The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major effect on business. Despite this fact, we’re starting to get to the point where most businesses are at least being allowed to attempt to conduct business in a somewhat normal fashion, but it’s definitely a new world out there. Business owners in all lines of business are looking for that tool that can improve productivity, make their operations more efficient, and spit out the metrics they need to tweak them.
Before we get into some of today’s best small business technology innovations, we wanted to talk a little bit about finding time and money to add to your business’ technology profile. These days it may be difficult to earmark capital and time to implement systems or services that are designed to make your business more productive, efficient, or profitable. If you are having a hard time justifying investing in new technology that is outside your normal investments, consider setting goals when making next year’s IT budget. This way you won’t be trying to find the capital to innovate, it will already be planned for.
The shift to a more mobile business takes some time. Not only do you need to have a mobile device management platform, complete with a Bring Your Own Device Strategy, you also should be looking to implement mobile-facing systems to help your business be more accessible to your customers.
For companies in the retail sector, the ability to accept mobile payments will start to become more commonplace over the next few years. People want to be able to pay with their phone, whether it is through an app or via a terminal or scanner to accept mobile payments. Mobile-friendly solutions don’t stop there. One-click checkouts are really gaining traction so setting up your website with mobile payment options can be a big benefit for customers. Finally, with so many people using mobile apps and smartphone browsers to shop, it stands to reason that investing in mobile marketing will almost immediately benefit your business’ bottom line.
Automation is growing rapidly, and behind this trend is artificial intelligence. Many applications are beginning to use machine learning technology to help identify ways for businesses to be more efficient. In fact, one study found that SMB AI-centric investments are projected to increase by 10 times over the next five years. Finding ways to incorporate AI into your business is an affordable and powerful way to improve your business’ efficiency. This usually isn’t the science-fiction it sounds like - many of your software vendors, or alternatives to the software you are using now, may have AI-driven solutions to deliver more accurate data and streamline processes.
We’ve mentioned AI, but SMBs looking to use technology to take their businesses to the next level are going to have to look to automation. These technologies really aren’t all that new, but many of them are simple to deploy and can really cut out a lot of the inefficiencies that plague small business processes. Using automation tools in accounting, marketing, customer support, and to manage data can really be helpful for the small business.
Nowadays, data is running the show, and if your business isn’t using it properly, it’s not going to be as effective as it can be. Today’s analytics platforms can be customized metrics that present answers about how your business is functioning, places that can see improvement, and how to adjust to make it more profitable.
The benefits of managed IT services are numerous. Not only do you have your crucial business technology proactively managed, you also get the complete IT support that you need to significantly reduce downtime. Managed services provide the opportunity to get access to knowledgeable IT professionals at a fraction of the cost of hiring a team outright, while also ensuring that your software is patched, your network is maintained, and your IT solutions are up and running when you need them.
Moving your business forward takes some foresight. If you would like to talk to one of our expert consultants about embracing innovative new ways of doing business, call Fuse Networks today at 855-GET-FUSE (438-3873).