5 Ways to Stay Up-to-date with the Newest Technology for Your Small Business
The digital world has transformed the way that we live and work. Digital technology has revolutionized everything from social media to accounting software. The same is true of your small business. The digital age is transforming small businesses across all industries, requiring them to be faster, more cost-effective, more technologically savvy, and more customer-centric than ever before. Updating your small business’s technology means upgrading software programs, investing in new hardware, and learning new strategies to remain competitive in today’s changing landscape. Here are five ways to stay up-to-date with the newest technological trends for your small business.
Networking is Key
Networking is one of the best ways you can stay on top of new technology trends. In order to stay competitive, your business needs to be aware of what’s going on in the industry and keep up with changes in technology. Many networking opportunities are available through organizations like Small Business Administration (SBA) or local chambers of commerce that can help you connect with other businesses, as well as state and federal agencies that offer information about the latest trends. You should also be looking for opportunities to partner with other businesses and share resources to help each other grow.
Hiring is Critical
The digital age has transformed the way we work and live. If your small business wants to be able to keep up with the new technology, hiring is critical. When considering a new hire, consider a candidate’s skill set. Updating your software programs might require more technical know-how than you currently have in-house. Consider someone who has experience in software development or other technological fields as your next hire so that they can give you advice on how to update your technology effectively.
Learn to Code
Learn to code and build your own software programs so that you can save money and become more efficient. Software programs like websites, accounting software, digital payment systems, social media, and more are easier to create with a little coding know-how. You don’t need to be a technology expert to build your own software, but you do need time and patience in learning the basics of programming. Once you learn the basics, it’s easy to create an app for your small business without hiring a programmer.
Keep an Eye Out for Up-and-Coming Technologies
Up-and-coming technologies like chatbots, augmented reality and artificial intelligence are transforming the way that businesses connect with their customers. By keeping an eye out for innovative new technology, you can find ways to improve your business’s efficiency while remaining competitive in today’s competitive marketplace. One of the most popular up-and-coming trends is chatbots. Chatbots can be programmed to perform a variety of tasks, including sales, customer service, and marketing functions. They are able to use natural language understanding and machine learning to carry out all types of tasks that would normally require human interaction. These changes have created a shift in customer service where people are beginning to expect seamless interactions with businesses through digital means. Chatbots offer a new way for businesses to interact with their customers without needing to invest in a more expensive employee. Artificial intelligence also offers promising benefits for small businesses as it allows them to easily automate tedious workflows and processes that previously took hours or days if done manually. Artificial intelligence will not only increase efficiency but will also help small businesses reach more potential customers by lessening the need for human labor. Augmented reality was first introduced at Apple’s iPhone X event in 2017, but it has only recently become available on Apple devices such as the iPad and Macbook Pro as well as on other platforms like Google’s ARCore platform on Android phones and ARKit on iOS devices. Augmented reality uses computer vision software and sensors from mobile
Don’t Skip Lunch Periods
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of your business. It can be tempting to skip lunch periods, but this is one thing you shouldn’t do. The key to being successful in the digital world is staying up-to-date with new technologies, especially those that have evolved over time. Updates don’t happen overnight and it takes time to learn new technology. What happens if you skip lunch? In addition to burning a hole in your pocketbook, what will happen when you come back from work? You may not remember everything you learned at lunch and you could miss out on future opportunities.
Stay Focused on the Bottom Line
Despite the benefits of improving your small business’s technology, it is important to remain focused on the bottom line. Pushing for technological upgrades without understanding how to incorporate them into your bottom line will have a negative financial impact on your small business. Prioritizing what you need and what will make your business success will help you stay focused on the bottom line. To give some examples, let’s talk about marketing and customer service. If you can bring those two together through marketing automation, this could result in increased sales and improved customer satisfaction rates. However, if you don’t know how to integrate these two functions with technology, they won’t benefit your business. By staying focused on the bottom line and integrating new technologies into your strategy, you’ll be able to effectively use technology in ways that benefit you and your small business.