Last Updated 3 months by Emily Standley-Allard
Technology helps business growth and small businesses communicate better with their customers and automate repetitive tasks. However, keeping up with the rapid changes from year to year can be expensive and time consuming.
If you want to remain competitive with others in your industry, you must find ways to update equipment and software without breaking the bank. As the market becomes more saturated with new business owners, it’s vital to stay at the top of your game.
How Does Technology Negatively Affect Business Growth?
Statista reports an anticipated growth rate of 104% for emerging technologies by 2023. While technology can create a lot of opportunities for small and medium size businesses, there are a few drawbacks. Being aware of the cons helps you circumvent them.
- Employees may become involved with apps and games on their phones and not be productive or not engage the way they should with customers.
- Some programs and equipment are costly to invest in, leaving small businesses behind the curve of larger corporations.
- The lack of a full-time IT professional on staff can hinder the use of technology. However, hiring permanent professional staff may be out of your budget.
Fortunately, you’ll find creative solutions to any drawbacks and the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.
Here are some tips for embracing technology and building business growth without breaking the bank.
Best Technologies for Business Growth
1. Create an App
Making an app is within the reach of amateurs thanks to some of the app creation software on the market.
You could also hire a freelance professional app developer to come up with one for you. With an app, you can easily improve your customer relationships.
Ping people as they near your store and let them know about today’s specials, new arrivals or other news.
Offer a loyalty program by adding it to the features of your app. People can track points, share with friends to rack up more rewards and engage with your brand daily.
2. Speed Up Your Computers
When you purchased computers for your company, they may have been the latest and greatest.
Technology improves and new features arrive frequently, so it doesn’t take long for machines to become outdated. Replacing them all at once is costly, though.
Over time, different programs and data can make your computer run slower, too.
Running a few diagnostics and taking the steps to speed up your computer can help solve the problem and extend the life of your technology until you’re ready to upgrade.
3. Invest in Cloud Computing
Small businesses can’t afford an entire IT team to stay on top of software updates and check for security vulnerabilities.
However, they can be costly for smaller brands. Enter cloud computing. You can tap into the power of having an entire IT department at your fingertips 24/7 without the cost of doing so.
Another advantage is gaining access to a variety of software options and putting your business on a shopping platform that updates regularly and stays up with the latest trends.
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4. Automate Marketing
One of the most beneficial ways to use technology for business growth is through automated marketing.
If you’re a solopreneur or have a limited number of employees, promotional efforts may fall to the side.
Fortunately, third-party software allows you to do things such as send out automated emails to customers, segment your audience effectively and automatically post on social media platforms.
You can’t find new customers and grow if you don’t get the word out about who you are and what you do. Automating some of your marketing efforts frees up your time for other tasks and still brings in fresh clients.
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5. Enable Your Website for Smart Speakers
Already, smart speakers reside in 66.4 million homes in the United States.
If your site isn’t using natural language patterns and the right search phrases, you risk losing out on traffic from people browsing via voice command.
Keep in mind that many people also use voice features on their smartphones to look for products and services. “Hey Siri, where is the nearest dentist” would be a popular search term on a DDS company website, for example.
Think about how people speak and ensure your website uses those terms.
As more and more people add smart features to their homes, expect this area to increase in popularity. Prepare now by adding the right phrases to your pages.
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6. Improve Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
You can’t grow your customer base if you don’t keep current customers happy.
Customer relationship management tools automate much of the work for you.
You can set the system to send out a birthday greeting or reach out if your customer normally orders every four months and it’s been six months.
You can also invest in technology that tracks inventory and improves supply chain issues.
While a bit more costly to add RDF tracking devices, it’s a good thing to implement as your company grows and you need a better handle on where products are and if larger orders have arrived at their destination.
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Watch for New Trends in Technology
New devices and software releases almost constantly. Be aware of what is out there that is popular with your customers.
Can any of it be worked into what you’re already doing to grow your business?
For example, augmented reality works to let people see how a product might look in their home.
Attend conferences and talk to other small business owners to find out what they’re using to make their work easier and grow their customer base.
You can’t discover new tools if you don’t know they exist. Stay on top of trends and you’ll stay ahead of the competition.
Eleanor is the editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the director at a marketing agency prior to becoming a freelance web designer. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and dog, Bear.
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