In today’s society, an increasing number of smaller businesses are starting to rely on technology to increase their level of efficiency, increase profitability, improve performance, and manage overall expenses. Based on research by SMB Group in 2015, approximately 29% of all small businesses view technology as a means to help the company improve their outcomes. In today’s society, an increasing number of smaller businesses are starting to rely on technology to increase their level of efficiency, increase profitability, improve performance, and manage overall expenses. Based on research by SMB Group in 2015, approximately 29% of all small businesses view technology as a means to help the company improve their outcomes.
Unfortunately, staying updated on the changing technology can be difficult for a business owner who already has burdens from the company’s everyday tasks. So, to help this business owner identify the best pieces of technology in 2017, here is an article listing the technology that small businesses need to implement to be effective in their functioning.
1. Increased Growth Makes a Mobile a ‘Must-Have’ Technological Gadget
Perhaps no technological device has gained as much popularity in as short a timeframe as the mobile. According to statistics, in 2016 approximately over six billion people across the globe utilised at least one mobile device. Furthermore, that number is expected to increase by another billion in the next two years making it approximately seven billion people using mobile devices by 2020. Needless to say, this makes the mobile a ‘must-have’ piece of technology which all companies should incorporate into their business in at least four separate ways:
• A Mobile-Friendly Website
Due to more people using the internet via mobile devices, small businesses can no longer avoid the need for a mobile-friendly version of their website. Consumers are now accessing their website using mobile gadgets and it is seen that companies lacking a mobile version of their website could lose existing or potential customers. Moreover, the search engine Bing now rewards more mobile-friendly websites with an increase in search engine page rankings.
• The Mobile Apps
Scott Shane, a professor of entrepreneurial studies at Case Western Reserve University, noted in his report on small business trends that mobile app strategies are boosting revenues for smaller business owners. He pointed out that we operated in an increasingly mobile world and to function as a successful company in this world it is necessary to have well-tested and well-developed mobile apps as effective marketing strategies.
• An Electronic Payment Method
The use of online and mobile payment methods is growing with thanks to apps such as MS Wallet. Based on this, it makes sense to implement the use of these electronic payment methods as part of your website. Moreover, companies including Microsoft partner have made online credit card readers available to smaller company owners for a mobile payment service.
2. Companies Are Using the Cloud (and Are Not Returning)
The use of on-premise software and hardware is beginning to head the way of the albatross because of the availability of cloud-based solutions, such as Microsoft Office 365. This cloud-based response to hardware problems is highly beneficial as it offers greater security, scalability, efficiency, and higher flexibility than any of the on-premises storage options. With software such as Cyren DNS, cloud-based solutions are more preferred by small business owners for a peace of mind.
3. Marketing Automation Improves Efficiency Levels
The use of marketing automation software has increased the ease of marketing activities for smaller companies increasing their level of efficiency and eliminating the need to hire marketing professionals for this task.
Further advantages include an ability to segment messages, score leads, and set up procedures that will trigger certain responses based on the actions taken by the consumer. Automation software, when installed correctly, can link easily with CRM platforms bring together sales and marketing; thereby, providing the company with a 360-degree perspective of the prospect or client. CRM platforms, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365, do the majority of the ‘heavy lifting’ that would have originally been handled manually.
4. Emails Continue Using Tried-and-True Marketing Technology
Email is considered the ‘tried-and-true’ online marketing technology that has been used since the late 20th century. Despite the predictions of it being a negative technology, email continues to favour cost-effective promotional medium for smaller companies. In fact, email technology was ranked as the most beneficial channel when looking at return on investment – a trend that will not alter in 2017 or future years.