There’s no such thing as a successful low-tech business in 2020. Even if your product or service has no technical component, high-tech advancements in invoicing, billing, tax processing, communications, and marketing put firms that refuse these innovations at a tremendous disadvantage in a competitive economy. While small business owners won’t always have the time to explore the full range of new business technologies available, every business can benefit from investing time and money in some of the most user-friendly and time saving high-tech strategies. Below we’ve compiled ten of the simplest high-tech business innovations that can immediately help boost your organization’s efficiency.
Begin storing business records online
Although moving to a digital record-keeping system may have a steep learning curve, the time-savings of pulling up files instantly instead of digging through crowded filing cabinets will pay for your initial effort within a matter of weeks.
Store data on the cloud
If your business is generating a significant amount of records or data, you will soon need a storage mechanism outside of your small personal computer hard drive. While many more established businesses purchase their own servers for this purpose, small businesses can save on this start-up cost by choosing to store their data on a cloud-based server such as Google Drive. These services are becoming increasingly popular each year, and it seems likely that on-site business servers will not be owned by any firms outside of the high-tech sector within a few years.
Use software to streamline your financials
Anything involving money is almost guaranteed to be a headache when managed by hand. Luckily, a number of excellent software programs have been released in the past few years that can guide you through how to file your taxes, how to generate invoice, how to manage an effective balance sheet, and much more. The best of these packages will even generate documents for you using a few pieces of information that you enter.
Develop a social media strategy
Social media has become the public square of the twenty-first century, and shutting yourself out of this area is akin to opening a shop without a storefront. When it comes to social media accounts, quality is better than quantity — you will gain much more traction with one account (say, Twitter) that you update, than three accounts on three different platforms that you only get around to updating every few months.
Invest in marketing software
Although a diligent social media manager can create successful online marketing campaigns by hand, they will be hard-pressed to match the efficiency of marketing software. Marketing software platforms will give you access to easy online advertising, templates for mass email campaigns, and strategies for recruiting customers to email lists or newsletters. These functions will allow you to vastly expand the exposure of your business without the labor of individually crafting emails to everyone you wish to reach.
Access the power of online markets
In the last five years, online and app-based sales have grown to such an extent that almost every sector can access this market. Beyond the obvious advantages of selling consumer goods online, web-based sales platforms now exist for food, business services, and consumer services. While many businesses will continue to thrive through a physical sales presence, there are few that cannot benefit to some degree from entering the online marketplace. Especially in our current day and age, when in-person businesses are suffering such a drastic decline, selling through online platforms are an essential lifeline for keeping struggling businesses afloat. Our one caveat is to make sure that you are engaging in the online marketplace on your own terms — some platforms set up confusing and exploitative agreements with sellers, so you will have to inspect any agreement you enter into carefully before proceeding.