Technology is advancing at a rapid rate, yet many businesses have not figured out how to use it to their advantage.
In this article, we will explore the various ways to use technology to increase your chances of long-term survival in a competitive market.
The brutal reality of the 21st century is that businesses that do not take advantage of technology rarely attain growth, relevance, and customer satisfaction. In other words, a business can measure its growth rate by the technological trends it adopts.
Those that neglect to implement relevant technological tools often die out as they lose their competitive edge and fail to maximize profits and meet customer expectations.
But businesses that embrace these tools experience a revitalization that puts them ahead of competitors. According to Forbes, 55% of companies without the right technology to implement a digital transformation believe they would lose market share in less than a year.
To ensure that this does not happen to you, here are a few ways you can take advantage of technology in your business.
How to Take Advantage of Technology in Your Business:
- Lose the office, go remote
- Increase your productivity for better outcomes
- Video chat and messaging
- Communicate faster, securely, and better
- Create better marketing campaigns
- Consider web-based payments
- Streamline accounting processes
- Measure user engagement
- Get social
- Invest in back-up software
1. Lose the Office, Go Remote
It can be expensive to run a business from a physical space. Fortunately, with the internet’s fast and far-reaching arms, you can redirect the money you spend on rent each year to other areas of your business.
Statistically, remote work is less costly but delivers outstanding benefits for both employers and employees. For the former, the proven benefits transcend saving money on rent, furniture, computer devices, and other essentials that make an office space operational.
You would also have access to a larger talent pool and enjoy easier recruitment, streamlined production processes, increased retention, and improved productivity.
If it is possible to coordinate your business operations via the internet, you must consider losing the office.
2. Increase Your Productivity for Better Outcomes
Implementing relevant productivity tools can have a significant impact on your profits and business as a whole.
Start with time-tracking software to measure your team’s input. When done efficiently, the data can help improve accountability, productivity, and process improvement.
Dictation software, project management, and task management tools can streamline processes and help you stay on top of your operations.
You can also consider a cloud-based storage solution, such as Google Drive, that allows you to save files online and access them anywhere from internet-enabled devices.
For email management, automate email routines to make it easier to stay on top of your correspondence.
3. Video Chat and Messaging
Effective communication plays an integral role in running a remote office successfully. Use Zoom, Skype, or other secure video conferencing tools to hold meetings with your team. It beats spending so much time and energy to organize in-person meetings.
For instant messaging, consider Slack, a web-based communication tool for businesses. Your team can log in from anywhere in the world, as well as have the flexibility to come and go as they please without losing important updates.
The technological tools that facilitate communication can change how you coordinate and organize your operations. It can also bring you closer to your team and make you a hands-on leader.
4. Communicate Faster, Securely, and Better
The advancements in technology have made traditional phones incompatible with businesses. Landlines and personal phones do not have the capacity to handle voice correspondence within and around your business. That is where Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) comes in.
When you make the switch to VoIP, you stand to enjoy lower costs and increased accessibility. You would also have higher scalability, clearer voice quality, and complete portability.
VoIPs help businesses manage leads and existing clients as well as have better flexibility with softphones. In most cases, it supports multitasking, contact management, reminders, and has advanced features for all teams, big and small.
5. Create Better Marketing Campaigns
A common goal of most businesses is to maximize profits and gain exposure. Fortunately, a well-strategized marketing plan can drive traffic to your products and services and help you attain that goal.
In the age of advanced technology, you no longer have to post flyers around the neighborhood or buy ads on TV, newspapers, and magazines. Start with marketing planning software and harness the power of social media platforms to tell people about your business.
Build a community by creating a blog. To reach your target audience, collect email addresses with an opt-in form. You can also use video marketing to reach potential clients and promote your business with a website.
6. Consider Web-Based Payments
One of the top benefits of using technology is having access to simple, yet completely secure web-based payment systems like PayPal, Skrill, or Stripe. Bank wire transfers are not always ideal as it can be time-consuming and may require going to the bank or calling an operator for assistance.
If you work primarily with vendors, outsource work to freelancers, or have contractual employees abroad, you must consider online payment systems. They allow you to send encrypted transfers that can be completed within minutes.
Web-based payments are flexible and enable businesses to offer a variety of payment options for customers.
7. Streamline Accounting Processes
Technology is on a mission to revolutionize our world, and for the most part, it is achieving success on all levels. With word processing tools and specialized accounting software, businesses can still be fully functional and their financials automated.
This helps accountants to redirect their attention to the issues that matter most as accounting software tools can handle simple tasks with little to no margin of error.
Accounting software has also proven to be very beneficial to small businesses that cannot afford full-time accountants. Simple tasks such as invoicing and tracking payments can be done with ease, at any time of the day.
8. Measure User Engagement
Who is your target audience? How many visitors visit your website? How long do they spend on your website? What type of content does your target audience enjoy?
Google Analytics is one of the best tools that track and provide accurate data about your website traffic. It also helps to measure user engagement effectively.
Small and medium-sized companies can use this nifty technological tool to analyze user readership and interpret them to improve conversions.
For social media, take advantage of the in-built analytics tool to see the location of your audience, their peak periods on social media, and collect other relevant data on demographics.
9. Get Social
Every business must have a social media presence. If you are unsure about which social media platform would be ideal for your business, start with Twitter. The limited 140 characters per post will help you publish direct, yet engaging messages to an audience for free.
It will allow you to craft a business identity that communicates your brand ethos and personality. This is critical since it helps to get the attention of your target audience.
Since Twitter allows direct communication between two people, use it to deliver exceptional customer service. You can also use it to run polls, share links to relevant resources, promote products and services, all of which will help you interact better with your audience.
10. Invest in Back-Up Software
Remote working and telecommuting mean you would run a paperless operation. While it is environmentally-conscious and a great way to save money on rent on office supplies, there is a risk of losing files.
This is why you should invest in a back-up system to ensure the safety and security of private files. With this system in place, you would never worry about data loss and data breach again.
You can also access the contents of your cloud, download data, and make relevant updates. If you invest in back-up software, be mindful of hackers and speak to your data storage provider about any concerns you may have.
Gain Competitive Advantage With the Best Technological Tools
Technology will continue to impact and alter our world. It is up to you to take advantage of its impact and tools to improve your business.
As a business owner looking to maximize profits and convert leads, you must analyze your business and find the right tools that will help streamline operations and increase productivity.
By taking this step, you will make conscious decisions that will prove beneficial to the future of your business.
The benefits of adopting technological trends for your business are many. A few include the opportunity to meet customers’ needs and collaborate better with your team. It also enables you to target audience segments effectively and improve work-life balance.
Technology also delivers improved flexibility, reduction of human error, and streamlines production processes.
As you explore the ways you can take advantage of your business, we hope you remember that technology changes so fast. What may be relevant today may have little significance tomorrow. So, stay on top of the trends that are relevant to your business.