Small business

How to Keep a Small Business Relevant in a Tech-Savvy Market

It’s difficult keeping a business relevant in today’s tech-savvy marketplace. Small business owners can be slow to adopt technology, and often fall behind their consumers who easily adapt to new trends and platforms. When a business owner doesn’t understand the value of a technology, it makes sense that he or she will be reluctant to invest time and money in adopting it.

But there is a positive side to late adoption, too. Late adoption allows time for best practices to form around the use of a platform. A business that adopts a new technology later in the game has the benefit of being able to learn from the trials and errors of early adopters. Businesses that wait to see what developments provide a good returns on investment, rather than being eager to jump onto the latest trend, can save the effort of implementing new technologies and processes that might not be fruitful.

Here we’ll review some of the most vital types of technology platforms that help businesses stay on top of their game.

The Tech Helping Businesses Stay Relevant: 6 Common (Vital) Tools for Operations

While new platforms are introduced to market, they are typically upgraded versions of a tool that already exists.

There are dozens of small business software tools used for everyday operations. Different industries may have unique needs, but there are similarities in what is used among most businesses – these include tools for:

  1. Reporting & tracking
  2. Team and project management
  3. Payment processing
  4. Documentation
  5. Digital marketing
  6. Customer relationship management

Let’s examine how each keeps a business relevant in its market and industry:

Reporting & Tracking

Reporting and tracking tools provide technical insights about how site visitors or ad viewers interact with your creatives and copy. Smart businesses use this data to make calculated changes to their campaigns and sites to increase conversions.

Tools include:

  • Google analytics
  • Kissmetrics
  • UserTesting

Search terminology, interest, and interaction guide a business with information about how the market responds. This, in turn, helps the business stay relevant when crafting ad and marketing messages.

Team & Project Management

There are many moving parts of a modern business including sales, marketing, logistics, customer service, design, outreach, and more. These tools house project data and provide a platform for internal messaging and tracking for team members assigned to those projects.

Tools include:

  • Basecamp
  • Slack
  • Trello

These critical tools keep operations aligned while offering platforms for open dialog and for testing new ideas.

Payment Processing

Failure to close a sale shouldn’t come because of unavailable payment methods. A forward-thinking business will use modern payment processing to accept all forms of payment no matter the preferred method.

Tools include:

  • Paypal
  • Venmo
  • Square

These tools include PoS systems which tightly integrate analytics. This provides a wealth of customer data that can be used for market adaptation in promotions and marketing.

Documentation

What good is making changes if there’s a lack of documentation behind the process? That hard work becomes lost in the “noise”. Or, you’re stuck in a difficult position where a sole employee dictates the direction of projects or even the company because of their leverage.

Tools include:

  • Evernote
  • Google Docs
  • GitHub

Relevant businesses build on what works. Documentation should be flexible and accessible to the entire team whether they’re accessing legacy docs through a desktop or updating notes from their phone. This creates an intranet of valuable information and data used to guide business decisions.

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing – encompassing everything from SEO to SEM – drives brand awareness. This is often more valuable than using ads and campaigns for conversions. Why? Because it associates a product or service to the company’s brand.

Tools include:

  • WordPress (blogging)
  • SEMRush (research)
  • Facebook (outreach)

These tools and platforms harness the power of content and marketing strategies. The awareness and association keep the brand relevant whenever consumers enter your market. That is if the business stays active and engaging on and through these platforms.

Customer Service Relationship

The CRM tools facilitate touching base with leads and customers. These are great tools for increasing sales. They’re also equally valuable for gathering feedback and understanding the market shifts.

Tools include:

  • Salesforce
  • Zoho CRM
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365

What better way to stay relevant than keeping a dialog open with your audience? These tools provide the real data – straight from the source – that a tech-savvy business may use to shift focus.

Ride the Trends, Practice Patience, and Find Balance

While implementing new technologies may not be of highest importance to all business owners, it is always important to have a pulse on the business and consumer trends within their own industries.

This means:

  • Reading industry news
  • Using high-level market whitepapers
  • Following social buzz and influencers

Business owners should dedicate one or two members of the team to keep on track with the industry. Have them attend conferences and keep up with read cutting-edge blogs in your industry to see where it’s going. Allocate a budget to explore new tech while building upon what’s already effective.

Staying relevant means adapting business practices and offers. Are you using these business resources to find balance with your market position?

A post by Ryan Kh (405 Posts)

Ryan Kh is author at LeraBlog. The author's views are entirely his/her own and may not reflect the views and opinions of LeraBlog staff.
I'm Ryan, a business graduate with specialization in finance and marketing. After receiving bachelor degree, currently I am pursuing my master degree in IT cause I believe IT skills are very important in the contemporary business world. I'm passionate about writing stuff and blogging on Business / Tech / Marketing (like strategic decision making and digital business strategy) to intensify my skills.

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