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5 Tech Trends for Small Businesses

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Are you a small business owner looking to stand out from other companies? You've come to the right place! Today, we're looking at tech trends that can help you accomplish that goal.

To keep ahead of the competition, you'll need to stay abreast of the latest innovations. New technologies are being introduced every day. Here are some you need to be aware of:

Digital Integration

What is digital integration? It is the use of standard formats to make data readable from other devices. 

So, how can your business take advantage of the benefits of digital integration? Check out these possibilities:

  • Going paperless — You can keep all your essential documents in the cloud. This allows the whole team to access them without having to print copies for everyone.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) — Smart devices like thermostats, locks, and lighting can increase convenience and reduce costs.
  • Integrating systems — For example, you can integrate your enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) systems. This can save time and reduce human error.

Applications Programming Interfaces (APIs) 

What are APIs? They are software intermediaries that allow two applications to talk with each other.

What are the applications for your business?

  • Project management — Free project management interfaces like Trello and Zoho can help streamline your team's workflow.
  • Payment platforms — Online platforms such as PayPal and Stripe enable you to simplify the payment process.

Emphasis on the Mobile Experience

In general, customers are moving away from their desktop computers and performing more actions on tablets and smartphones. So, just having a website is no longer enough for your business to stay on top.

The current focus is on optimizing sites for smartphone viewing as well as greater use of apps. You may not think it is necessary or possible to have an app specifically for your business. However, the process of app development is becoming more accessible to all companies.

There are also existing apps that you can use for the services your business provides. For example, if you own a laundromat, ShinePay offers an option for customers to pay digitally.

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Photo by Hitesh Choudhary on Unsplash

What is machine learning? It is an application of artificial intelligence in which systems can learn and improve automatically without being programmed. 

How can AI apply to your small business? You can use chatbots to improve customer service. This can free up time for your employees as well as increase the speed of service for your clients.

Greater Focus on Cybersecurity

It is common to hear of large companies whose security was breached, but small businesses can also be targeted. To cyber thieves, the information you store can be worth stealing as well.

How can you avoid data breaches? You'll want to make sure that your network is secure and that all computers are receiving updates and patches regularly. Work with your team to ensure that adequate passwords are in place.

Start talking with your collaborators regarding the probability that your business will become a target at some point in time. Have plans in place to minimize the damage caused by such an attack.

Conclusion: What you can do right away

Staying up to date on technology trends can give your business the advantage you're looking for. You can get started right now by taking the following steps:

  • Look into ways digital integration can make your company more efficient.
  • Test a few free APIs to decide which you can implement in your business.
  • Search for existing apps that can give your company an advantage, and research what it would take to develop one for your company.
  • Start using chatbots to improve customer service.
  • Improve your cybersecurity.
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