TECHNOLOGY • February 1, 2018
3 minutes Read
Keeping up with the relentless pace of innovation can feel like an undue burden for your small business. In fact, according to a recent survey from Microsoft, nearly half of business owners identified staying ahead of technology as their top challenge for 2018.
While it can be tricky to navigate the range of technology offerings on the market, finding the right solutions can help your business reduce overhead, improve service delivery and build a stronger team. To help your business plan for technology upgrades in 2018, here are three areas to consider:
The payments industry has been transformed in recent years through innovations that have made transactions faster, easier and more secure. Mobile payments have evolved significantly, and mobile retail payments are expected to exceed $220 billion in 2017.
Mobile technologies make for a seamless payment experience that reduces the time your customers spend at checkout. It can also cut down on your transaction and administration costs by enabling you to track your bills and automate payments. Tracking customer behavior is an added plus, helping you to better understand your customers’ spending patterns, and informing your overall sales priorities. As a first step, take time to research different mobile payment platforms to discern the best fit for your business.
Even at businesses with just a few employees, it can be hard to stay connected. Perhaps your staff works remotely, and you need to keep the team connected. Having communication and file sharing tools at your fingertips can help to strengthen your team dynamic and improve client service.
Collaborative messaging software offers an affordable—and even free—way to communicate in real time with your team members. Tools like Slack are effective chat technologies that encourage greater interaction so your whole team can keep up with deadlines. In addition to messaging tools, having a team file-sharing service in place can further enhance overall collaboration. Cloud-based services like Dropbox and OneDrive keep records, spreadsheets, presentations and other documents in one place where the full team can work on them. These tools provide your business the flexibility to engage with employees wherever they’re working from, while also fostering a collaborative culture.
When choosing between collaborative solutions, make sure to embed them into your daily business routines so that your team gets comfortable with them early on. It’s also important to make sure they align with the primary functions of your business. For instance, if you are looking for a file sharing solution to store medical records, you might wish to consider software that is easy to use and secure instead of one that showcases a suite of creative capabilities that you wouldn’t use regularly.
No technology upgrade will work successfully without a strong team to oversee it. Luckily, technology can help with that as well. There are many software platforms that can help you hire the right team members and ensure they have the best experience once they’re hired.
An applicant tracking system such as Workable can post job ads, manage interviews and streamline the onboarding process. If you’re already invested in Google’s G-Suite, try out Google Hire, a recently-launched recruitment solution that centers on customizing the hiring process to your open positions. Whether you’re an auto repair shop on the lookout for a new mechanic, or a restaurant seeking to hire your next maître d’, the latest HR tools can tailor the specific requirements for your open position to help ensure you find the right candidate.
When searching for an HR technology, it’s important to ask: What expertise would help to drive your company forward? Are you aiming to launch a new product, open a new office, or offer a new service? Take stock of the talent that would align with your business’s priorities. Then, start delving into the specifications of different HR software and try out some demos.
By embracing the latest technology solutions, your business has an opportunity to gain a strategic edge in an increasingly competitive marketplace. When deciding on the next technology investment for your business, make sure that you seek out a platform that fulfills the core functions that you’re looking for and is customizable to your unique objectives.
While there are a range of affordable options for your business, cost is naturally going to be a key driver of your decision-making. If high costs are stopping you from keeping your business competitive, consider a short-term infusion of working capital from CAN Capital to ensure that you can decide on the right technological solutions for your business.