While the latest technology has always had a role to play within the workplace, there are numerous innovations, resources and trends that are changing the way small businesses operate. From virtual offices and off-site workers to automated marketing and smarter inventory management systems, today's small businesses are taking advantage of digital technology in numerous ways that would have been hard to imagine just a few short years ago. The following trends highlight just some of the ways that the latest technology and innovation is changing the way that today's companies are able to do business.
Small Businesses Go Virtual
From allowing staff and employees to do their work from home to utilizing virtual office services in order to reduce the costs associated with a startup or expansion effort, virtual solutions are playing a bigger role in the day to day operations of small businesses than ever before. A virtual workforce or business environment may offer several key advantages, such as:
- Reduced overhead costs
- Less demanding hiring processes
- Enhanced flexibility and the means to better adapt a business to changing circumstances
Mobile Applications Changing the Way Businesses Interact With Customers and Clients
Just as conventional websites changed the way that businesses were able to interact with their customers during the 1990s, mobile applications are having quite an impact in the way that today's consumers choose to conduct business. A quality mobile app provides a more streamlined experience, one that can ensure customers and clients are better able to products, services and opportunities they seek. Small businesses that overlook the potential benefits that a well-made application is able to offer could be placing themselves at a bigger disadvantage than they might realize. A quality app can go a long way towards improving customer relationships, communication and satisfaction.
In the past, conventional promotional efforts and advertising campaign often created a real obstacle for small businesses. On one hand, marketing strategies are often essential for businesses seeking to establish themselves while on the other few startups had the financial resources needed to address such concerns. Automated marketing techniques and promotional services, such as an email marketing agency, search engine optimization techniques, and other digital advertising methods can provide results that may be far superior to those of their conventional counterparts. Another advantage of digital marketing resources is that they can often be found for a fraction of the cost associated with more established and traditional advertising methods.
Inventory Management Systems
A more efficient, streamlined and automated inventory management system can be an essential asset for small businesses. Building and maintaining high levels of inventory and either hiring new personnel or tasking existing employees with inventory management duties can result in a great deal of avoidable expense. Systems that can track sales, manage inventory levels and provide small business owners with greater insight regarding their daily operations may be used to greatly enhance and optimize efficiency levels. Relying on an outdated method to track and manage inventory has become a costly liability, one that few small businesses and new startups can afford to overlook.
The Future of Business Technology
According to Forbes, as big a difference as today's hottest technology trends are poised to make, future innovations promise to make an even bigger impact on the way small businesses operate. From self-driving vehicles that may greatly simplify fleet management efforts to software and digital applications able to automate a wider range of tasks, efforts and processes, emerging technologies may end up doing nothing short of revolutionizing the world of small business. Professionals and business owners who fail to keep an eye on the latest technologies and the future changes that may be just around the corner may be hard pressed to take advantage of the numerous benefits and advantages that the latest innovation is able to make possible.