What is Short-Term Financing (+ 6 Options to Consider)

Technology is something we all use on a daily basis, some to a greater extent than others. We often don’t even think about it, and whether it’s the internet, a self-serve checkout in a store, a chatbot, or something as seemingly simple as a microwave, it has become part of our everyday lives. 

When you run a business, technology requires a lot more thought. When you implement the right tech strategies in your startup, you’ll save time and effort, and often money too.

Plus, you can make your organization much more secure, among many other benefits. Whatever you use and whatever you do, there are plenty of factors that combine to determine just how important technology is in your business. 

If you are starting a business and you want to know what technology is most important, or you’ve been running a business for some time and you want to make it better, read on.

We’ve put together a valuable list of just what technology can do for your business so you can work out for yourself what is most important to you and how you can use tech to improve it. 

Technology Helps Improve Communication 

A business that isn’t able to communicate with its clients and customers is not going to see the success that a much more communicative business will.

People want to know that they are making the right choice when it comes to purchasing anything, especially when there is so much choice and so many businesses to buy from. They will ask questions, and they will expect answers.

Technology can help here – a chatbot service, automated call monitoring, or even the use of social media can mean that customers get the response they want quickly and efficiently. 

Communication isn’t just something that helps customers; it can be exactly what your employees need too.

Again, there are various pieces of technology and software such as organization tools and message systems that mean everyone can stay abreast of any situation, even if they are all working remotely.

Using technology to ensure there is good communication between your team members and yourself can mean you have the most efficient workers and therefore the most efficient business. 

Technology Gets You Ahead of Your Competition 

No matter what kind of business you run, even if it is extremely niche, there is sure to be competition somewhere in some way.

If you want to be successful and make a profit, if you want your business to grow and become the leader in your field, you will need to do all you can to get ahead of your competition and prove to potential customers that you are the right choice for whatever it is you sell and do. 

Although there are a number of ways you can do this, technology is sure to feature in most of your plans. Think of your marketing, for example. Utilizing social media to target your ideal market is one way to use technology and beat your competition.

You can narrow down the number of people you are advertising to so that your marketing budget goes further and your marketing campaign is directly focusing on your audience’s specific needs. 

You can invest in the most up-to-date technology when it comes to your essential equipment too.

Anything that you use to carry out your day-to-day work within your business is going to be scrutinized by your customers. Therefore, the better the equipment – the more technologically advanced it is – the more professional and forward-thinking your business will appear to be.

Rather than just using a standard digital camera, use an Air 2S drone to get even better images than your competition. Rather than using a normal car, use an electric one to show that you are more eco-friendly than others around you. 

There are endless possibilities, so it will pay to spend some time considering each idea individually. Simply having the thought that you want to have the very best and most up-to-date equipment might be a good start, but you will need to narrow things down to fit your budget and your real needs.

There is no point in switching to something new if the old piece of equipment doesn’t need to be replaced, unless your budget really can stand it. 

Read also: 9 Things You Should Ask Yourself When Buying a Drone

Technology Makes You More Efficient 

One of the biggest advantages of always being up to date with your business tech is that you will become much more efficient because of it. In fact, greater efficiency is one of the main reasons why business owners and entrepreneurs invest in tech in the first place. The idea is that the technology will pay for itself by saving time within the business. 

In many cases, this efficiency will come about via automation. When you can automate certain tasks through the use of modern technology, you won’t need to spend so much time doing them yourself.

As we know, when there is a human element to any kind of work, errors can occur, but using automation technology won’t allow this to happen, so more time will be saved because the work will only need to be done once.

Plus, technology won’t get distracted, it won’t need a monthly salary, it won’t have sick days or want a vacation once in a while. In other words, if you can use technology to automate certain tasks and reduce your need for a large team, not only will you be more efficient and productive, but you’ll save money too, even if the tech itself was expensive. 

Technology Helps You Stay Safe 

5 Signs of Business Burnout & What to Do About It

It would be lovely to think that the world was a safe place and that you, as a business owner, didn’t have anything to worry about in terms of security. However, the unfortunate reality is that this is not the case, and in fact, the world is a very dangerous place, especially for small businesses. 

Cybercrime is a massive problem for businesses. Imagine what would happen if a cybercriminal were able to hack into your systems and steal sensitive information such as your banking details, contract information, or your customers’ payment details.

Would you be able to continue running your business, or would this security breach mean you had to shut down entirely? Even if the hacker didn’t steal anything but instead destroyed your files and made it impossible to run your business, it would be devastating. 

Using up-to-date technology will help to keep your business safe from this kind of cyberattack. Uploading your documents to the cloud, for example, and using this safe way of working as a matter of course can help immensely, and so too can installing the relevant firewalls and antivirus software that you’ll need. 

Having this protection is great, but ensuring that you update it when necessary is even more critical. If no updates are carried out, this will give hackers a chance to find a way into the system and cause a lot of problems for you. So remember not just to install new protection technology but to ensure updates are always done too. 

Technology Gives You Knowledge 

When you use technology in your business, you suddenly become unlimited with regards to the knowledge you can obtain and utilize within your company.

You can find valuable insights and huge amounts of detail on whatever project or idea you might be working on. Not only that, but research has never been easier.

Rather than coming up with an idea and launching it while hoping for the best, instead, you can use tech to determine whether the concept is a good one or not, and if it is, how best to go about setting it up and bringing it to the public’s attention. 

Plus, when you understand your customers more because of the insights you can obtain through the technology you have in place, you will be in a much better position to help them and deal with their queries. 

Any business owner needs to keep learning. If you think you know everything there is to know about business, you’ll find that your competition will certainly get ahead of you, and your customers will find other places to buy from because you aren’t staying up with trends. 

Technology Allows You To Grow 

Growing your business is important. For the main part, it is the entire reason behind starting the company in the first place. If the business doesn’t grow, you won’t move forward, and you won’t be successful. Staying still is better than going backward, but moving forwards is best of all. 

The good news is that utilizing technology in the right way will allow you to grow. Implementing the latest technical equipment means that you can explore more new markets than ever before, either because you can work faster and more efficiently and can serve more people in a timely manner or because you can reach more people in general. 

To some extent, it doesn’t matter what technology you bring into your business as long as you do something and use something. When you do this, the chances of your business becoming much more successful increase dramatically. 

Technology is an integral part of so many aspects of our lives. And of course, with every next year, small businesses understand they need it if they want to level up.

Some business owners that have been avoiding novelty for some time now, might be feeling left behind. So they need ideas on how to use the technological advancements in their business.

Here are 4 ways technology can benefit your business, each of which can improve an aspect of your work.

1. Stay productive with the right tools.

Productivity in business is closely related to finding and using the right tools, automating them and thus saving time and getting things done faster.

While you might think it will cost you too much to change your current systems and workflow that have always been working for you, you need to give different tools and apps a try.

Here are some examples:

Use a project management application like Trello to keep track of everything you and your team are doing. It allows you to create lists, boards, and cards to organize your work, communicate with others, share files, prioritize, and more.

Install a time-tracking software to understand where you’re spending the most time online. Most of these are free, give you reports daily or weekly, and let you see the big picture of what you’re doing wrong.

Then, use automation tools for social media, payments, lead generation, etc. If you’re looking for a complete sales and marketing automation software, invest in a service like Infusionsoft.

2. Measure everything.

small business apps

Thanks to technology, we can analyze everything that we’re doing online and see the results. From how a visitor is coming to your website and what actions he takes and buttons he clicks, to how they engage with your social media posts and what content performs best.

Analytics also lets you monitor bounce rate, cost per conversion and the rest of the key metrics that lead to more sales and better rankings in Google.

3. Follow the latest trends in tech.

Different technology trends are dominating every next year. If you’re running or are about to start a digital business, you need to be aware of each. That matters because your customers are already using these products and services, and some might even expect you to have them as part of your payment process, content creation, marketing funnel, etc.

In addition, knowing what’s going on in the tech world will help you spot trends and know where to invest more time and resources this year. Companies must embrace new technology and use it to their advantage. Otherwise, you’ll let your competitors outrank you.

Start with a site like Packagor, that offers guides and tutorials on anything related to Mac, Windows, Android and more.

4. Create all types of content.

Content creation is cheaper than ever these days. While you can hire a freelancer to do that for you for a small cost, you can also make use of all the great softwares available.

Here are 3 solutions, for instance, to up your visual, audio and video content:

  • Use tools like Canva and PiktoChart to create beautiful infographics, eBook covers, and social media image quotes;
  • Use your smartphone or iPhone to make videos, upload them to YouTube to get in front of a new audience and enhance your brand;
  • use an all-in-one video maker to create videos, make screencasts, record tutorials, etc;
  • Get a mic and a free audio software like Audacity and start recording podcast episodes, then distribute those on iTunes or elsewhere.

These are just 4 ways in which you can use technology for your small business. And that’s just the beginning. Once you make it your norm to stay up to date with the tech industry, you’ll gain a new perspective and use it to grow your business.

Bonus Tip: Beware of Outdated Technology

Using the power of technology allows a business to spread the word about the products and services they offer. Often times, technology gives a business owner the opportunity to reach a wider audience with a limited investment.

While technology can be extremely beneficial, it also poses some risks you will need to be aware of.

Allowing the technology you use to become outdated can put you and your employees in a compromised position. Performing a routine inspection of your tech tools can be very telling.

With the information from these audits, you can figure out what changes need to be made.

The following are some of the ways outdated technology can affect your business in a negative way.

The Risk of Security Breaches

Perhaps the biggest risk posed by outdated business security is the increased risk of security breaches.

Each year, thousands of businesses are targeted by hackers. Usually, these hackers make off with lots of sensitive information that is used to steal identities.

If the software you are using is out of date, it is only a matter of time before a cyber-criminal exposes this weakness.

A cyber-attack can lead to your business losing a lot of money.

Instead of having to deal with the fallout from an attack like this, now is the time to fix the issues your business technology has. Allowing an IT professional to help with this process can reduce the time it takes to fix these problems.

Downtime Caused By Equipment Failure

For most business owners, maintaining a high level of productivity is important. If your team is not productive, it will usually lead to a lot of money being lost.

One of the biggest causes of downtime in the corporate world is technology equipment failure.

The older your servers, motherboards and computer hardware is, the higher the risk you have of it breaking down.

Some business owners think they are saving money by keeping their older equipment in use, but this usually leads to big problems.

The money that you pay to replace your outdated tech equipment will pale in comparison to what you will lose in the event of an outage.

Implementing new technology can be challenging, but it is well worth the effort you invest. Consulting with an IT professional can make finding and using new technology much easier.

Unhappy Workers Make Work Environments Tense

The success of a business generally rises and falls based on the team they have in place.

One of the most challenging tasks you will have to complete as a business owner is selecting the right employees. Once you have the right team in place, keeping them happy and content should be your main goal.

If your employees are forced to work with outdated technology, it can lead to them becoming angry and disgruntled. The lower your employee morale levels are, the harder you will find it to keep team members loyal.

As soon as you start to receive complaints from employees regarding outdated technology, you need to work on resolving the issue at hand.

While this may require you to spend money, it is worth the investment.

Often times, business owners are intimidated by new technology. If you feel apprehensive about choosing and using new technology, reaching out for some professional help is a good idea. An experienced IT professional will have no problem helping you throughout this process.