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.

Here's Why Organizational Knowledge Sharing Means a Smarter Workforce

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;
  • 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.