Small businesses have taken a back seat to their larger competitors – until the onset of the information age. Thanks to the evolution of modern technology, small businesses across the globe can efficiently run a business while competing with larger corporations. There are now a plethora of technological tools that entrepreneurs can utilize to start and grow their business. Every aspect of running a small business has been streamlined by the implementation of the right technological resources.
Let’s look a bit closer at some examples.
Small businesses who sell products often maintain some form of inventory management. Keeping track of what is in stock can essentially help to meet the needs of the customers, eliminate waste, and cut down on company costs. Traditional methods of managing inventory can be tedious for a small business with few employees. With the use of tools such as these listed below, small business owners are able to keep track of their inventory, save time, reduce waste, and increase productivity:
Inventory management software – Computer and cloud based applications make managing inventory a lot easier. Many platforms allow users to enter product information, customer details, all while syncing with accounting and sales software to keep track of what’s in stock and how it’s affecting your bottom line.
Barcodes – Barcoding is an efficient way to keep track of your inventory. New technological devices such as the Pronto! barcode printer by QuickLabel makes it seamlessly easy for small businesses to generate and print barcodes to label their products. Aside from helping to keep track of inventory, barcodes are ideal for helping you to monitor the types of products your customers are most interested in, and they also save time and minimize the potential for data entry errors (human error).
Communication is an integral part of business. From talking with clients to communicating amongst staff, it is essentially how business gets done. Technology has evolved so that small business owners can afford reliable yet efficient methods of communicating. Here’s an example of some technology that has helped to improve business communications:
Internet Phones – Traditional landlines can be costly and often hinder a business’s ability to communicate from various locations. Internet phone services such as VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) create a platform for small businesses to expand their lines of communication. Many internet phone services only require an internet capable device and a few software plug-ins. Businesses are able to communicate from virtually anywhere making it easier for small businesses who may operate remotely or travel often.
Video Conferencing – Meetings with clients, customers, or even staff in the past meant being in the same room. For small businesses who may work remotely, have a small space, or need to commute, the overhead costs could add up. Now, video conferencing applications make it easier for businesses to meet.
When your business is comprised of a small staff, managing the accounting system can be pretty daunting. While in times past, this would mean keeping track of physical receipts and logging everything in a spreadsheet or accounting log, today it’s a lot simpler. Accounting software makes it easier to input, track, and assess company finances so that they stay on budget and remain in compliance with tax law.
The world of marketing has really done an about face, and it is definitely beneficial to small business. With so many technological platforms available to market, small businesses can easily reach millions in a matter of seconds. Some of the most common marketing tools used today by small businesses would include:
Social Media – Social media is a huge platform for developing your brand and connecting with your target audience. Many small businesses utilize this platform as a way to connect and grow their “fan base”. This essentially makes it easier to gear their business towards the needs of their consumers.
Blogs – Content marketing is king in this informational age. Small businesses with well optimized sites often include blog posts that allow them to share their voice and keep their customers engaged and informed. Blogs can be beneficial for increasing search engine rankings on popular sites like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
.If you’re a small business owner looking for technological solutions to help grow your business, the above ideas are a great place to start as these areas of business are extremely important. All in all, technology has helped small businesses, startups, and solopreneurs to conduct business as if they were a major corporation. The platforms described above make it a lot easier to manage a business and provide efficient customer service which of course only helps businesses to succeed.