5 ways that digital technology can help small businesses
Technology is growing fast and ever-changing. Processes are becoming more efficient and many companies are reaping the rewards through increased efficiency and better system monitoring. It is not just large businesses that can benefit. Here are 5 ways in which digital technology can help small businesses.
Time tracking software can save a small business a lot of time and money. It allows more detailed tracking of time spent by sub-contractors on specific projects. This not only provides a more accurate project management overview but gives companies the ability to budget and forecast future projects more effectively. It can also be used for payroll. Employees submit timesheets or expense claims via a mobile app which can be authorised using the same method. Not only can employees and contractors be paid more quickly but it can also reduce payroll costs.
Gone are the days of having to make an appointment with your bank manager to discuss the options available. Mortgage brokers like Habito can arrange mortgages quickly and easily online. Whilst you may need to supply more information than you perhaps would with a traditional mortgage, there are many self-employment products available for small business owners who want to finance a house purchase.
It is very easy nowadays for businesses of any size to accept payments quickly and seamlessly using various digital payment methods. Mobile card readers such as Sum Up or Square are extremely popular. They are not costly to buy, link with a mobile phone and Bluetooth and allow payments to be taken on the go. Other methods like PayPal are also widely used. Customers make payment via an email address or businesses can obtain a PayPal.me link unique to their company. Customers merely click the link provided to and enter the amount they wish to pay. It couldn’t be simpler. Fewer people are using cash these days and customers want to be able to pay quickly, securely and easily. This is now possible regardless of how small a business is.
Advertising and marketing
Social media is a great way for any small business to advertise their services. It is cost-effective, flexible and the potential reach is huge. Products and services can be quickly and easily advertised on the likes of Instagram or Facebook. Companies can also use Twitter or more business focussed platforms such as LinkedIn.
Customer relationship management (CRM)
Having the ability to track and store information about existing and potential customers is a great asset to any small business. Investing in a CRM system can not only increase sales but can improve customer service. Any communication with a customer is stored. It can also analyse everything a company may need to know about a customer’s profile. This allows for targeted marketing whether it be to a certain age demographic or within specific geographical locations. It also allows customer service issues to be tracked. Data relating to complaints or product issues can also be recorded and analysed more effectively.