How New Technologies Make Small Businesses More Competitive
Small businesses are really the engine of innovation in every economy. They are more tolerant to change and flexible than their larger competitors, and can gain competitive advantage by successfully applying new technologies. If you run a startup or an early-stage business, or ever did, then you know how difficult it is to be a business owner with multiple roles. It is a difficult task to balance out all the business requirements – human resources, IT, sales, and finance are all taken care of by the business owner. This is where new technologies come into play, enabling someone who lacks in specialist knowledge to complete their requirements correctly and efficiently, in order to expand and grow.
These are some of the tech innovations that are making big waves in the small business community around the globe, making the market more competitive.
Originally, cloud integration was used only by larger businesses that were attempting to keep their data flexible and accessible to a larger number of workers and from multiple locations, without sacrificing the security of the data.
A number of different cloud services have been developed since then, from easily accessible processing and storage solutions (Google Drive and Dropbox) to major SaaS providers for big businesses. Small businesses can use this technology to eliminate the need for exchanging countless unreliable emails between coworkers and superiors to update each other with new information.
Thanks to cloud technology, people today get integrated into businesses more easily, even those who are thousands of miles away. Data can now be accessed, communicated, and manipulated from any remote location in real time.
Improved money transfers
Transferring funds overseas was costly, in the past, and it was a major thing that prevented SMB’s from competing with larger companies. Banks’ charge fees can eat through much of the profits that would’ve been made through the money transaction. Exchange and transfer services, such as Transferwise or HiFX, charge very low fees, thus helping small businesses from losing money. There are also specialist exchange services that make their profits by making up-to-the-second exchanges when the exchange rates are favorable.
Business can now build international relationships (with foreign clients or suppliers) that, in the past, wouldn’t be possible. The unlocked internationality of these services allows small businesses to get international loans, through loan providers like ALC Commercial, and not pay high fees to their local or national banks.
Mobile payment systems
Mobile payment systems have gained in popularity among consumers over the last few years. Mobile wallets allow us to pay with any of our credit accounts or cards at a single touch, so there’s no need to carry cash with us anymore. It is convenient both for the business and the customers, and if you think you can run an eCommerce store without any online or mobile payment option, your business won’t flourish as you expect. With a faster checkout speed, it will take you less time to handle more transactions, leaving you with time to spend on other important matters.
Technology fills the skills gap
The area of technology and digital transformation has become crucial for smaller firms, because it has affected various aspects of modern life. From optimizing content to daily admin workflows and processes, small businesses have a chance of remaining competitive in their markets by using the available technologies.
However, the reasons behind delayed technology upgrades can vary from company to company. It may be the lack of knowledge or technical resources, need, or cost of a product – tech purchases get delayed and deprioritized. On the other hand, small businesses need to prioritize time for finding the right technology that will enable them to remain efficient and competitive in the future.
When it comes to technical awareness among business owners, it’s low, but not that surprising. The skills gaps could lead them to long-term problems, as modern businesses today rely on technology, and the reliance on IT is only going to increase.
How to overcome the transformation challenge?
Some startup and small business owners believe that they don’t have the access to enough dedicated technology infrastructure, like larger business do. Lack of in-house resources would be a problem ten years ago, as this could prevent smaller companies from scaling up. Due to digital transformation, there have been some changes in resourcing, and small businesses can expand their IT resources (as business demands change) through cloud computing. Instead of worrying about the in-house storage system, small business owners can use the services they need on-demand by going to the cloud.
Small business owners are largely using new technology to reduce the amount of time spent on certain tasks and to improve their productivity. Small businesses are able to transform their businesses and compete against larger competitors with more confidence.