How Technology can help the Small Business Owner

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As a small business owner, you might think the price of technology puts it out of your reach. It might surprise you to learn that technology is not as expensive as you think. You’re already making good use of it in many different ways, for example, your laptop, mobile phone, and the internet. But are you using it as much as you could and are you making the most of what’s available? Here are 7 examples of the way technology can be used to your advantage.

Sharing and Collaborating

When you’re running a small business, a connection with your clients is vital. Creating new products and services requires the collaboration of your employees, external vendors, and your target audience. Instant sharing and communication are now possible with the help of technology. Email and instant messaging tools, software that uses the cloud, social media and web-based project management tools enable all parties to keep in touch throughout the process.

Providing Flexible Working Environments

Small business owners and their employees have the option of working from home, on the road, or anywhere else they choose thanks to the internet and cloud-based software. Being able to work remotely means the small business owner has access to the best talent from around the world.

Connecting with Customers

The small business owner doesn’t have to send out mail and wait weeks for a reply. Thanks to emails, blogs, social networks and forums small business owners can now communicate with customers instantly. Feedback can be received immediately and if there are any problems a solution can be found before the issue gets worse.

Online Stores

If you’re a crafter, clothing, accessory or jewelry designer you now have the option of setting up an online store and selling your products all over the world. Consumers use the internet for an increasing number of their purchases and the popularity of online shopping increases daily. If a small business owner runs a storefront,they now have the option of expanding their audience and reaching target markets that wouldn’t have been possible before.

Managing Expenditure

When you’re running a small business it’s important to keep a close eye on expenditure. Finding the best deals and cheapest suppliers is vital if you want to keep your costs as low as possible. The smart business owner is the one who uses the internet to compare prices for business electricity rates and the cost of other utilities.

Employee Development

When a small business owner implements new technology, training has to be made available. The internet makes this much easier. Employees don’t have to take time off for personal development as they can train and study for qualifications online, from their home or while at work.

Productivity Software

The latest software allows the small business owner to be more productive than ever before. Tasks that would have been time consuming and boring can now be completed automatically. Accounting and customer relationship management software streamlines many of the everyday processes, freeing up time for concentrating on expanding the business.