Small businesses that plan to implement the latest technology trends during 2020, will hold a significant advantage over their competitors. Business that are adopting AI-powered technology (artificial intelligence) in the SME sector are expected to triple over the next 2 years.
All businesses are continually trying to become more efficient, but for small businesses, keeping costs low and productivity high is crucial. Fortunately, technology continues to make that process easier as efficiency enhancing technologies, such as automation, data analytics and CRM systems are now more accessible to small businesses with limited IT resources and limited funds.
Here are some of the top tech trends to consider in the coming year:
Growth of Automation Software
Artificial intelligence and other automated technologies were once considered by SMEs to be beyond their reach and accessibility.
That mind set is slowly evolving. The development of AI is making it a feasible option for small businesses in a variety of processes, including:
- Customer Service
- Data Entry
Service infrastructure has paved the way for cloud providers, to allow customers to use technology without having to invest heavily. Not only does it save small businesses money up front, but it also allows employees who don’t have a strong IT backgrounds, to reap the benefits.
As AI apps continue to become more accessible to small businesses, the ones that embrace these technologies, will be placed ahead of their competition.
Connect with Data Analytics
Data analytics are essential for any organization, providing a wealth of insights, from information about the day-to-day running of the business, to gaining a better understanding of customer demographics meaning more targeted marketing campaigns.
Companies that actively use analytics can make sense of the seemingly infinite amount of data collected about their customer base. There are many platforms and tools that help you to gather and visualise all of your information and doing so means you will make better business decisions and achieve business goals efficiently.
Flexible and Remote Working
There will be an inevitable shift in this area, flexible working options will be demanded by the many, not just the selected few. Business owners fear that this would lead to lower productivity. However, some studies are indicating just the opposite and stating that employees who are offered flexible working patterns, tend to be more productive.
Luckily with everything being accessible in the cloud and the ability to have employees logging-in to their computers remotely, there is less and less need to restrain staff to working in the office from 9am-5pm.
A huge trend in 2020 will see both small and large businesses shifting their systems and becoming cloud based and platforms like Microsoft Sharepoint and Google Drive are making this easier and easier.
Social Media Marketing and a Mobile Experience
The number of small businesses who are on social media to market their offerings will continue to accelerate. Platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook continually progress their algorithms to increase the marketing return on investment for their customers.
Small business owners are becoming aware of the value of social media and the power of influencers. Influencers are people who have large followings and who can assist in bringing your services to the attention of their many supporters. A website simply isn’t enough for a business anymore, although it’s surprising how many business owners still don’t believe they need a website at all.
Additionally, as customers move away from their computers and on to their smartphones and/or tablets, businesses must make sure their mobile experience is just as powerful and makes an impact on the audience. It’s essential that as a business you are thinking about whether your marketing and website are responsive.
The freelance, or gig, economy allows individuals to commercialise what were once hobbies and to work as consultants/contractors to multiple clients. As telecommunications becomes faster and more reliable, it becomes available at a lower expense.
Investment in Technology
Small businesses may have to replace aging technology to successfully compete. The growth of cloud computing and the introduction of 5G networks are two examples of where business owners may need to revamp obsolete equipment and unproductive practices.
Although this may require an initial investment in hardware, software, and expertise… the benefits will certainly outweigh the initial costs involved.
Written by Roy Butcher
As businesses grow they often become overburdened and inefficient processes begin to creep in. To ensure you are running the most efficient business possible, we will review all of your processes and suggest improvements to make them more effective. Additionally, if you would like to speak to us about adopting cloud accounting into your business, we have an in-house team that can help you to migrate over to cloud software, provide training and be available should you need support.
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