Let’s talk necessities!
Chatbots and IoT are not limited to big corporations anymore. Small and medium-sized businesses can (and should) also take advantage of the latest technological developments. 2020 helped totally reshape the small/medium business landscape and made owners take a proactive look at the emerging technologies.
Adopting tech always plays a crucial role in the level of automatization, business development, and customer reach. You can ensure steady growth and more efficient spending of overall resources when having technology advanced tools embedded in your business. Many tech trends continue to increase in importance but we find these 10 in particular as the ones that make sense to adopt and which will bring the most value:
Website Implementation and Enhancement Tools – Having your own website in today’s business environment is non-negotiable. Developing business identity can be easy thanks to the help of online platforms like Wix or WordPress. Structure your brand-new website fast and easily with one of these platforms that have already integrated with other advanced analytics tools as well as management of your own domain. Use simple and free tools for content & email marketing, website tracking & social media management.
Email software – emails are not dead. Emails are still the main and official business channel, so consider sticking to the working solution. Many brands develop their email branding strategy to boost sales & brand awareness and to diversify their communication channels for maximum conversions. Email can be a personal touchpoint for personalized messages and special limited times only offers.
Cloud computing – embrace cloud computing to become a more scalable and agile company. Skip all of the downsides of an own managed server. Rather choose the more cost and time -effective solution - the cloud. Store, access, and backup all your data while maintaining consistency between users. When adopting cloud computing small and medium-sized businesses can boost productivity, improve collaboration between employees and promote innovative thinking
Data security / Cybersecurity – the level of security has a direct impact on all business levels. Take all security measures and enforce all cybersecurity layers to protect valuable data assets. Setting proper security measures in place will minimize damages. Keep your company protected with extended security procedures such as regular software updates, password management, data encryption, and a comprehensive backup-and-disaster-recovery plan.
Customer relationship management software (CRM) – Big data processing tools such as CRMs help you store and organize detailed info about your clients to build long-lasting relationships with them. Use the analytics abilities built in the CRM to track customer journeys, anticipate trends, collect feedback and preferences and manage your data more effectively. CRMs also enable you to answer complex questions about your customer's needs and behavior to forecast future demand and maintain high service/product quality – all of this thanks to the help of CRM's data processing abilities.
Project management tool – Build a solid foundation of your projects by tracking overall progress and managing all funnels of communication. Project management tools enable teams to find comprehensive info about tasks, clients, and stakeholders fast and easy which leads to a more transparent & productive work environment. Other positives that small and medium-sized businesses can see by implementing such tools will be improved planning and scheduling, better collaboration, and effectively mitigating risks.
HR Software – with the shift of remote work a recruitment platform is essential moving forward. Small and medium-sized businesses need to stay as flexible as possible when it comes to the work environment. Monitor productivity, engagement, and culture with effective technology by your side. Implement a data-driven recruitment platform to automate the hiring pipeline and improve remote onboarding. Effective HR technology will help you navigate also through challenges such as job posting & job offers management, time to hire, employer branding, real-time data analysis, etc.
Chatbots – Managing human interactions between customers and employees has always been a challenge for expanding companies. Allocating resources to this never-ending task sounds so familiar. Integrating 24/7 customer service without associating huge expenses toward solving this issue can be done by embracing the intelligence state of chatbots. Implement them to have constant non-stop support and deliver automated customer service across multiple channels more effectively. Bots can solve human problems related to your product/service fast and reliable by tracking and responding to queries instantly.
Internet of Things (IoT) – many reports say that adoption of IoT for small and medium-sized businesses is low but with the further development of IoT, even mid-sized companies can take advantage of 5G networks to interconnect their smart devices. IoT has many potential benefits such as automating basic tasks like procurement and inventory management. Small manufacturers or big factories for example can use IoT devices to decrease energy costs by closely monitoring lights, temperature, and equipment. Large businesses are using IoT to collect, manage and analyze large sets of data to automate as many processes as they can, to better understand customer behavior and simultaneously reduce costs for optimal efficiency.
Automation – Automation investments will continue to increase as customer expectations are also significantly rising after the pandemic. As a result, companies will look to increase automated solutions to improve products speed to market and overall efficiency. Leverage the cloud to ensure pushing more automation so you can cover more problem areas and ensure the balance between profitability and revenue growth.
Businesses recognize that they need to keep up with the technology’s advancements. In the 10 points above we also described some examples where small and medium-sized companies can take advantage of the newest tech. Although SMEs cannot catch the wave first and experiment with the emerging technologies, they can copy established good practices and learn from their big players on the market. Many positive outcomes can be achieved when adopting innovative technologies: effective teams, higher quality customer journeys, streamlined production processes, faster recruitment pipeline, and overall higher happiness level of all employees.
So now there’s really no excuse for lagging behind.