The impact of technology in our world today is one that can never be overestimated.
Regardless of the part of the world you find yourself in, you will bear witness that technology has continued to play a huge role in our day-to-day living.
For example, small and medium-sized businesses rely on technology to help them operate their daily activities. From computers (laptops) with the ability to access the internet to printers, online file storage and Web-based applications, technological advances impact small businesses across different industries.
Technology has the potential to enhance small and medium-sized business in positive ways, depending on the objective of the business, the products they chose to use, and how well business owners and their employees adapt to new systems.
“According to the Small Business Administration, small companies create 1.5 million jobs annually and account for 64% of new jobs created in the United States.”
Combine that huge impact with today’s technology, and you get small and medium-sized business owners who can readily compete with major firms.
Here are some of the revolutionary ways that technology is helping small and medium-sized businesses succeed.
1. Sharing And Collaborating: Small and medium-sized businesses work closely with their clients to effectively provide them products and services of great value. Going from an idea to a finished product or service, requires small and medium-sized business owners and their workers to collaborate with each other and external vendors.
E-mail and instant messenger has helped greatly, paving way for online sharing and collaboration. With the ability to connect with clients instantly, share information and get feedback, e-mail and instant messenger are beneficial technological advantages for small and medium-sized businesses.
Web-based project management programs such as Smartsheet, Clickup and Zoho Projects offer a Web-based approach to keeping track of projects, delegating tasks, updating employees and clients, tracking time, and sharing documents in real-time. For small and medium-sized businesses, this means up-to-date information readily available, irrespective of a person’s location.
2. Flexible Work Environment: Technology gives small and medium-sized business owners and their employees the opportunity to work in the office, from home, on the road and even from across the country.
Offering small and medium-sized business owners the opportunity to hire talent from all over the globe, technology can assist businesses gain a competitive edge in the global environment.
3. Instant Connections With Customers: Small and medium-sized business owners no longer have to mail surveys to customers and wait for several weeks for responses, nor do they have to call customers for feedback.
Technology gives small and medium-sized businesses the enablement to connect with their customers via e-mail, through blogs, social networks and online forums.
Small and medium-sized business owners can take advantage of this instant connection by getting replies from customers and applying it to their businesses immediately, if they see fit.
4. Online Stores: Technology gives crafters, clothing and fashion designers and painters an opportunity to set up online stores, rather than investing in costly storefronts.
With consumers migrating to the Internet to find everything from clothes to ordering food, the popularity of online shopping increases with the variety of products and services.
Businesses with storefronts can create online stores to expand and reach targeted customers beyond their neighborhoods and surrounding communities.
5. Employee Training: As small and medium-sized businesses adopt the use of new technologies, they are tasked with providing training to new and existing employees.
However, new employees are likely to easily get used to the technologies while existing employees may resist the new technologies or experience a learning curve, which reduce productivity temporarily.
Technology will only continue to grow rapidly. As more technology are invented every day for various purposes, it is vital that Small and Medium-sized Businesses embrace them so as to not be left behind in the digital dust.
From the very simple technologies that help us achieve our everyday business tasks to the complex ones that require much attention and know-how, it is important we take advantage of them to increase our productivity and profit.