With over 3 million small businesses in the US alone, standing out from the crowd isn’t always easy. Whether you’re an established presence in your local community or a startup CEO still finding your feet, it’s always a good idea to embrace innovation as a way to make your mark. In the digital age, that comes in the form of small business technology. But what tech solutions are best to boost your brand? Let’s take a look.
Before implementing the necessary innovations, check the condition of your computer. CPU usage is a measure of how actively the computer’s central processing unit is being used. It represents the percentage of CPU usage. This information allows you to determine how hard the processor is working. And how does it perform calculations at a given time? Take into account the current state of your equipment, and then it will only improve your work.
1. Inventory Management Systems
Your inventory management is how you keep track of everything your business owns. This includes any stock you’re actively selling, but also products that are essential to the running of your company, like any equipment you need to fulfill customer orders. Without technology, it can be a particularly time-consuming task, making it the first on our list of tech to invest in.
Inventory management software essentially keeps an eye on your products so that you don’t have to. It’s easy for staff (or you, depending on the size of your team) to add new-in stock to your system and it’ll track sales to automatically update your product levels. A lot of software also helps with inventory costing and can produce the documentation you need for the smooth functioning of your business, like order forms or invoices.
Some of the main benefits you’ll see from using inventory management systems for your small business include:
- Automatically ordering new items when your stock is running low
- Predicting demand to avoid shortages
- Highlighting best-seller and lowest-selling products to inform future orders
- Bringing efficiency to stock storage by placing best-sellers in more accessible spots
A lot of inventory tech also automates tasks like data entry and form-filling, saving you a lot of time on repetitive tasks. By having your software fulfill orders, you also reduce the risk of human error (like adding an extra 0 to an order amount), cutting the time and costs associated with dealing with returns.
2. Flexible Payment Solutions
Did you know that over half of Americans are now using contactless payments? The rise of digital wallets and contactless cards has made the way people pay a lot more varied, and it’s important your small business can keep up.
Luckily, payment technology is becoming increasingly accessible for small businesses. SumUp, for example, offers zero contract plans and transparent pricing for their card machines so that you don’t have to pay more than you can. These handy machines let you take chip & PIN payments as well as payments via contactless cards and digital wallets, opening you up to a world of digital purchasing.
But what are the benefits for your business? Let’s take a look.
Reach a Wider Audience
If you’ve ever gone to buy something in a shop using your card and been told they only take cash, you’re not alone! Small businesses, take note. To make sure you never limit your sales by not accepting your customers’ preferred payment methods, you need a digital card machine that you can rely on. The more payment options you accept, the more people can make purchases with you and the quicker your business will grow.
Increase Average Sale Amount
Spending using a credit card is closely linked to the reward centers of the brain. The result? A higher average spend when using a credit card versus paying in cash. People are more likely to buy higher-priced items, make more impulse buys, and even tip more when using a card instead of cash, making payment technology a no-brainer for your small business.
Faster Transactions for Happy Customers
There’s no doubt that contactless payments are snappy. They can help you speed up time spent at your till, reduce queues, and create a more positive customer experience. Speedy contactless payments also let your team members get back to other work quickly, helping your entire business run more efficiently.
3. Customer Feedback and Review Platforms
Reviews are one of the best ways for your brand to compete with the big dogs in business. Earn a lot of 5-star reviews and you’ll quickly build a positive reputation in your local area, with people choosing you over competitors based solely on customer feedback. But if you’re struggling to actually build up a good base of feedback, you could be missing out.
That’s where review technology comes in, helping you highlight all the positive things your loyal customers have to say about your business.
When you start using review management software, you’ll be taking control of your brand reputation by collecting and publishing good reviews. After interacting with your business online (making an eCommerce purchase, signing up for your mailing list, etc.) your customer feedback tools will automatically send out invitations via various channels that encourage the customer to leave a review. Depending on your software, it will also:
- Notify you when you receive a new review
- Provide branded templates for quick review responses from your business
- Use AI to auto-generate personalized responses
- Organize all reviews across platforms in a single dashboard for simpler management
For your small business, all of this is going to save you time and make it easier to build a positive brand image, giving you better control over your audience perception and boosting profits.
4. Online Booking & Scheduling Software
If you’re a business that takes bookings, automated booking software is a must. Even if it’s not part of your services, as you scale your company it’s likely that you’ll take meetings with suppliers, stockists, and other third parties, all of which will benefit from software that automates your calendar.
Let’s take a look at some of the advantages you can expect.
Automate Your Calendar Schedule
When you’re in the middle of a busy work day, the last thing you want to do is see when you can fit a call in for two months away or a last-minute customer booking. With scheduling software, though, you won’t have to.
After plugging in availability, the customer can choose a date that works for them without having to interact with you. You’ll be notified of the appointment, it’ll be added to your various calendars, and your day will continue uninterrupted.
Improve the Booking Experience
Booking software is designed by professionals, making it seamless, easy to use, and focused on customer experience. This boosts your professional image while keeping clients and third parties happy, all while saving you time.
Avoid Double Bookings
As a busy small business CEO, it’s easy to double-book yourself when you’re manually organizing your calendar. With software, though, that problem will stay in the past.
Customers, partners, and other third parties can’t book in when you’ve marked the time as busy on your calendar or already have an appointment. This prevents disappointment, maintains your professional image, and drastically reduces your stress.
As a small business, you don’t need to struggle to compete with big-name brands. By investing in the right technology you can automate your processes, improve the customer experience, and build a brand image that instantly attracts more business to your brand, all with the added bonus of freeing up your time to focus on building the company you love.
For more advice to grow your small business, be sure to keep up with the Workology community!