Five ways small businesses can turn technology into potential tools — Retail Technology Innovation Hub

Data indicates that several small businesses have increased technology usage in the past five years. This is commendable, especially when tech tools and tech inclined strategies largely lead the business world.

A little over a decade ago, reports indicated that many small businesses relied heavily on referrals to remain in business.

As of 2020, 56% of SMEs use technology to sell and manage day-to-day operations. Indeed, technology has made an impact in all areas of life. With that said, here’s how small businesses can turn technology into potential business tools.

1. Expand market reach and connect with people

Technology as a communication tool cannot be underestimated. It holds countless benefits and advantages for small businesses.

Usually, larger companies are known to spend a significant percentage of their annual budget on communication technology tools. Today, reports indicate that the average small business spends at least 5% of its annual budget on the same.

This only shows that many small business owners are beginning to realise the advantages that communication technology brings to their operations.

By building their digital presence on online platforms, small businesses can expand their market reach and increase the chance of making more sales.

Apart from these online channels, more small businesses are focusing on customised email ads, newsletters and interacting more on social media. A 2020 survey on small businesses showed an 85% increase in online interactions with their target audience.

While the pandemic may have played an influential role in this, others believe the timing was just right for small businesses to utilise communication technology tools more. Moreover, as competition continues to increase, it makes sense for small businesses to up their game.

2. Improve marketing tactics

Every business establishment makes use of marketing techniques to appeal more to the target audience. Some years ago, when traditional marketing was the order of the day, several businesses relied on that to increase brand awareness.

Fast forward to the technology age, and digital marketing is leading. This form of marketing allows businesses to steer the direction of their marketing techniques. From timing, concept, the extent of reach and success measurement, digital marketing makes things easier.

For example, when small businesses plan their marketing campaign, they have the liberty to post it on social media and their website. Additionally, with the help of analytics and other digital measuring tools, they are able to determine the success of specific marketing campaigns.

By enabling businesses to directly control their marketing tactics, entrepreneurs can tweak their strategies when necessary. More importantly, a small business can now check real-time feedback on its marketing activities.

3. Enhance event planning and execution

Many small businesses have realised the importance of brand awareness. Consequently, several establishments host events to get their brand across to a wider audience.

Hosting an event is another complex activity altogether. However, the challenges can be surmounted with the help of technology. For instance, when attendees have to register at the grounds, it would be better to look at using an iPad rental for events service.

Such digital registrations help create a smooth process. Moreover, with the help of such technology, it is easy to upload entries onto a cloud platform. Subsequently, the list of registered attendees can become part of your small business’s contact list for future purposes.

When compiling the list of registered event guests, you have a responsibility to protect their personal details. The last thing you want as a small business is to be slapped with a data protection infringement. Scenarios like that often do not augur well for the future relevance of businesses.

4. Enhance remote work, if needed

The pandemic caused a major shift in traditional working styles.

And remote working has now become an alternative to the popular 9 – 5 job. The exciting part about this is that remote work seems to draw better productivity from workers. Internet connectivity is what drives this technological boon.

While remote work’s success depends largely on the type of establishment, many believe it can still be adapted to fit different operations. Fortunately, many small businesses have seen the advantages of remote working and have provided the needed tools for teams to work away from the site if required.

5. Saving time through automation

Doing the same thing repetitively creates boredom and disinterest in the job at hand. This is where automation comes into the picture.

Automating specific business tasks saves time and may help reduce apathy for the job. Some automation examples are supplier onboarding, vendor management, quotations, reporting and claims processing.

By simplifying these processes, businesses can have more time to attend to other pressing work areas.

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