Small businesses have scarce resources, and they rely on tactfulness and pragmatism to grow profits and expand successfully. On the other hand, large corporations and multinational competitors have a wealth of resources and in-house departments with cutting-edge solutions. How can a small business or a low-budget startup compete with such aggressive competition?
There’s one solution that helps small businesses bridge the gap and compete with larger rivals: technology. Acquiring technological solutions allows businesses to overcome the challenges created by their minimal resources. Tech-driven solutions and automation tools reduce the need for additional staffing, allowing human resources to focus on core operations.
Technology is an entrepreneur’s most trusted friend, be it a factory machine, state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI) software appliances. Each business and industry has its own specific and distinctive technology acquisition needs. While some businesses thrive on automation and machine learning, others need data-driven insights and an enormous computation capacity.
The first step is to identify your business’s technology needs and map out the solutions that can empower your company. Today, there’s a wealth of technological solutions, from appliances and apps to software and robotics. Keep reading to explore top technology solutions that empower small businesses with precision and efficiency.
1. High-Speed Internet
Startup owners often believe that their home Wi-Fi will suffice to support daily operations, data processing, and computation. That’s a terrible mistake because you can’t initiate business activity without high-speed internet. Your residential broadband may support high-speed internet for 3-4 users, but can it handle over a dozen? Most unlikely.
You need to invest in high-speed business broadband from a reliable corporate provider. When more than ten people use the same Wi-Fi, they encounter numerous connectivity issues and an annoyingly slow loading speed. So, high-speed corporate broadband is the very first tech investment you need to make for your small business.
2. Open-Source Software
A basic necessity, investing in open-source software offers businesses a more efficient alternative over commercial applications. Daily management and operations rely on software, and as a small business owner, even the smallest investment reduces the budget. Therefore, open-source software is an appealing solution as it doesn’t require a financial investment.
OpenOffice.org is brimming with popular open-source software and tools. You can acquire an office software suite that offers spreadsheets, presentation-making tools, graphics software, word processing, and databases. These are flexible solutions designed to fulfill all businesses’ computing, budgeting, and data processing needs.
3. Communication Tools
Efficient and effective communication is vital for productivity as it prevents holdups, time delays and ensures a harmonious organizational culture. Small businesses must equip themselves with intelligent and smart communication solutions. Modern-day enterprises are not brick-and-mortar businesses tied to desks or computers.
Today, professionals and entrepreneurs work remotely and conduct their business on-the-go. While a traditional landline or telephone service is essential, cell phones, virtual phone lines, and VoIPs are more efficient alternatives. Businesses also need teleconferencing tools to conduct video conferences with clients, employees, and investors.
Conducting video conferences with clients and remote teams can give your business a powerful competitive edge. It will help you bag clients from different locations across the world. In 2021, small enterprises also explore in-house communication apps and software to improve internal collaboration. These apps allow managers and executives to manage and communicate with their teams robustly and efficiently.
4. Project Management
A small business cannot afford to engage its managers in the hectic endeavor of running after employees and team members. In today’s remote working world, this endeavor is not as effective as it was in traditional office settings. Telework has made employees less accountable, and businesses that hire freelancers have to face nightmares when meeting deadlines.
Luckily, technology presents an efficient solution: project management tools. The digital space is brimming with various project management tools to coordinate and communicate with big and small teams. These tools come with many built-in features that support time-tracking, delegation, deadline management, and more.
Such apps make employees accountable for themselves, and managers no longer have to run around reminding employees of deadlines. Project management apps issue notifications and run negative timers to highlight teams and employees falling behind on deadlines. As a small business, losing a client is a significant threat. A project management tool can help you ensure timeliness and efficiency.
5. Accounting & Invoicing
Are you struggling to make room in your startup budget to hire an accountant? Don’t hire an accountant; and instead, investing in accounting software. QuickBooks are the leading accounting solutions that have penetrated every industry and sector with their striking innovation. These accounting solutions help with budgeting, invoicing, inventory management, taxation compliance, and generating balance sheets.
They eliminate the possibility of human error and empower businesses with superior computation power for financial accuracy. Today, several cutting-edge accounting solutions offer data-driven projections and financial forecasting. An accounting solution will streamline your bookkeeping needs and ensure efficiency.
Most small businesses invest in accounting solutions to reduce the burden of mundane and repetitive tasks. It allows accountants to focus on core financial activity and discover data-driven strategies to reduce expenses and drive profitability.
6. Data Storage & Processing
Big or small businesses deal with enormous amounts of data and rely on data processing and storage tools. Big data is a powerful and dynamic innovation that has transformed how businesses handle and process their data.
Big data solutions allow small businesses to leverage the power of data and aggressively compete against larger corporations. The term refers to large and complex data sets that require advanced technology for processing and analysis. Big data tools can crunch massive amounts of data within seconds and offer valuable insights to support decision-making.
If you’re an e-commerce business, big data solutions can help you revolutionize data-handling to enhance customer experience and brand reputation.
When it comes to technology acquisition, early adopters reap the most significant advantages. By the time a small business or startup adopts a technology, it becomes a mainstream tool. Naturally, this reduces the advantages and benefits, doing little to sharpen a small enterprise’s competitive edge.
Before you start buying apps and software, it’s crucial to conduct an in-depth analysis to identify shortages and weaknesses. Then, you can consult an IT expert to identify solutions that can help you overcome these weaknesses.