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Technology Impact on Small Businesses

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We live in an era dominated by technology, and not just in the workplace. It’s all around us, from our HD TV to sophisticated doorbell and security systems.

Technology Impact on Small Businesses

Even your average family car is the most advanced in terms of technology ever. Perhaps the leading device in all of this is the smartphone.

At last count, it was believed that more than 48% of people on earth use a smartphone. That is nothing short of a bewildering statistic.

However, we want to look at the impact of technology o small businesses. Has it helped or hindered them, and if so, how? What are the most critical factors regarding business technology and the smaller company, and what does the future hold?

Let’s begin by looking at one area of the software that has made a significant difference to many smaller businesses, especially in the past year and a half.

Booking and Scheduling Software

Businesses such as personal trainers, counselors, life coaches, and tutors – just about any company that runs on an essentially one-to-one basis – were hit hard by the pandemic.

With travel restricted and physical appointments not permitted, many had to look elsewhere for a way to stay afloat. The answer lay in video conferencing software.

However, there’s more to some of these software packages, simply enabling face-to-face engagement over the internet.

Missed.com, for example, is a booking software with payment processing package that also includes video. The advantage of a package such as this is that a trainer, for example, can put a calendar in the cloud.

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His or her clients then choose a slot that is convenient to them and book it. The trainer receives notification, and the client does too. The advantage of this system is that it keeps everyone informed as to what is available and what is not.

The convenience of this package cannot be overlooked, as it is also useful for booking meetings and for group conversations using the video.

It also permits the trainer to ensure payments are requested when required and are processed through a safe and secure portal that the client is satisfied with.

This is a great example of how businesses have opened their eyes to new technology thanks to a crisis that nobody could have expected.

The Smartphone and Small Businesses

Now we move onto the device that practically rules the world: the mobile smartphone.

Those of us around when the first mobile phones came onto the market could not have foreseen that those basic and simple – yet, back then, seemingly amazing – devices would evolve into what we have now.

The mobile handset is ubiquitous. As we mentioned at the start, some 48% of the population across the world owns a smartphone.

That is a colossal 3.4billion people, or thereabouts. How does this translate to influencing small businesses? Quite simply, it means that you need to be smartphone-optimized to capitalize on these items’ popularity and widespread use.

The smartphone is set to overtake other mediums as the primary choice not just for online retail but also for searching for and booking services. So, if your website is not optimized for mobile, you will be missing out.

The amount of income that eCommerce businesses, for example, get from smartphone users is simply astonishing. Any type of business needs to be considered in any sphere, whether online or bricks and mortar.

The smartphone is the focus of the consumer on the move; hence your need to put your business in the public eye to be visible on this service, on social media, and the mobile search engines.

Home Working Trends

We cannot overlook the boom in home working that has escalated over the past two years, as this has brought some interesting advances in technology into the picture.

The likes of headsets for telephony, for example, have become much more popular. Therefore, the manufacturers have stepped up to the plate with improved and better models at sensible prices.

Also in demand are laptops, which had taken something of a dive in the market with the rise of the tablet. It is much easier to type into a document or spreadsheet using a laptop with a full keyboard than on a tablet.

It is no surprise that industry commentators expect many future developments in business technology to be aimed at home or remote working.

More people are choosing to run a business from home, and smaller businesses may benefit from allowing desk-based staff to do so, as it means less upkeep of an expensive office.

Software packages that track workers’ progress down to the keystroke are available and have proven that productivity equivalent to an office can be achieved.

What the Future Holds

What is the future of technology, and how will it impact small businesses? It’s not a question that is easy to answer.

Still, we will say that there will likely be many advances in current technology and new developments that will help run businesses more efficiently.

The general trend seems to improve and ensure productivity, both in the workplace and for remote workers.

Conclusion

This is likely to continue as more people than ever are choosing to work from home and avoid the tiresome and expensive daily commute. Be assured that whatever happens, the smartphone will always be involved.

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