Technology is a major force in our ever changing world. It defines the era we are living in and provided the tools mankind needs for further progress. If you just look around you, you can see different types of technology dominating the market. Smart technology, for instance, is the hottest tech these days and a favorite of many because of the endless opportunities it offers to just about everyone who owns a smartphone or smartgadget and has Internet access. Technology is rapidly advancing. If you are a business owner, make an effort to keep abreast with all these advancements to fuel your brand’s growth and reach a wider audience. Remember that the competition is doing it too, so you better get on it now than be left behind by everyone else.
With the population explosion, many entrepreneurs have also opened up more innovative businesses to meet the growing needs of the public. But since you’ll have a hard time dominating the market through conventional means, most business owners tap technology to give them an edge over others. For instance, make use of social media to get in touch with people and communicate the essence of your brand. You also have to distinguish which platform is best for your business because different channels work differently too. You can reach out to more artsy minded people for your arts and craft business on Pinterest while most generic businesses can do well on Facebook.
Many small businesses owners find that the fast-paced growth of the technology industry can make it difficult to know the right time to adopt new tools. But few understand that waiting too long, or lagging too far behind the curve, can have a real negative impact on business. According to recent report from Boston Consulting Group, Lessons on Technology and Growth from Small-Business Leaders, “…research shows technology leaders far outperform their peers in the marketplace,” and, “created jobs almost twice as fast as other small businesses. Technology leaders also increased their annual revenues 15 percentage points faster than companies with lower levels of technology adoption.”
In order to stay competitive, create jobs and increase revenue, small businesses need to seriously consider technology trends and how to leverage them. In addition to growing the bottom line, here are five ways small and mid-sized companies can use technology to grow their businesses.
There are numerous cloud-based technologies that can help a small business grow by more efficiently reaching customers and creating leads. Low-cost applications exist to help manage contacts, accounts, pipeline and opportunities. More robust software may include marketing applications to create more revenue generating email campaigns and providing analytics to help get the right message to target audiences. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube can also be used to promote products and services. Many of these technologies are often low cost or even free.
Over two billion people use social media daily. That’s a lot of people you can easily tap if you just maximize what these social channels can offer. It might seem like a piece of cake but it is challenging to break the Internet if you don’t have any idea on what you are doing, what your company has to offer, and what direction you plan on taking your business. Build your social media presence and target the right traffic for your brand. You can even make use of technology to raise capital for your start-up venture. Crowdfunding does that for you. There are a lot of business opportunities but there are many things to consider as well, so don’t rush in and plan how you wish to maximize technology to make it work for your brand and not the other way around.
Business users were once the first to experience technology. PCs were the norm in the office and on the factory floor long before computers were in use at home. The business user accepted technology at the pace that the business doled it out. That was then. Over the last decade the consumer technology market leapfrogged the business world. Traditional business has been struggling to keep up with its technology savvy employees, and its customers’ expectation for easy information access and seemingly effortless multi-channel transactions utilizing their device du jour.
Relevant business technology is all about software now — specifically customer-facing software that eases information/transaction access, and software bundled into the company’s product or service offerings that add innovative, unique function. That software-defined customer experience and connectedness is crucial to future business vitality. The composition of a “product” has been expanded to include software. A firm’s customer experience needs to be managed in a product management context. Product management in a software defined world must confront the increasingly shortened time frame between innovation and commoditization. Speed to market is crucial.
Even small American businesses are now heavily dependent on new technological solutions and social media innovations in promoting and building their brand and even in regularly reaching out to their customer base. The web continues to innovate as we speak and you really have to devote a great deal of your time, money and effort in harnessing tech to your company’s advantage and in streamlining your business efforts. Open up your mind to various possibilities offered by the web because that is when real growth takes place.