How Technology Can Change the Way Small Businesses Function and Make Them Future Proof?
Small businesses in the last decade are ramping up their digital transformation process; digital transformation is inevitable and it is a cost-effective means to acquire customers and improve sales. The small business comprises tech startups, retail outlets like restaurants, hotels, etc. The new technologies they adopt are very obvious like data analytics, machine learning, deep learning, and artificial intelligence. Each technology solves a specific task for the business.
I said that digital transformation is inevitable, now let me give some points that reinforce my beliefs.
Cons of not going digital for small businesses
Not getting key insights
Digital transformation can help the business to collect large unstructured data from sales, marketing, consumer behavior, market trends, competitors, etc. Data analytics tools are used to structure the data from which patterns can be found to make accurate decisions. With the market becoming more and more competitive, going digital can help outperform others with data.
Going obsolete in the market
Digitized business function is 5 times faster than traditional ones. Key decisions and plans are made faster with no room for error; customers can be quickly understood and necessary changes are made; more satisfied customers mean more sales. Without digitization, you will lose relevance and be thrown out of the market.
Struggle to add value
A good company is one that adds value to its users. Following a traditional way is an impediment to add value. Good customer engagement is one thing that makes users feel valued. Digital technologies have a slew of applications for customer engagement like NLP chatbots, personalized notifications, and accurate search results. These kinds of impressive engagement are next to impossible using traditional methods.
These three reasons are enough to capsize a business no matter what your product or service is. Being in the software app development field I have seen many small and bootstrapped businesses averse to digital transformation. It is better late than never, nos is the right time to make the change.
Most of the technologies are evolving and are constantly being researched for improvements. So, tech adoption is not fully matured and now we have the best time to experiment and analyze. Hence, go digital now with relevant tech and work sometimes until your business is set.
Cloud computing for data
Small tech startups use unprecedented amounts of data for various purposes and all are stored in physical storage systems. Physical storage is prone to cyber-attacks and their maintenance is cumbersome. Every time you store, retrieve, and process data, it takes a lot of time. With cloud computing, you need to worry about this.
In cloud storage, you store and process data in remote servers on the internet and can be accessed from anyplace. This tech helps also easy adoption of other advances.
Deep learning for customer engagement
Healthy customer relationships always help the business move forward; customer engagement is the first area to start for strengthening relationships.
Deep learning is an application of AI which learns large volumes of data and helps machines(read software) solve problems with accurate results. An example is a chatbot. Chatbots use natural language processing which uses deep learning to understand user queries and answer for it.
Entry-level on-demand startups like online rental booking and food delivery and taxi booking use chatbots to give a personalized experience for users.
Understanding sales and business operations
What if you have the means to draw patterns out of your business sales and consumer behavior? Cool isn’t it? With Machine learning-powered with data analysis, it is possible to process data, draw patterns, and produce results automatically. There are several areas that can be applied.
For example, consumers getting precise results in the food ordering app is done by processing ordering history and ordering patterns. Machine learning is just a program that automatically self learns from experience and gives results without the requirement of a standard program.
Improving productivity in the workplace
Employee efficiency in the workplace is important for small businesses to scale new heights mainly in the starting stage of the business. Internet of Things(IoT) powered devices and sensors are there to monitor the workplace and easily pinpoint the needs and wants of users. The IoT based devices that help improve productivity are on the rise and you can leverage it to increase workplace efficiency.
An IoT sensor is present which can be used to find the rooms in the office that are vacant and make employees use that room and waste little time. Another IoT sensor is capable of organizing and scheduling meetings effectively. These are some applications and it is up to you to decide which one is suitable for you.
These breakthrough technologies not only help your business to flourish but also make you future proof against disruptions. Not to mention that these new advances are affordable to adapt and won’t take much effort to make it usable. If you are looking to make the digital transition effectively, then understand your business properly and find what things suit your firm well and then make decisions.
I would strongly recommend you to have a technology partner so that you get sound advice on tech transition. I hope you reach the top of the pyramid with effective business management, productivity, and technology usage!