Technology is like blood for modern businesses. You don’t have to have a tech business to be reliant on modern software and hardware advancements. Instead, technology is at the core of all processes for non-tech organizations as well. From database security to expansion of operations beyond national boundaries, businesses have to use technology to their advantage to achieve it all. While large enterprises continue to benefit from the most advanced hardware and software tech for their growth, small businesses often come across the dilemma of whether to invest their limited capital in tech or to continue operating without it.
Here are some tech trends that are common in small businesses today because they prove to be cost-efficient in the long run.
Technology Trends for Small Businesses
The Big Data Management
You will be wrong if you think a small business does not need to manage big data. From downloadable training material for your employees to customer information and profile that your customer support department is collecting, all are contributing to big data. The number one challenge for small and large businesses is to manage big data, categorize it to make sense of it and use it to empower business processes and growth. Small business owners can consider outsourcing their big data management as an affordable and practical solution. Outsourcing IT has surfaced as a way for small businesses to compete with large corporations on a head-to-head level.
The Project Management
Project management technology has seen a lot of growth in recent years. The growth of small businesses depends on the successful completion of its projects. The good news is that there are now several software tools that specifically address the project management needs of small businesses. They convert an entire project into several small parts for ease of management. Moreover, they can present the progress of all those tasks visually. These features make project management convenient and efficient and increase the rate of their successful completion.
The Productivity Tools
The performance of a business depends on the efficiency and productivity of its employees. It does not matter how high-tech the technology is that you are using in your workplace. If your employees are not giving their best, your efforts will end up in smoke. Productivity tools help employees stay focused on their primary tasks and prevent delays. These tools can be as simple as a reminder that reminds the employee about an important meeting or a to-do list that allows them to attach documents with their to-dos.
The Energy Efficient Appliances
LEDs have become the new way to brighten the world. You can now include them in security systems and control them from smartphone applications. You can control the brightness of these LED lights and don’t have to keep them on maximum brightness all the time to save energy costs. Furthermore, small business owners can use all-in-one machines to save energy. Rather than buying a separate scanner, photocopier, and printer, they can buy an all-in-one device that not only saves energy but occupies less office space. Similarly, water dispensers, refrigerators, etc. should also be energy efficient.
The Affordable Security
Installing security cameras in offices makes all the more sense now that this technology has gotten so much better today. However, it is the costs that often keep small businesses from approaching such solutions. Take the costs of storing your video for example. A 24/7 recording will take up GBs of space on your hard drives. And then you will have to arrange even more external hard drives to take the backup of that data. That’s where cloud solution has solved the problem for small businesses. By paying a small monthly fee to a third-party, small businesses can store their security footage on the cloud. Paying a little extra enables them to get permanent backups and instant access to those backups as well.
Knowledge Sharing Platforms
Knowledge sharing platforms can also prove to be cost-efficient solutions for small and large businesses both. These platforms allow employees at a company to share their knowledge about things with each other on a centralized platform. The same platform also serves as a repository for employees to get information about company policies, operations, training, etc. Every feedback, comment or instruction that an employee gives using the platform adds to the knowledge base. Such platforms can greatly reduce training costs on new employees and help newcomers learn more effectively and efficiently.
The Paperless Accounting
Paper can be costly, especially when you are printing on only one side of it. Duplex printing is a great solution for internal filing, but how does it help when you have to send invoices to your clients? You have to come off as a professional organization, and that’s not possible when the other side of the invoice has your internal emails printed on them. The best solution to this problem is paperless invoicing through invoicing software tools. Small businesses can use these tools to send electronic invoices to their clients. They can even generate those invoices automatically on the set dates with the additional features.
Why spend so much money on arranging office space and providing comprehensive benefits to the workers when they can work like contractors from home? A lot of the emailing, writing, graphic designing and communication work is possible remotely with the help of modern software platforms. Such technology allows small businesses to save on operational costs and employee benefits. Writers, graphic designers, secretaries, customer support, sales support, etc. can all work remotely today at a fraction of a cost of having the same people in-house.
As a small business owner, you have to learn to rely on technology for your business operations. It might sound a bit difficult and too futuristic at the beginning, but the long-term benefits of using modern technological solutions are considerable. You have to keep in mind that many small businesses shut down soon because they cannot afford the operational costs because their profit margins are very thin. The use of these technologies turns those thin margins into thick profits.
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