allows this
- Cost efficiency. Small businesses might not have the wherewithal to keep IT personnel running servers the business might not be able to afford just yet. The Cloud is cheaper and does the same job without all those people
Tracking customer satisfaction, returning customers, sales figures, and so much more is easier on the small business using analytics. There are dozens of analytical apps, including the giant Google and IBM’s Watson or Insight Squared. Also, OTC stock market ratings enter the picture of small business investing in order to grow their business.
A small business needs some type of analytical app to mine the Big Data. It can then analyze the data to fit the criteria of the small business’ needs. Analytics doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg either.
Print, radio, and TV ads took a while to get results back in the day. Digital marketing is almost instantaneous. Analytics can be conducted during the digital marketing campaign. This allows the small business to make adjustments according to the criteria discussed above. The digital marketing campaign has immediacy, better returns on investment, and specific targeting going for it.
- Payment Systems
Back in the day, taking a check for services rendered or a product was a pain in the cash register. If the check bounced, the small business owner carried that check on the books until the sheriff got involved with a warrant. The customer then came into the store or office, paid for the check, and you could take it off your books.
Today’s online payment systems are instantaneous. They come back with a “sorry, your account was insufficient for this purchase.” Your customers then have to come up with another credit card or make the purchase with their next paycheck. This saves the small business all the headaches and running around to the sheriff’s department. This bit of technology alone saves the small business a lot of grief.
- Social Media
When people saw how far-reaching social media was turning out to be, they jumped on the bandwagon. Multi-level marketing, independent people selling hand-made products, major corporations like T-Mobile and Sears, as well as small businesses all used social media to alert people to the possibilities of their services or products.
Facebook and Twitter developed their own marketing complete with analytics. Small businesses no longer had to do marketing analytics themselves; it was done for them. Email campaigns are the same way. Email marketing companies use the same analytics the social media giants use. Small businesses need only put a dedicated employee on harvesting social media contacts and checking on the analytics.