The internet has greatly changed the way business is done today and your company can…
New Kickstarter Technologies for Small Businesses
Today, new technological tools have helped to reduce on the gap between small-businesses and large corporations. In fact, the increased competition for market-share has made sophisticated technological tools available and affordable to smaller businesses hence allowing them to perform on global market than never before. Additionally, the willingness to embrace new technology and understand trends can make or break a company’s success and that’s why I have decided to compile a list of the best business technologies and trends that will help to drive performance and facilitate growth for your small-business.
List of New Kickstarter Technologies for Small Businesses:
- Virtual Office Technologies: As technology and practices emerge, the need for physical offices is no longer necessary. In fact, small-businesses can adopt virtual and remote workspaces because they help to save time and even help small startups to save a lot of money that would have been spent on renting a large physical office and other expenses. Today, a lot of younger professionals have the ability to work remotely because they value their time and want to maintain a work-life balance.
- AI, machine-learning and Chatbots: Today, computers with AI have the ability to think for themselves based on prior knowledge and machine-learning is the practice of building all the algorithms that help a computer think for itself. So, a combination of these technologies is making communication between customers and stakeholders easier through automation. So, small-business should consider looking for intelligent apps that use machine learning to curate content, data or products for customers. Additionally, today there are many automated-chat softwares that help to reply customers in real-time. In fact, AI (Artificial-Intelligence) can work in any chat interface including phone-apps, Facebook-Messenger, Slack, Hipchat and SMS. For example, Slack users can interact with a basic AI chatbot (Slackbot) which uses simple programs to get weather, serve GIFs, remind you of an appointment and even speak to other apps.
- Automated Marketing Technologies: Today, there is multiple marketing automation-software that can help small-businesses achieve great success. In fact, these softwares help small-businesses to avoid unnecessary fees associated with using dedicated marketing agencies. On the other hand, marketing automation software like HubSpot or Eloqua can handle all CRM systems, funnel-management, Website-optimization and even deliver customized messages at the right moment during a consumer buying cycle hence reducing on the burden of business owners. Additionally, even Google adwords can help small-business-owners automate their advertisements easily in order to reach a wider customer base.
- Mobile-Apps: Today, mobile-devices are dominating over desktop and that’s why small-businesses should consider creating and offering a dedicated mobile application for their customers. Although this may seem difficult for small-businesses, platforms like Appy Pie and Microsoft PowerApps will allow even non-technical user to easily create Mobile-Apps for iOS, Android, Blackberry, Kindle, and Windows Phone. Additionally, these apps will even allow small-businesses to embed click-to-call voice and video-chat functions in order to enhance on communication with customers.
- Digital CRM (Customer relationship management systems): Customer communication is a key to the survival of any business today and that’s why a comprehensive Customer Relationship Management system very necessary in order to enhance on customer experience by offering a full range of services. For example, Salesforce is one of the best CRM solutions but there are also simpler and free packages like One-Page CRM and Insightly that offer social media integration to allow small-businesses learn more about their customers through public profiles. Lastly, the data collected from the CRM system like customer demographics and response rates should be fed back into your automated marketing software to improve focus on your marketing goals.
- BYOD (bring-your-own-device) and MDM (Mobile device management): As mobile-devices become popular, most small-businesses should adopt information systems with mobile-friendly interfaces or even native mobile apps. For example, Small-businesses can use cloud-based ERP software with an app for tracking time, expenses and viewing real-time data on the go. However, the bring-your-own-device policy can make business data more vulnerable but Mobile device management (MDM) systems help enforce and solve some of these problems through the use of VPNs.
- E-commerce websites/blogs: if your small-business doesn’t have an e-commerce site, then potential clients will go elsewhere. In fact, most buyers are always looking for niche products from undiscovered sellers and that’s why your small-business should create a well-established blog about the products it’s providing to customers. On the other hand, E-commerce sales alone are expected to gradually increase as years move-on and that’s why small-businesses should consider putting their products on the web.
- New Technological Payment Methods: Today new mobile payment methods like Apple Pay and PayPal Apps are allowing customers to pay for store purchases and restaurant bills from anywhere hence enabling small-businesses to compete with large-corporations. On the other hand, there are also Apps like LifeLock Wallet which can turn your credit, debit, ID and insurance card information into a barcode that can be scanned at checkout while Google-Wallet allows users to save card details to a Google account and then delivers that information to merchants via Near Field Communication (NFC). So integrating these payment-methods into your small-business will help to streamline the payment processes and this is liked by most digital customers today.
- Automated Inventory management systems: Automated inventory systems like Fishbowl Inventory make it quick and simple to track and manage stock levels. In fact, Fishbowl is the most-requested add-on for QuickBooks which is a small and medium-sized business accounting solution/software and it even integrates easily with various types of accounting-systems and CRM software. All in all, using automated inventory management software will help reduce on instances of unaccounted stock while improving on the budget of small-businesses.
- Digital Analytic systems: Today, few small-businesses track analytics for their websites and social-media presence. However, integrating analytics into their business strategies can help increase on sales and even find solutions easily. For example, Tableau, QlikView and Google-Analytics are very good analytical tools for small-businesses and will to increase on business growth in a short period of time.
- Subscription-based businesses: Subscription-based systems allow small-businesses to budget and make sales projections since customers pay a recurring monthly fee rather than a single flat payment. In fact, subscription-based payments are taking over in monthly beauty or shaving, wine delivery, e-learning, healthy-snacks, crafting and a lot more. All in all, subscription-services plus automated-payments are helping small-businesses grow at a fast rate and systems can be built into nearly any service or industry.
- Virtual reality and augmented reality Applications: These technologies are actually changing the world around us today. In fact, these technologies have applications beyond gaming and can be used for communication like digital-meetings and several business applications. All in all, Virtual reality and augmented reality helps businesses to engage with audiences/customers who can access products like games, music, videos, pictures or vouchers based on their location.