In the old days (1960-1990), some people, (especially Gen X and Baby Boomers together with Millennials) did watch sci-fi movies or read sci-fi books only for having amusement. In fact, most of them literally believed that those technologies would remain enclosed only in those movies or books as figments and never come true in real life. Interestingly, with the passage of time, the evolution of science and technology has reshaped their way of thinking because it has materialized most of those sci-fi techs in real life these days.
Moving forward, it shouldn’t be an exaggeration if we say that today’s business world is drastically influenced and dominated by technologies. With the advent of the internet and the availability of desktops, laptops, and pump tops (phablets and tablets), there is a ubiquitous change in business activities. In this article, we will show you the top small business technology trends that are responsible for bringing about these dramatic changes.
But, why do you need to know all these stuff? Well, if you are a small business owner or planning to be a successful entrepreneur, you have to make sure the best use of technology in business. This is why you need to know all the hacks about technologies for rapid and sustainable growth of your business.
Now, let’s dig deeper and discover the top trends in 2018 that are or will be driving small business technology & growth.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Use of Robotics for Automation
Up until now, leading companies are embracing AI to perform redundant tasks and to process large amounts of data not to root out human interaction, but to enhance it actually. The use of autonomous interfaces, for instance, Chatbots or Digital Agents are on the rise nowadays. It is expected that they will take over the lion’s share of the workforce in the near future. This is obviously going to be a big deal for the small business’s cost reduction strategy.
Apparently, the use of Robotics for a small business may seem bewildering at first due to its high cost. However, as the price of electronic components is on the wane, Robots will be widely employed in businesses.
The use of Robots in Coffee shop( which is a small business) has brought about a phenomenal change, indeed. For instance, Cafe X claims that they have been able to be more productive by installing robot coffee maker which is helping them to serve coffee at a significantly lower price (almost half of the regular price).
ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) Solution as a Promising Small Business Technology
ERP solutions are recently gaining even more popularity, especially in the case of small and medium businesses. Managing Human Resource and Customer Relationship and Accounting may demand an astounding amount of money. But, you can facilitate and automate your business management with just a mere software.
There are numerous ERP solutions out there that could supercharge your small business and help your business to achieve an end to end efficiency. If you are a small business owner and a WordPress freak then you could try out this free ERP solution.
Secured Online Payment Methods as Prominent Small Business Technologies
In the primitive ages, there were no currencies and so people were used to doing barter trade (exchange of things for the other things) instead. Later on, not only various types of currencies (such as Banknotes and Coins) were introduced but also they were developed in such a way so that they could prevent forgeries or counterfeits as well.
However, in modern times, the electronic payment method and electronic money transfer have minimized all the risks of frauds like counterfeits or forgeries. For example, people, nowadays, shops around with just a Visa or MasterCard or even in some cases NFC enabled phones and they don’t need any cash money for payment anymore. So, it is possible to fight shy of the snatchers, counterfeit notes or things like that.
One study revealed that Americans are now shopping online more than ever with a staggering 79% of the total population. A few examples of the most popular methods for online payments are PayPal, Stripe, Skrill, Google Wallet, WePay, 2Chekout, etc.
Small businesses of today’s world are adopting these payment methods which is why customers find it very easy to pay. However, since newer methods of security have been invented on a continuous basis, businesses should replace their older payment method with the new ones. Otherwise, your customers could lose their trust from the seller. Therefore, upgrades of payment technologies with time are really important to retain the credibility of your business.
Adoption of Blockchain as a New Technology in Business
Businesses of today’s world always look for privacy and security when it comes to the transaction sphere. Blockchain technology (Cryptocurrency) has made it through with the integral of privacy, security, and swiftness as well as transparency. You don’t even need any third party or intermediary to validate your transactions which indicate that it can reduce your business costs more effectively than ever before.
Rise in Video Marketing as a Trending Small Business Technology
No matter what type of business you own, it is now imperative to get a great deal of exposure to your business on the internet. A decade ago, only popular media of advertisements were Television sets, Radio sets, and Newspapers. But, in recent times, your targeted customers are prone to surf the internet and do a lot of research before making a purchase. They will probe your advertisement from top to bottom by taking help from internet resources. Thus, there is not any scope of playing hide and seek with your product’s feature.
However, customers would love to interact with the commercial ads that you want to broadcast in the media. Fortunately technologies like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. have made it possible. If you are a small or medium business owner, you can stream live videos regarding your products on the internet. Your customers will interact with you through Likes, Comments or Messaging.
Remote Workforce with the Help of Online Services
Clichedly, a certain place was the bare minimum for operating an office. However, through the advancement of technology, it is now 100% possible to launch a business whose activities will be performed virtually. With the help of online services, your personnel can work remotely from anywhere. An online virtual office is a neat tool for cutting costs because you don’t have to pay for office rents.
For example, Team viewer is such a piece of software as is often used to monitor and manipulate staffs who are working from a remote place.
API (Application Programming Interface) – an Emerging Small Business Technology
An application program interface (API) is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications.
In non-technical terms, API is such technology as will allow and manage the interaction between multiple online connected services simultaneously and as a whole. There are hundreds of online services for business solutions available out there. This enormous number of services may seem really overwhelming when it comes to integration with one another. Luckily APIs will help you harness all the power from each and every online services by establishing interoperability among the online service platforms.
For example: If you are using weForms (a webpage form builder), you will enjoy the amenity to integrate with other online services such as Slack, Xapier, MailChimp, etc. You will be able to enjoy all the facilities altogether and on the go! APIs are more than just services, they are pretty useful to boost your small business’s growth lightning fast by adding greater flexibility to your workflow!
Predictive Business Analysis Using Online Data
Online services like Google Adwords, Facebook Pixel, Google Analytics or Analytify Google Analytics Dashboard are not only capable of tracking every bits and piece of a website but also are capable of generating meaningful information using the data. You can predict the market trends, visitors interactions with the help of that information and optimize your business’s efficiency in line with the provided reports.
Harnessing Mobile Ad as Small Business Technology
As mobile devices outnumber television sets now by almost 3 to 1, the chances of a potential customer seeing a mobile advertisement are greater than that of most other forms of advertising today. Mobile phone advertising can be shown as banner advertisements that appear embedded in mobile websites, in mobile games or in any downloaded apps.
However, dissemination of news and re-targeting of lost customers through a mobile phone can be blocked by using Ad Blocker or spam identifier software. To tackle this hassle, you can use general mobile networks as the last resort of advertising. In this way, Ads will take place in the form of mobile text SMS using the mobile phone network.
Digital Marketing as Small Business Technology
Digital marketing has rapidly evolved into its own dynamic industry. It is a cost-effective marketing strategy which can skyrocket the growth of small businesses with just a matter of a few days. Frankly, digital marketing is useful for all kinds of businesses ranging from small, medium and large businesses.
It includes Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing (SMM), Email Marketing, Content Marketing and many more! If you overlook Digital marketing for your small business, it is highly likely that your business is going to stumble in the days to come.
Affiliate Marketing as Small Business Technology
Affiliate marketers promote the products of others in exchange for a certain amount of commission. Like digital marketing, it also includes SEO, SMM, Email Marketing and Content Marketing.
Though this concept is not contemporary yet a number of business organizations are now unprecedentedly pursuing affiliate marketers. Small businesses and start-ups often fall in fish out of water condition because they want to ramp up their sales and establish business goodwill at the same time on a shoestring budget. This is exactly where the Affiliate program comes to the rescue!
Technological needs and solutions to small business vary over time. Not to mention, these are the topnotch technologies that are being ever-increasingly conspicuous nowadays. If you would like to get a head-start for your small business then you can flat out consider these cutting edge techs.
The good news is that most of these technologies will not break the bank. Rather, they will veritably act like a midwife for a small business’s growth. It is arguably predictable that these technologies will rule the business atmosphere in the upcoming days.
Eventually, if you do think that anything interesting is missing from the listicle above, let us know in the comment section. We will definitely include that in this article.
This article was originally published on WP ERP.