In today's modern business environment, having the right technological solutions can be the difference between a mediocre company and a truly successful one. Technology can provide a critical edge to small businesses in a variety of ways, and even the slightest bit more efficiency in daily operations or a faster turnaround time during production is enough for a company to rise above its industry peers and become the new standard.
In fact, a recent survey from Brother International Corporation, a global leader in office technology, revealed about 67 percent of small business respondents stated they wanted to invest in technology this year. There are thousands of different types of technological gizmos, gadgets and doodads out there though, which can make it difficult for small business owners to discern which work best for their company and which are just a waste of money. With a little research and the right amount of capital, any small business can find the technological solutions needed to compete in tomorrow's economic landscape.
Some small businesses have been slow to adopt cloud-based services for their operations. Whether it's because they prefer their traditional modes of conducting business, such as local data storage or even pen-and-paper processes, or because companies fail to keep pace with their counterparts, they may find themselves left in the dust. As of the end of 2015, only 37 percent of U.S. small business had fully adopted cloud computing, Forbes contributor Louis Columbus reported. However, this number is expected jump to 78 percent by 2020. When nearly two-thirds of small businesses are taking advantage of the benefits of cloud computing, such as increased cybersecurity, greater scaling flexibility and real-time access from any device, those companies not in the cloud will find it much more difficult to remain competitive.
Marketing automation software
Taking time to input contact information into every mailer and then go through the act of sending out each piece of information is not a very cost-effective marketing method. One technological investment that can reduce much of the time and resources dedicated to this process is marketing automation software. Much of the tasks associated with online, and even offline, marketing can be handled automatically, including email campaign management, budgeting tools, website analytics, ROI calculations and much more.
New POS systems
Brick-and-mortar shops – especially high-volume retail companies – need to have secure and quick point-of-sale equipment to handle all the sales activity. In addition to processing these transactions, a good POS system will also be able to produce critical reports and track sales. This data can provide the insights necessary for meeting key performance indicators and ensuring the small business is reaching its goals and milestones in a timely fashion. Plus, many advanced POS systems can be operated from a tablet or other mobile device like a smartphone.
How to pay for these investments?
While these all sound like great technological solutions for companies in a wide range of sectors, sometimes it can be difficult for small businesses to find the capital necessary to invest in these upgrades. Allocating resources is hard enough to keep the doors open and the employees paid, let alone trying to find ways to pay for an upgrade to improve something that might not be broken.
Thankfully, small business owners can get quick and easy access to the working capital they need from an alternative lender. With an online application process and a 24-hour turnaround time, getting the funding to invest in new technology has never been easier or faster.