According to the Chamber of Commerce, did you know that as of 2018, over 30.2 million small businesses are operating in the United States? Only 80% of these small businesses survive during their first year. By the time they reach the end of their second year, only 70% of these businesses survive. The number continues to go down throughout the years. Because after being established for five years, only a little over 50% of small businesses manage to stay afloat. If you want to help your business thrive even after the fifth year, here’s how technology can help:
What is Information technology (IT) infrastructure? It is every software, hardware, network resources, and services that companies use to manage their business. In a small business, you probably don’t have that much hardware. Hardware is the “physical” element of the IT infrastructure. Also known as your computers, servers, or routers. You will mostly focus on software and your network.
Software refers to the different applications that you use to help make managing your business easier. There are tons of software for businesses. But small businesses are more likely to use software such as human resource management software (HRM) and customer relations software (CRM). HRM is essentially used to help you with anything related to human resources. You know, payroll and other HR duties. It automates it for you.
CRM software can help you understand your customers more. By tracking customer interactions with your company on different search engines, contact forms, emails, phone calls, and social media. This allows you to further understand what attracts your customers and bring them to you. If you don’t know which software to download you can always contact an IT infrastructure consulting company to help you figure out which software works best for improving your business.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) sounds intimidating, doesn’t it? It sounds complex and expensive. You would assume that AIs are only good for big companies. However, small businesses like yours can also use AI. This article by Forbes magazine shows how a survey was conducted by Vistage to see how small businesses use AI to help them. The results showed that it is mostly used for business operations, customer engagement, talent management, and finance.
Social media marketing, everybody is doing it. Why? Because there are 3.96 billion active social media users in the world as of July 2020. In 2018, 75% of small businesses use Facebook to market their businesses online. It would be a mistake not to use social media to your advantage. It is the most vital element of our society, you could even say it is a society of its own. Social media is a great place to connect with your customers on a more personal level. The more they can relate or are attracted to your business, the more they will want to share it with their friends.
Things also trend easily and quickly through social media. If you pay attention to the different trends and use this to your business’s advantage, your business could get more attention. Even if you don’t become viral, social media is still a great way to get traffic and up your sales.
Finance technology or fintech for short is a financial service provided by companies with the help of technology. Whether it be by paying online, handling insurance, or investing online. It basically acts as a normal bank would, except it helps make financial transactions faster, easier, and less expensive than usual.
Some fintech services that you’re probably more familiar with are apps such as PayPal and Venmo. Fintech allows you to transact with a tap of a button. It has been said to help small businesses survive during the pandemic. Not only does it allow businesses to continue providing goods and services during the pandemic. But, it also helps them attract more customers by providing them with special offers, discounts, loyalty rewards, and such.
In this day and age, you would be a fool not to take advantage of technology to help your business. It’s hard to beat competition without the help of some sort of technology. If you can’t afford to use AI, taking advantage of something like Facebook analytics and other social media data can help just as well. In the information age, the more data you have the bigger chances of success. Not to mention that we’re currently facing a pandemic, which also forces us to rely on technology more than ever. It’s the only way to stay afloat these days.