It can be a fine line between success and failure for many small businesses, especially in the early days. And so any advantage you can muster, whether it’s saving time and money or simplifying processes, has to be a priority. Technology provides a wide range of tools that can help your small business in this context. What’s more, it can level the playing field so that you’re better able to compete against the bigger companies. Let’s look at some of the important ways in which technology can help your small business.
Setting up and managing an accounting system can be a daunting task, especially if it’s not a natural area of expertise for you. Accounting software packages such as Microsoft Money, QuickBooks or MYOB, can simplify the process and eliminate the need for you to hire full or part-time help. What’s more, most accounting software can help you better manage your company financials by creating informative reports, graphs and diagrams. They enable you to easily and quickly assess your financial health and make better business decisions.
Automated Business Processes
There is a range of software that you can deploy to automate some or all of your back office functions. This could be recordkeeping, management of customer relationships, payroll or project management. As well as helping to reduce your costs, these sorts of apps also save time, which means that you and your staff can focus on more productive activities such as drumming up new business and making important contacts with new suppliers or partners. In addition, you can use cloud technology to create secure hosting environments for all your sensitive company information, which you will be able to access 24/7 and from any location using an internet connection.
The internet is a gateway to a whole host of advanced video and graphics editing software. This means that instead of having to engage the services of a professional graphic designer, small business owners can now create their own professional marketing materials at a fraction of the cost. What’s more, you can also take advantage of web marketing tools such as Google Adwords or the social media equivalents to develop targeted marketing to either a broad audience or a select niche.
And the internet means that you have the potential to sell your product or services beyond the local market to national or even international ones. Setting up a retail website is a simple enough task and allows you to potentially reach a global market.
Technology enables companies to outsource business functions to other organisations nationally and internationally. It’s often a good option for those small businesses that don’t have the required internal staff or facilities. Technical support and customer service are two of the most common business functions to be outsourced. And so outsourcing allows a small business to lower its costs as well as focusing on its core activities and the business functions that it does best. What’s more, technology means that you can outsource to the cheapest possible areas including overseas.
Technology is, therefore, a great facilitator and enabler for small businesses. Utilising the right platforms for the industry, gives a small business the best chances of succeeding in today’s highly competitive marketplace.