Lisa Michaels

Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor and a striving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in business and tech. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.

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Small Business Strategies for Integrating Digital Technology

Lisa Michaels

October 29, 2018

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Digital technology has been making a surge with a growing number of businesses embracing the latest tech to reap the benefits. It is necessary, for success, that a business incorporates digital technology, otherwise they can be left behind, and their business and revenue will suffer. As a small business owner, it seems that the best solutions are locked behind a high paywall, but the proliferation of digital solutions levels the playing field considerably. So, how do you make your small business more efficient using digital technology? Here are a few strategies for small business owners.

1.     Cloud computing

Being able to store, manage, and process data online instead of hardware allows a company the freedom to operate from anywhere. Cloud computing offers flexible resources and economies of scale. This makes it highly accessible to small businesses since they will only be paying for what they are using, so the costs will remain in their budget range.

Furthermore, if you need more space, it is easily attainable. This makes it easier to scale your business. You also do not have to worry about having enough resources to accommodate sudden changes, like the once many e-commerce stores experience during holiday season.

While you might argue that you are already using on-site servers and switching to a cloud solution would just be additional work, think about server maintenance for a bit. You need to monitor your servers and they are generally not movable. In case you experience a power outage, your server will not work. If you would switch to cloud computing, you will enjoy highest uptime since all cloud computing service providers aim for it – it’s their bread and butter.

As if no worries about maintenance, power, security and everything else weren’t enticing enough, you will also be able to access your data securely from anywhere. As a matter of fact, any authorized employee will be able to do so.

2.     Smart technology

Digital technology has progressed far enough to be applied to things such as lighting, thermostats, and surveillance. Smart sensors will save you money as they will use optimal settings each day, every day. The lights will be dimmer if there’s enough light from the outside. The warmth of light can change depending on time of day, keeping your eyes protected from unnatural conditions. The thermostat will automatically heat up the room based on your preferences, and so on. These functions help you save money on utilities because they will only be used when needed.

3.     Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

SaaS solutions allow you to take advantage of the latest digital technology without the need to install or commit to new software. Most often, SaaS solutions are subscription based, with many offering a trial period so you can test whether your business would benefit from them or not.

Using SaaS solutions helps you work more efficiently. They are always coupled with automation, so you can enjoy fast and convenient accounting, invoicing, planning, sales, performance monitoring, marketing and communications.

Instead of leaving the mundane tasks to your employees, SaaS solutions will take over. Your employees are free to work in other vital capacities. This streamlines your processes and reduces error rates. Contrary to popular belief, it does not mean that robots have robbed your employees of their jobs, it just means that your employees can focus on other areas and even learn new skills.

4.     Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT are computing devices that interact with each other without the intervention of humans. Such devices are able to collect and transfer data without the need of human intervention. This helps businesses gather important information on how their products and services are performing, helping them develop better solutions much quicker.

Any business that invests in IoT gains an advantage over companies that are not using this kind of technology. It may seem a little scary to let computers do all the work and make decisions. Still, all major players use this tech. Even companies like Cisco use remote monitoring and access into their factory machines and systems. This allows technicians to spot an issue before it becomes a larger one and troubleshoot problems without even being in the factory.

This technology is not manufacturing industry exclusive and can even be installed into homes. This makes it a great investment for home-based businesses. For instance, you can use a smart office assistant that will help you schedule tasks, take notes, even post to social media or help you find information you’re looking for.

5.     Digital transformation

Changing business operations is always scary – there’s a million things that can backfire. One of the most important parts of a digital transformation is the buy-in from employees and management. Without employee approval, a transformation will not achieve the desired impact.

Digital transformation gives you the ability to arm employees with new capabilities to do their jobs more efficiently and focus on key areas of their role instead of wasting time on mundane tasks. Such changes have a positive impact on employees, customers, revenue, and your overall business success.

Thanks to new tech solutions, you can use the tools the big companies use, but on your scale, allowing you to grow your business. Do you use digital technology already? How does it affect your business?


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