As a small business, you will want to do all that you can to level the playing field and compete with the more established businesses in your field. This will always be a challenge, but one of the most effective ways that you can do this is with technology; modern-day tech can help small businesses to thrive in many different ways. So, whether you are a new startup or an established small company that is looking to compete at a higher level, read on for a few handy tech tips that could make a big difference to the success of your company.
Automate As Much As You Can
A good place to start is to analyze all of your processes and to see if there are any steps or entire processes that could be automated with the use of software, apps or equipment. Automation can make a big difference to the efficiency of your operation and it is a smart way for a smaller business to operate on a much larger scale and compete with larger businesses. Automation can also lighten the load for you and your team, which will allow you to focus on other important elements of your roles.
Embrace Remote Work
Businesses of all sizes have been forced to embrace remote work in recent times as a result of the pandemic, but it can actually bring many benefits for both staff and employees. For a small business, remote work is a smart move because it means that you could downsize or go without a main office which would free up an enormous amount of money that could be reinvested in other areas of the business. The key to success with remote work is knowing how to manage a remote team effectively, having the best tools, maintaining communication and making sure that staff have all that they need to work productively in their homes.
Use Remote Hires
Leading on from this, another smart tip for a small business is to use remote hires. When you hire staff remotely, it allows you to expand your radius so that you are not limited to the talent in your local area. Recruitment is hard as a small business, but when you are making remote hires you get access to a much larger talent pool, plus remote work is a major perk that could help you to attract talent to your business over a larger company.
Fine-Tune With Data
When you are a small business, you cannot afford to make mistakes that could set the business back, which is why it is so important that you are using data to drive your strategic decisions. Using data analytics should help you to fine-tune your small business and identify the best areas to improve, which will reduce risk and help you to compete at a much higher level.
Use Social Listening Tools
You always want to know what is being said about your business so that you can identify ways to improve and keep your customers happy. This is tricky in today’s day and age with the internet, but you can use social listening tools as a way to scour the internet and find what people are saying about your brand (and your competitors) online. Sometimes this can be hard to hear, but ultimately the businesses that are able to compete at a higher level are the ones that can identify ways to improve and keep their customers happy and social listening tools will enable you to do this.
Use Live Chat Support
It is also important that you are able to offer live chat support to your customers so that you can provide instant customer service. Live chat is the preferred form of customer service for many and could help to increase conversions while allowing you the chance to engage with your target customer and build relationships. Live chat statistics show that visitors that engage with your business using live chat are 3 times more likely to make a purchase, so this is certainly a good tech upgrade to consider. The best live chat apps can keep all of your conversations from different platforms in one place, allow your team to chat while on the move, send automatic messages with smart triggers, track visitors and much more. As a small business, you need to make customer service a priority as this is often how you attract customers away from the larger brands and live chat is a smart way to do this.
Use Crowdfunding For Growth
Small businesses often have plans for growth whether this is adding to their product range, increasing digital marketing, a merger or acquisition or expanding. It can be hard to finance growth plans as a small business but can be made much easier with crowdfunding, which allows you to raise money from people all over the world so even small amounts can help as you are casting such a wide net. Crowdfunding is a terrific way to raise funds for growth and it can also be helpful as a way to promote your business, so you might find that it helps to increase brand awareness and attracts more customers to your business.
Use Online Courses For Training & Development
In order to take your business forward, it is important to use training for both yourself and your team so that you can all excel in your roles. Online courses are perfect for this because they can be done in your spare time and are usually flexible enough so that they should not interfere too much and you can get all kinds of fantastic qualifications from established schools. From a business owner’s standpoint, taking an online MBA would be intelligent and certainly help you to find the best ways to take your small business to new heights.
These tech tips should come in useful for any small business and hopefully help you to compete at a much higher level. It is tough as a small business when trying to compete with bigger brands, but tech can often level the playing field and help you to find new levels of success.