4 Essential Technologies Your Small Business Needs To Invest In
Updated: Jun 6
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels
It’s no secret that technology has changed the landscape for small-business owners.
Whereas in days past smaller organizations had few opportunities to get their products in front of potential customers who weren’t located in their region.
Nowadays the internet allows you to put your business on the proverbial map without worrying about brick-and-mortar locations.
The internet aside, technology helps small-business owners market products, access customers who would normally be out of reach, maintain business continuity, and protect their assets.
In this guide, JaxonLabs takes a look at several software products small business owners should look into that pay for themselves in the long run.
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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the way businesses operate and make decisions.
These automated systems can significantly reduce the burden on human support teams, improve response times, and enhance the customer experience.
It has the potential to enhance efficiency, streamline processes, and improve overall business performance. Here are some key areas where AI can be leveraged in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs):
Customer Service and Support: AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can handle customer inquiries, provide personalized recommendations, and resolve common issues.
Process Automation: AI technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA) can automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks, freeing up employees to focus on more strategic and creative work.
Personalization and Recommendation Systems: AI algorithms can analyze customer preferences, purchase history, and online behavior to deliver personalized product recommendations and tailored marketing messages.
1. Social media aggregators
Social media aggregators like Hootsuite or Sprout Social provide single-pane-of-glass visibility into the management of your organization’s social pages.
Social media in general offers businesses a way to build community, generate direct user feedback, and reach customers on a global scale.
Using a social media tool as part of your inbound marketing strategy provides a few key benefits.
The point of inbound marketing is to attract potential customers to your business instead of approaching them first, and social media is the perfect way to entice clients into checking out your website.
Inbound leads, as opposed to outbound leads, are more cost-effective (they cost around 61 percent less), and creating a strategy that includes social media is key.
2. Analytics tools
Big data isn’t just for big businesses. Along with your social media data, you should be keeping track of customer information, sales data, and other metrics.
Data analysis tools — and the know-how to use them — can help you drill down into your company’s processes.
For instance, you can use this data to provide key insights into your supply chain, manufacturing, and shipping processes to ensure maximum efficiency.
You can also predict pricing trends and store customer data in these kinds of tools, allowing you to forecast sales and market to the appropriate consumer.
3. Cybersecurity software
One thing you know for certain in today’s technology-infused world: You need to take steps to keep your business safe from cybercriminals, too.
Hackers target small businesses to acquire data they can then turn around and sell on the dark web, so having the right kind of cybersecurity tools in your belt can make a difference.
However, around 43 percent of small businesses don’t have a cybersecurity defense plan.
Nonetheless, 28 percent of data breaches that happened in the past year were perpetrated against small businesses.
And this is the kicker — security breaches and data theft aren’t cheap. According to a 2020 report published by the Ponemon Institute and IBM, small businesses (with fewer than 500 employees) spend an average of $7.68 million on each cyber incident.
So what can you do?
The first thing you need to do is create a plan that places cybersecurity at the utmost level of importance, a program that establishes risk-based controls to protect the integrity and confidentiality of the data you store.
In other words, you want to be cybersecurity compliant.
First, list your objectives (e.g., protect intellectual property and financial data), and then determine what kind of IT expertise you need.
Then, invest in the right security software installed on your systems to protect the network and endpoint devices.
It’s also a good idea to install security measures on any personal devices your employees use for business.
Norton has become the go-to for protecting laptops and can be purchased inexpensively to keep your costs under control — look for coupons from stores like OfficeMax to stretch your dollars even further.
4. Accounting platform
Every successful business needs to maintain accurate books, and bookkeeping software is efficient, easy, and ensures the protection of your data.
Organizations have to keep various kinds of documents, including bank statements, receipts, invoices, tax documentation, and payroll information — and all of these can be scanned and kept in a handy folder on your computer.
As far as bookkeeping software goes, there are various tools online that can make your number-crunching easier.
For instance, QuickBooks Online is an effective small-business accounting software that allows you to track income and expenses, manage cash flow for your business, and run reports, among other key capabilities.
These kinds of tools are even tax-deductible.
These are only four different kinds of technologies your small business can use to succeed in your market. Explore all your options before choosing a product!
For more of this kind of informative, helpful content, visit JaxonLabs and let the experts help your small business succeed.
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