It can always be a challenge for a small enterprise to compete with larger or more established competitors. Today, however, various tech-driven developments are enabling smaller businesses to take steps to streamline their operations, improve results, and ultimately become more competitive. So, from improving internal communications to modernizing customer services, we’re taking a look at some tech changes small enterprises ought to embrace in 2020.
1. Switching To IP PBX Software
We have written about IP PBX software for small enterprises specifically in the past, and it’s true that at this point, there are appealing options for businesses of all sizes. As we stated in that piece, communication is the key to business success and is just as important for smaller companies as larger ones. The key point here though is that larger companies are by this point consistently adopting software that streamlines their internal communications and significantly improves workplace operations. In order to keep up, then, a small business today almost has to look into IP PBX software. Integrated properly, it can do anything from simplifying communications over distance to logging communications in a searchable, accessible manner. Really, it can create a whole new working environment, in the most positive of ways.
2. Adopting Financial Management Software
Some may expect that larger businesses have more need for modern accounting software, simply because there’s more to manage. That’s not an illogical position to take. However, while a smaller business may have fewer financial considerations to the manager, it’s also likely to be operating on a tighter budget and looking for more ways to grow. For that reason, adopting modern software that can essentially automate financial management can be critical for companies of all sizes. PCMag identifies accounting software options specifically well suited to small businesses, and the truth is that most of them can provide invaluable assistance. They can track expenses, manage budgets and payroll, and present you with the comprehensive financial picture you need to manage and grow an enterprise.
3. Improving Website Maintenance
At this point, most people don’t need to be told that even a new or small business needs a website, and perhaps a mobile app as well. However, a surprising number of small business owners seem to leave it at that — building sites and/or apps, and then largely letting them sit there. Today, a smaller company looking to compete needs to go further, specifically by keeping up with website maintenance and updates. Fortunately, this is easier than it’s ever been before with the features offered by Updatable allowing companies to keep their sites streamlined through software and simple tools, rather than through platform deconstruction or in-depth code editing. It describes “click of a button” fixes for everything from spelling mistakes to visual modifications — all of which modern small businesses can use to keep its web presence fresh, appealing, and effective.
4. Automating Customer Assistance
Another point relating to website functionality, but more directly aimed at improving the customer experience, is the adoption of automated chat features. When these “chatbots” first began to emerge in widespread fashion several years ago, they seemed almost like a nuisance, and for the most part, weren’t particularly sophisticated. They’ve gotten better since then, however, to the point that Hackernoon called them invaluable assets for small businesses — and we’d have to agree. It’s in fact, particularly where a small business is concerned that a sophisticated chatbot can be most useful, in that it can provide immediate, comprehensive assistance that said business probably doesn’t otherwise have the resources to offer.
Certainly, more goes into competing and growing as an enterprise than just these changes. These examples do show, however, that various modern technologies that can be integrated fairly simply can go a long way toward making a smaller operation more competitive in its space.
Credit: Roxy Jill