Adopting new technologies takes a certain amount of courage as well as a potentially risky financial investment. However, our rapidly developing world necessitates an openness to new possibilities and tech-based ventures. Though adoption of new technology is rarely free, small businesses have a lot to gain with these cost-saving solutions.
Tablets make it as easy to carry a computer in your hand as it is to carry a clipboard. Going paperless is a popular trend for both organization and cost-savings. Yale reported saving $100,000 simply by replacing paper time sheets with an electronic process in their student employment office. From electronic signatures on your contracts to electronic ordering in your restaurant, you can find ways to go paperless in nearly any industry.
Thanks to the Internet, businesses have more data than ever at their fingertips. Knowledge is money and small businesses recognize the potential of all this information. With the right data, small businesses can pinpoint their target audience, create accurate business projections, and make informed decisions on all fronts.
More than 40 percent of small businesses believe that big data is linked to increased profitability, though the majority of businesses are intimidated by the barriers to data collection and storage. Fortunately, technology like Hadoop offers an answer. This open source software framework allows for massive data storage on a small budget.
Nearly every business relies on the Internet for part of its operations, and some businesses operate entirely online. High-speed Internet technology is an important investment for any company. With satellite Internet speeds increasing all the time, there’s no limit to the potential for this technology. Businesses benefit financially from faster Internet by saving time on all Internet-based operations and reducing downtime for their website.
There’s no question that social media marketing is a popular and effective way to connect with customers and increase profits. The problem is that a strong social media presence requires a major time commitment. Customers respond best to brands that post regularly and stay active on sites like Facebook and Twitter daily. Companies can increase their efficiency on social media sites with automated tools that take much of the legwork out of this type of marketing, freeing staff members up for other campaigns.
Thanks to cloud computing, businesses no longer need a single brick-and-mortar office to operate cohesively. You can run an entire company with no home base thanks to the convenience of the cloud. Store and share important documents through Google Docs, Dropbox, and other cloud storage sites and you can work with freelancers from around the country as efficiently as you would in an office. The cost-saving benefit is that you don’t have to rent a space, provide equipment, or shoulder any cost for the upkeep of a central business location.
Mobile banking is quickly growing in popularity and online banking is already the preferred method for 39 percent of bank customers. Maintaining a business account you can get access to from your smart phone offers many benefits. The most innovative accounts allow you to take payments through your phone. You can also transfer funds and check on your accounts while you're on the go so you always have an eye on your financial situation, whether you're at your desk or on the road.
There's an app for just about everything, and small business owners are finding that apps are now well-placed to handle many administrative functions that would otherwise eat up time and money. Popular business apps include those that provide GPS navigation, contact management, remote document access, and travel planning.
According to a survey published by the SBE Council, 78 percent of small business owners believe that mobile apps help the company save time and nearly half agree that sales and revenue have increased as a result of mobile app use.
You can dramatically improve the way you do business and pad your bottom line nicely with the right technological choices for your company.