Small businesses often do much more with much less. This is as much out of necessity as it is a reflection of the scrappiness of entrepreneurs. After all, you can’t carve out a niche and build a customer base from scratch with anything less than passionate drive and uncompromised efficiency.
So while large corporations deal with red tape and rampant waste, small businesses thrive on magnification, taking the resources available and milking every drop. It’s not only the responsible thing to do – it’s the smart thing to do.
This is where technology enters the picture. Technological advances have struck down many of the barriers that traditionally stood between small businesses and the capabilities of their larger competitors. The playing field has been leveled so drastically that it can even be tilted toward small businesses that know how to strategically leverage new technology.
The Mobile Factor
Armies of high-paid ad gurus can concept all day on billboards, TV spots, magazine spreads and other conventional marketing pieces, but consumers have changed their habits. Nowadays, the most critical place for a company to be seen is on mobile devices.
It’s important to note that smartphones aren’t simply used for killing time while waiting for your Uber. People take action on their phones. Case in point: more than half of all mobile searches lead to a purchase. And according to Internet Retailer, mobile payments in the United States will grow from $52 billion to $142 billion by 2019.
Of course, being present on mobile isn’t enough. You need a well-executed strategy. About 60% of consumers will shun your mobile website in the future if they don’t have a good experience. In fact, Google says that if your mobile site isn’t optimized, it’s essentially like closing your store for one day a week.
Using Tech to Communicate
Customer service is becoming increasingly important in modern business. Research suggests that it will actually replace product and price as the primary brand differentiator by 2020. And your customer service will get a huge lift when you use email, chat, social and other communication platforms to stay connected with your customers.
These communication advancements also enhance your internal efficiency. You can teleconference with ease, allowing for in-depth presentations and working sessions with participants around the world. Likewise, your employees can telecommute, which opens new opportunities and makes it easier to span different time zones.
The Bottom Line
Technology isn’t going anywhere. Well, that’s not entirely true. Technology is on a rapid, upward trajectory. And if you can harness it for your small business, your fortunes may take a similar path.