There is of course a wide divide between the struggles of small business owners and the resources available to huge multinational corporations. Still, just because big business makes use of something does not mean small business owners can’t also implement it into their companies. This is certainly the case for many kinds of technology that have the ability to help businesses both large and small.
According to statistics, over 90 percent of businesses implement cloud computing. This includes the largest tech giants, Google, Apple and Microsoft. While becoming a cloud supplier is probably technically infeasible for many small businesses unless web hosting is your specific focus, you can still take advantage of cloud services to develop a competitive edge.
The cloud has many advantages. For example, you could use productivity software powered through the cloud. This means being able to access the same applications in the office, at home, on the subway or anywhere else. All that’s needed to load cloud software is an internet connection. It’s also an excellent choice for backing up the important data you want to protect. Locally stored data, of course, could disappear if your hardware ever fails.
Subtitling isn’t something only available to movie studios and TV networks. Subtitling services can also be used by small businesses that want to expand their marketing to more audiences. For example, you may want to produce an instructional video to explain how to assemble your product. Having Spanish captioning available can mean being able to reach Hispanic consumers in the United States as well as other countries.
Thanks to the ease of adding a subtitle track to a video, this can be accomplished with very little effort. You can even code your website in a way that the subtitling will come up automatically if an internet user’s IP address originates from a Spanish speaking country.
Another thing that is used by businesses both large and small is customer relationship management software or CRM software for short. While CRM software can do many things, it can be broadly defined as software that allows a business owner to manage and analyze customer data, sales data and customer interactions.
Deploying this kind of software can have certain great advantages for a small business. If you record all your sales information, you can use such a software program to parse the data and analyze it for trends. You may find that certain products only sell at certain times of the year. Analyzing customer data may reveal that senior citizens are quite fond of your product. Overall, having data is one thing. You also need the software to analyze it so you discover actionable information that can be used to plot your business strategy. According to statistics, 87 percent of CRM software utilized by businesses is cloud based.
If you do business online, one thing customers expect is tracking numbers. Tracking numbers are a boon to customer service. If a customer is able to know where a package is at any given time, they are more likely to be satisfied. Without this information, customers may assume the worst when they don’t immediately receive their package.
While supplying tracking numbers was quite expensive some time ago, they are now available to nearly any business that sells products online. Shippers like UPS and FedEx offer shipment tracking to retailers that use their services. You could even use the system available from the United States Postal Service. When this tracking information is made available to a company, it’s not that difficult to program your e-mail to send shipping updates directly to customers’ inboxes so they stay informed during the entire process.
Many things used by huge corporations can in fact be adapted for use by small businesses. This is certainly the case for many kinds of technology. While your company may be small, you should still try to stay ahead of business tech trends. A lot of them can save you money and greatly improve the service you provide to customers.
By: Jennifer Livingston