If you are the owner of a small business, you are probably already well aware of the value of keeping your operations and systems up to date. It is important to take advantage of the latest technological trends and find ways to increase efficiency in your day-to-day operations. There have been quite a few advancements in the technological sphere in the past decade that have a tremendous impact on not only businesses but our daily life – a few don’t necessarily measure up, but many others are very helpful, especially to nascent companies still finding their footing.
The following is a list of tech advancements that have had a huge effect on business, and which are now strongly recommended for any budding entrepreneur.
1. Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity is one of the most important issues we are facing these days, not just as consumers or business owners, but as government officials come to terms with the wild west nature of the online world. This won’t be the first time we mention artificial intelligence in this article, but perhaps its greatest usage is in curbing the nefarious activities of different hackers or fraudulent activities. This tech advancement is vital because it allows computers to identify and report on potential issues right away, while also solving them in real-time.
2. Centralized Salary Payments
Having a full-time staff and external contractors on the payroll is a timesuck for any business owner, and is a job that usually takes forever to complete. However, the new software offers streamlined payment capabilities that make it much easier to pay your employees without having to sink a lot of time and money into the endeavor. You can now keep track of benefit changes, increases in salaries, track people’s hours, and even requests for time off in one, integrated place. This helps to save a lot of time and paperwork.
3. Communication Tools
While we may not be working remotely forever, most companies may utilize remote work to a degree long after the pandemic is behind us. Thankfully, the number of communication tools out there makes it easy to stay in touch and manage complicated projects from virtually anywhere in the world. Besides the usual texting software, there are also video chats, conference calls, and message boards such as Slack wherein you can share documents and pin important to-do lists with people on your team.
4. Location Services
Most consumers browse online before doing in-person shopping. A tech tool such as location services understands that and has helped to merge a customer’s online shopping experience with the offline one. So, as your customers browse, no matter their specific location, they will receive personalized recommendations – one of them being your own storefront – thus encouraging them to stop by and purchase something. This has helped make shopping more efficient and enjoyable while ensuring that small business owners are put on the map – literally.
5. The advancement of 5G Technology
The proliferation of cell phones and faster internet connections have undoubtedly changed our lives. But, the advancement of 5G technology is bound to have an even deeper transformational effect. Everything will be faster, and there will be very few internet “deserts” left. This will help ensure that business operations – especially for any remote work that is occurring – will be more streamlined, efficient, and quicker.
6. Artificial Intelligence and Personalized Customer Service
The development of artificial intelligence is bound to have a seismic impact on how all companies and businesses – whether large or small – operate. Nowadays, people truly crave a personalized level of customer service that attends to their needs on a nearly hourly basis. Even for businesses that have hired personnel to help deal with this demand, it has been tough to meet new consumer expectations. This is where functions like the chatbot come in, since it helps to answer customer questions at any time of the day, and will allow employees to focus their energies elsewhere.
7. Voice Assistance
Initially looked upon with a healthy degree of skepticism, voice assistance has now become the next big thing, and its influence will only get bigger with time. The technology will become cheaper, and there may be voice assistance offered in every single service. So, consumers are expected to place orders via different devices to stock up on essentials for example, which means that business owners will need to be able to meet the demands of this new shopping trend.
While other technologies have surely emerged and even superseded some of the ones mentioned here, the thing to know is that the momentum behind digital advancements will only accelerate. The businesses that will come out on top are the ones who know early on that they need to be flexible enough to meet these demands and figure out how best to use them to their own advantage.