If you haven’t grown up with technology like the millennium generation, how can you use the latest technology trends to run your business more efficiently?
The key, as with many things in life, is to be open-minded and persistent. As a small business, you probably don’t have the luxury of a technology team to keep you up to date with the latest developments in your industry. The good news is that you don’t need a technical team. You can track important progress through industry publications to find out what’s relevant to your business.
How to use technology trends to improve your business
- Faster payroll: Payment requests can simplify wages, make direct deposits, and even file taxes electronically. Since computer programs are initially controlled by a dedicated accountant or payroll company, they can handle almost all of your payroll needs with little or no input from you.
- Better online visibility: Every company should have a website, but the website is only as good as the people who find it. Digital marketing techniques can improve your online presence and help your customers find you.
- Easier bills: Nobody likes to keep bills or pay taxes. With today’s technology, you can control all of your paperwork, invoices, deductions, and expenses to make everything a little less painful. You may not even need an accountant! For example, Quicken can track all of your finances and help you generate and track invoices.
- Manage your to-do list: In a small business, there are always a million things to do. Productivity programs like Todoist can help you keep track of what needs to be done and when – you can even synchronize with your calendars and other schedules so that everything is updated at the same time!
- The “it” factor: consumers are technologically smarter than ever and realize when companies have outdated websites, payment processing systems, and other technologies. They always want the latest and greatest technology (check the Apple Store whenever a new iPhone is released), so keeping up with technological trends will show your customers that you understand what they want.
How to really keep up to date with the latest technology trends
As technology changes so quickly, it can be difficult to keep up with current trends.
Making your business flourish is the first step in learning about new technologies. You can find free resources in the form of newspapers, blogs, and websites geared specifically to new technologies relevant to your field. Finding the publication that talks about technological evolution is a starting point and familiarizing yourself with the technical language and the products available. It gives you an idea of what options exist and how other companies are using them.
Do your research when you hear about a new technology or program being used in your industry! Find out what sets you apart from previous listings and what other business owners have to say. If you don’t like to jump on your own to discover the latest trends, it’s good to ask for help! You can meet someone with a tech background, or you can take classes online or at a local school to learn the basics and settle down.
Our Top 5 Tech Essentials
There are more software options and new technologies than you might think, so updating everything at once can be overwhelming. If you’re wondering where to start, this basic technology will benefit almost every small business.
- Collaboration in the cloud: “The cloud” is changing a lot today, but it basically means storing data so that you and your team can access it from any device. This means that you can collaborate with your suppliers, employees, and other parties without sending a CD or flash drive or any other physical storage device. Information stored in the cloud is updated immediately, which means that everyone involved has access to the latest information. Do you have an email account? It’s like cloud storage – you can access your email from any computer
- Mobile payments: first in cash, then on credit cards and now it’s time to accept mobile payments. Apple Pay, Google Pay, and other mobile payment options make payment and billing via email literally as easy as pressing a button. Your customers like convenience and you like automatic data tracking.
- Smart devices: A smartphone or tablet can be used for information, direction, collection, inventory, billing, timing, and more, all on the go. You can use it to check your email and check the data generated by your company wherever you are. You need a smart device to run your business.
- Cybersecurity: Verizon reported that last year 63,000 data breaches affected the world’s largest companies and that small businesses are just as vulnerable. Point of sale theft (digital theft of stolen credit card numbers) is a common concern for customers, as is the theft of their personal information. Cybersecurity systems and programs can protect your customers’ identities and finances and build trust. If you are dealing with particularly sensitive information, it may be worthwhile to hire an expert to ensure that your programs and computers are as secure as possible.
- Social media apps: Social media apps and platforms are free for users, so you have the tools at your fingertips to find, communicate and market customers. Here is an introduction to using social media in your small business. Most social media platforms are intuitive and easy to use, so it’s an easy way to reach your customers.
A must-have for today’s small businesses
You may be wondering what a responsive website is. Simply put, a responsive website is a website that adjusts the layout for optimal display on smaller mobile devices, such as cell phones or tablets. If your website does not respond, it can be a challenge for customers to view or use your website on their phones or tablets. At best, it means a frustrating experience for your customers. At worst, it means that you have lost a sale or customer to a competitor with a better mobile web experience. If you need to create a website from scratch or customize yours, here is a resource to help you through these steps.
Don’t be overwhelmed by your competitors! Adapt and evolve to keep up.
The latest technology trends can make your job easier and show customers that your business is modern and evolving. Keep up to date with the news of your sector and do your best to integrate the best technology for your business.