5 Ways Small Businesses Can Leverage Big Business Technology
Incorporating technology into your small business can seem daunting. With understandably smaller budgets and fewer resources than larger competitors, every investment must be thoroughly justified. Fortunately modern technology’s advancement is making it easier for small businesses to access the latest tools for successful scaling.
Embracing collaboration across your small business efforts is essential for long term success. Collaboration tools can make a significant impact on your teams productivity by improving efficiency and general outcomes of several business tasks.
Thanks to internet-based software providers, working in correlation with remote employees and third-party professionals is becoming more accessible and cost effective for small business owners.
The mission of any collaboration software is improved communication, file sharing, conferencing, and project participation.To help determine which sort of collaboration technology is best suited for your team, you first need to consider the demands of your small business.
Communication: Communication focused collaboration software streamlines interoffice and
client communication through instant messaging and chat applications.
Email, voice mail, instant messaging, VoiP or video calls
Conferencing: Through unified screen-sharing, conferencing collaboration software
enables real-time collaboration over a project or presentation regardless of individuals locations.
Video conferencing, teleconferencing, shared screens, application sharing
Coordination: Facilitate group initiatives, schedules and deliverables with ease through the use of coordination tools.
Calendars, time trackers, client portals, project alerts
Collaboration increases productivity within a business by more than 40%.
Managing and storing data is as important to small businesses as they begin to scale. That’s why businesses of all sizes are increasingly making the shift to the cloud. By 2020 it is expected that 78 percent of small businesses will be “fully adapted” to cloud computing.
Due to this widespread adoption of the cloud, providers are making this advanced technology attainable for all budgets. This is particularly useful for small businesses in need of greater flexibility. With the cloud, employees can access documents wherever they are via whichever internet connected device they have on hand.
While small businesses generally have reduced resources, the cloud helps save business costs in terms of IT personnel, electricity and software management.
While cloud computing works off site and is continuously monitored and updated by outside IT professionals, you can rest easy knowing your files are safe and secure without breaking the bank.
Regardless of company size, insight into customer data is critical to successfully meeting those consumer’s demands. Without access to data analytics, you could be missing out on opportunities for growth or unknowingly making harmful business decisions.
Fortunately, data analytics tools have become increasingly more accessible for small businesses and are providing insight to more information than ever before. Used properly, data analytics can set you up for delivering relevant messaging and offerings to improve customer satisfaction and engagement.
Through small business analytics, business owners can evaluate specific performance metrics and datasets to gain insight on particular projects and successes. The automated analysis of data is especially helpful to small businesses because these insights are:
Actionable: Small segments of data enable you to make organized, strategic changes to your business without feeling too overwhelmed by large amounts of general data.
Timely: Small data provided real-time information, allowing you to easily identify trends and act accordingly.
Comprehensible: Easily digestible, small data sets are targeted and ready to serve appropriate teams useful and clear insights.
Developing a successful marketing strategy can seem overwhelming for small business owners who may not have the luxury of a designated marketing team. Fortunately, due to the explosion of social media, businesses can create impactful campaigns capable of reaching wide audiences from their smartphone.
As any enterprise-level business would structure a marketing campaign, small businesses should adopt similar strategies to succeed with social media.
4. Identify Objectives
Take the time to identify your marketing objectives and strategize how you can achieve them through social media. Recognizing what you’re hoping to achieve is a necessary first step in developing your campaigns.
Establishing your business as an authority in your industry takes time. Don’t be discouraged however. It’s never too late to get started. Concentrate on creating informative, aesthetically pleasing social media accounts that attract and engage audiences. Building a loyal following can dramatically impact your customer base and brand loyalty.
5. Utilize Technology
There are numerous social analytics tools for small business marketers. They are designed to accurately track valuable metrics and provide useful insights to help refine your strategy.
Keyhole: Measures brand and campaign impact on Twitter and Instagram by tracking real-time and historical data around URLs, hashtags and keyphrases. With this tool you can collect data on top posts, user demographics and influence data, all metrics you can use to optimize future campaigns.
Google Analytics: While not solely a social media tool, GA offers value by analyzing how social activity affects your overall web presence. Network referrals, trackbacks, and conversions are all made available through an easy to read dashboard.
Hootsuite: Small business owners have enough on their plate as it is, this tool keeps your social presence active by automatically scheduling hundreds of social media posts across your accounts at once.
Technology is paving the way for small business to succeed and scale in more ways than ever before. Remaining innovative and embracing technology can help maximize your profitability and provide the service your customers deserve.
Author Bio: Maddie Davis is the co-founder of Enlightened Digital and a tech-obsessed female from the Big Apple. She lives by building and redesigning websites, running marathons and reading anything and everything on the NYT Best Sellers list.