Running a small business can be complex. Gone are the days of simply putting an ad in the local newspaper and hoping that people will walk through your door. In today’s age, small businesses run on technology. Apps, software and automation all top the list of must-haves for small business owners. Here’s how to harness the power of tech to boost your bottom line.
Small Business Technology Solutions to Implement
1. Artificial Intelligence
While Artificial Intelligence (AI) may seem like something built only for large enterprises, it’s only a matter of time until the technology is widely adopted by businesses of all sizes. When it comes to small business, AI can power cybersecurity, aid in customer relationship marketing (CRM), streamline customer service and help with personal productivity at work.
How It Can Help: Free up time in your day by outsourcing mundane tasks to an AI program. From inputting data to drafting emails, AI can handle the grunt work so you can get back to building your business.
2. Mobile Payments
There’s no doubt that the pandemic helped increase the demand for fast, contactless and secure digital payments. Now, the trend towards contactless transactions continues to grow as consumers increasingly rely on the digital wallets found on their smartphones and wearable tech devices.
How It Can Help: According to WorldPay’s Global Payments Report, digital wallets are projected to represent 52.5 percent of transaction values by 2025, and are likely to replace debit cards in the near future. More convenience for customers may mean more sales for you.
3. Project Management Software
Sticky note to-do lists and ad hoc spreadsheets have been replaced by project management software. These tools are some of the best technologies for small businesses looking for efficient ways to organize their operations. Online project management software companies like Asana can help you schedule tasks and track whether a project is being completed on time and within budget.
How It Can Help: In addition to keeping track of your to-dos, project management tools also make it easier for teams to collaborate, whether they’re working in a central office or remotely across the country.
4. Invoicing Software
Invoicing isn’t the headache it once was. Tools like Freshbooks, allow small business owners to draft invoices, create recurring invoices, track time, request online payments and view payment statuses.
How It Can Help: This digital invoicing magic means you save time and money by streamlining the process. Plus, you get a real-time view of cash flow.
5. Online Payment Services
If you’d like to collect money from an outstanding invoice and send recurring or one-time payments without a single transaction fee, companies like Dwolla give you a chance to do just that.
How It Can Help: Using the right technology for your small business can help you receive payments in a timely manner as well as keep track of your own outstanding invoices.
6. Online Shopping Cart
In the past, you couldn’t sell your products online without a fully integrated e-commerce website. That all changed with rise of online shopping cart providers such as Shopify. Now, you can set up an online store in just a few clicks.
How It Can Help: Today’s consumer expects a seamless online shopping experience. Prevent abandoned carts by utilizing tools that make transactions quick and easy.
7. Automated Email Marketing
On average, email drives an ROI of $36 for every dollar spent, higher than any other channel. By sending coupons, specials and other announcements directly to your customers through email, your small business can drive sales and boost awareness without overspending.
How It Can Help: Save time and boost sales by automating your email sends, while still personalizing your campaign content. Digital tools like MailChimp make it easy to create an email campaign from start to finish.
8. Digital Advertising
This cost-effective advertising option is an excellent resource for small businesses. Advertising can be found anywhere from search engines to social media platforms and blogs. Small business owners don’t need an extensive background in advertising to make money through advertising on these platforms.
How It Can Help: New advances in digital advertising give businesses the ability to use location-based services to target smaller, more concentrated areas around their business locations. This technology has given rise to “geo-conquesting,” where a business owner can serve an ad to a customer who walks into a competitor’s store, hoping to give them second thoughts about their present decision on where to shop.
Small Business Owners, We’ve Got Your Back
Protecting the communities where Farm Bureau members live and work is our top priority, and we’re proud of the small businesses we serve. Contact your local Farm Bureau agent today to discuss how we can help you get small business insurance.