The importance of technology should not be doubted in a small business. While it may be uncharted territory for small businesses to implement new technology into your business, it is essential in communicating and transacting with customers, potential clients and other businesses.
Spending money on business software and new technologies is often not on the list of what you want to do. Investing and incorporating deeper tech beyond basic business management software can be overwhelming but it can be done on a small business budget. If history tells us anything, it is crucial to the growth of a business, regardless of shape or size, to invest in new technology.
One of the most important decisions a small business can make is how to use scarce funds to grow their business. The margin for errors is small and the decision can very well affect your business with long-term consequences.
Investments in technology are worth the (low) cost
It is important to note that the implementation of technology does not have to be expensive. Small businesses and even micro-businesses often balk at the thought of allocating budget money on software development or other technology.
According to an article via Forbes which provided a breakdown of the real cost of technology, it was demonstrated that office space costs on average $2 per hour, a “knowledge worker” costs approximately $60 per hour and technology such as a high-end workstation (a more advanced computer that allows a business to use high-tech solutions without lag or other technical issues) or new software development with a pro costs exponentially less at just $0.20 per hour.
Technology development can improve your business
Smart technology has proven to take businesses to the next level.
It started in the 1990s when companies have seen amazing success who were just starting their journeys in search of algorithms that would be able to take their ideas to the next level. And just like the technology developers who helped those entrepreneurs launch their big ideas, software development companies of today are looking for the next advance in smart software and beyond to turn a small business or micro-business into the next billion-dollar project.
The impact of new technology on businesses can be seen from the popularity of easy software solutions like cloud computing. Almost 40% of businesses have reported better agility and responsiveness after they have deployed a cloud computing solution for their staff to use.
Investing in technology can help you interact with customers better
Businesses that didn’t pay heed to the internet into 21st century had a hard time keeping up with the competition in terms of products and service. The same holds true today when it comes to technology.
A prime example of this is the use of chatbots by businesses on their websites or social media channels.
Generally, they are used by younger people with 60% of millennials reporting having interacted with a chatbot at least once. In fact, 70% of those millennials reported positively on their interaction. It does not come as a surprise, then, that the chatbot market is expected to reach $1.23 billion globally by 2025.
With advancements in natural language processing and the rise of voice assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, chatbots can provide faster responses to customer queries, thus enabling better interactions with customers.
As AI and machine learning technology advance, personalization in technology can be expected to become more commonplace as it becomes more affordable for small businesses.
Where you should go from here
Whether you are a part of a micro-business or an established small business, you should always be on the lookout for the next big innovation — not just to stay in the game but to build the next billion-dollar business.