Small businesses of any type and size do need technology to operate in today’s fast paced business arena. Laptop computers, printers, online storage, and Internet capabilities have made it possible for small businesses to take on tasks that in the past could only be handled by large enterprises.
The impact that technology has on a small business will vary based on a company’s goals, the products or services they offer, and the adaptability of entrepreneurs and employees to adopt new technologies, but you do need some technology solutions for your small business in any way.
This article will list and discuss the five most important technologies small businesses must consider in order to increase efficiency and grow to the next level.
1- CPQ Software
Configure, price, quote software, also known as CPQ softwarehelps small businesses accelerate sales. It works generating quotes and managing project configuration requests. This makes it possible for customers to get a quick quote with accurate pricing that is customized to their needs.
A number of CPQ solutions have been designed to integrate with CMR software. This makes it possible for sales reps to use the customer data they already have stored when making quotes. When both programs work together, a small business has one set of customer records as opposed to duplicating these records.
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Your sales force will primarily benefit from CPQ software. It speeds up the configuration process, allowing your sales force to quickly generate quotes based on the customized needs of your clients as reflected in your CMR software. Being able to offer your clients customized quotes quickly empowers your sales force to make sales, which means revenue that can be reinvested in your small business.
2- Cyber Security
Investing in robust cyber security is no more an option for small businesses, it is rather a compulsion.
Every year you are likely to hear about data breaches that affect large corporations. These data breaches make the news because they affect hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people. This has led some small business owners to think that the size of their business makes them immune to cyber-attacks.
The reality is that 61 percent of cyber-attacks affect small businesses. Technology that is used to protect larger enterprises is now being adapted by smaller businesses as they realize the importance of taking security measures to heart. Ransomware and other malicious software are forcing small business owners to invest in comprehensive backup and disaster recovery solutions.
3- The Social Media
The use of social media is not something revolutionary. It’s a basic tactic that can be used to help small businesses grow. Social media is allowing small businesses to reach the same audience once reserved for multinational enterprises.
Social media serves two purposes. First, it is a way for small business owners to speak to clients and potential clients. It’s a way for them to create and share their brand and their ethos with others. Second, it serves as a way for customers to communicate with the small business. They can leave complaints, feedback, thanks, etc.
Social media can make a small business seem more personable. It can create a brand loyalty that will encourage people to purchase from them even if it is more expensive to do so.
So, if your business has been reluctant to the Social Media so far, do not waste a second and take your business to the social media stage now.
4- The Remote Workers
Connectivity has widened the talent pool that small business owners can choose from. Now, they can select employees who have a particular skill set on the other side of the globe. Voice over IP and videoconferencing has made having meetings with individuals thousands of miles apart as easy if they were all in the same building.
Working from remote locations allows employees to be in an environment that is comfortable for them while achieving their full potential. It saves small business owners money because they do not have to rent or purchase a physical space to house employees.
Having a remote workforce though have its own challenges, but it can drastically reduce your overheads. So, if you are planning to work on increasing efficiency of your business, do consider taking calculated risk of remote workforce.
5- Cloud Storage
Cloud storage can help small businesses reduce the number of computers and software that they use. Cloud storage allows privileged individuals access to information anywhere in the world. They can use tablets, laptops, or smartphones by simply using a shareable link.
The Bottom Line
Technology is allowing small businesses to automate tasks and save time. This allows them to provide better services to a larger group of customers. It is also giving more people an opportunity to offer their services to the masses, which creates competition. Competition is good for the customer.
There may be tens of other technologies depending on the nature and goals of the business, but the above five are must haves for any business.