Written by: Katie Conroy
Stagnation is the worst fear of business owners everywhere. Your enterprise should be constantly evolving and innovating. New ways of streamlining work and engaging with customers are born every day. As your business grows and develops, you will find opportunities to invest your resources into innovations that can bring your venture to the next level. No matter what, though, staying on top of the latest breakthroughs in technology will help you stay future-proof and ensure long-term success. So here are some tips from Small Small Business to help you do just that.
1. Cloud-Based Solutions
The cloud empowers small and medium-sized businesses to accomplish amazing things that would otherwise require a massive budget. Cloud computing gives you remote access to data storage and software suites that are must-haves for your enterprise. Purchasing your own computing systems and hard drives requires considerable financial investment and takes up a lot of your physical office space. Cloud-based solutions make it possible to conveniently acquire storage and software as a service for a more affordable price.
Cloud storage provides another benefit in the form of accessible collaboration. When an entire team has remote access to a shared drive for a project, sharing necessary files and documents is effortless. There is less time wasted and fewer opportunities for confusion when everyone has all the materials they need at their fingertips.
2. Time-Management Tools
As your business grows into a company with multiple employees or collaborators, it becomes necessary to manage everyone’s time. The best time-management tools make it easy to monitor the amount of time each worker spends on the clock. This is especially useful when working with remote employees or freelancers, and it can help with keeping everyone on track. Shared calendar apps are also effective for tracking meetings, marking deadlines, and keeping everyone informed of timelines.
3. Consumer-Facing Applications
One study from 2021 showed that people worldwide average more than 4 hours each day using apps on their phones. This statistic should trigger an immediate response from you as a business owner, as it represents an additional way to reach your target audience. In a world where so many consumers interact with brands and products through their mobile phones, you must meet them halfway.
The app development process is a full-blown project to which you should be prepared to commit considerable resources. You should prepare a detailed timeline and budget for the project, and search job boards for the right app developer for the job. When all is said and done, it may be necessary to redouble your marketing efforts to raise customer awareness for your app.
4. Process Mining
Most businesses generate a huge amount of data on a daily basis. This data is generated from a variety of sources, including customer interactions, sales transactions, and operational records. While this data can be valuable, it can be very difficult to make sense of it all. Data mining helps organizations to visualize and analyze their business processes. By having good task mining, and by understanding how their processes actually work, businesses can identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies and make improvements accordingly. As a result, process mining can help businesses to improve their productivity, reduce costs, and find new opportunities.
5. Customer-Sourced Ideas
Ultimately, the most useful innovations are those that are most interesting to your audience. Surveys and social media are great ways to interact with customers and inform yourself on how they discover new products. Monitoring the news is another way to stay on top of trends that may affect your own business. Sourcing your innovation brainstorming to public sentiment is one of the best ways to keep in step with popular ideas that you can utilize.
When you have enjoyed a certain amount of success in your business, it is often the case that further development will only be possible through clever innovation. Keeping in mind that most of your work and customer relations rely on technology, it stands to reason that you should make digital improvements to your enterprise wherever possible. Ubiquitous solutions like cloud-based solutions, process mining, and time-management tools tend to be the ones that provide the best chances at increasing productivity and expanding a business’s reach overall.
Small Small Business works to solve the problems of the smallest businesses, nonprofits and community groups in rural Minnesota and beyond. Why not schedule a call?
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About the author:
Katie Conroy is the creator of Advice Mine. She enjoys writing about lifestyle topics and created the website to share advice she has learned through experience, education, and research.
Time management tools are very useful to track and improve productivity of all employees.