Smart devices are set to take over the world. By 2030, experts are predicting there will be over 25 billion devices: each working to perform tasks and save people time during their daily lives. 

But where does that leave you and your business? How can technology help small businesses grow and compete?

Find out in this article where we’ll cover key areas like:

  • Communication
  • E-commerce
  • Marketing
  • Inventory management
  • Productivity
  • Accounting

If you’ve just launched an exciting new small business venture, learn how exciting new tools like Countingup can help you grow your business easier and faster. 

Communication

Today’s small businesses benefit from communication platforms like email and instant messaging clients. Some of the biggest players in this area include Outlook, Gmail, Slack, Teams

Like telegraph and fax technologies before them, today’s communication platforms have opened the business world to be truly global. Now, organisations of all sizes can expand their operations and coordinate their supply chains with only the touch of a button

And as the world becomes ever more connected, new innovations in virtual reality and video conferencing allow businesses to communicate despite the vast physical distances that separate them. 

These technologies particularly help relationships between small businesses and their clients to grow where travel budgets might have once restricted them. 

E-commerce

The expansion of e-commerce platforms helps small businesses because they bypass the need for specific opening hours or trading locations. 

Running a website allows customers to browse and buy no matter what time of day it is and no matter where they are. With this new 24-hour availability, small businesses in online spaces can focus directly on supplying consumer demand rather than attending to the shop floor. 

Unfortunately, for many potential customers, this can mean they lose out on the traditional ‘customer experience’ and the trust that comes with it. The trade-offs for many can include enjoying cheaper goods thanks to the money businesses save on premises. 

Therefore, finding the balance between online and in-person availability can mean satisfying both and netting extra sales. 

E-commerce websites also provide customers with more information to weigh up product decisions. Making your website both informative and easy-to-navigate can mean more consumer trust and purchases.

Marketing

Where businesses might have once relied on flyers or customer referrals, online marketing campaigns allow businesses to reach a wider audience, for a lower cost. Online marketing platforms like SEMrush, Google Ads, and Google Analytics also allow your campaigns to be more sophisticated. With powerful algorithms available to tailor your audience, your advertising can be more targeted: reaching the eyes and ears of people actually interested in your offers. 

Your small business can benefit from these platforms because they make your advertising more effective, helping to increase the sales of your products and seasonal offerings. 

Even if you don’t always use paid advertising, having a strong and engaged social media following can result in other people marketing your business for you. Customers who are enthusiastic about your brand and your new offers will promote you, allowing your business to reach new people without you paying a penny.

In order to grow a large community for your business, many organisations find success in engaging in viral trends or giveaways that incentivise sharing or subscribing to updates.

Inventory management

If your business sells products directly to consumers, using inventory management technology can save you time and stress. 

Businesses that use inventory software can have a clearer picture of their inventory when trading at higher volumes. Being able to anticipate product shortfalls and automating new orders not only ensures you can keep trading at your busiest periods, you’re also able to free up man-hours to meet incoming customer orders.

Inventory management also benefits your customers. By being able to see real-time stock information, customers gain more confidence that their purchases are available and arriving soon.

Productivity

What does your productivity workflow look like currently? 

Increasingly, industry leaders are using productivity software to make sure their organisations run smoothly. Even if you’re starting out as a single-person team, you can still benefit. 

With online productivity platforms like Hubspot or Hootsuite, small businesses can generate reminders and automate entire tasks in order to concentrate on the people-side of business: building customer relationships.

By tracking key operations as you work, you can gain insight into your organisation on where you can improve. You’ll not only be able to understand where you save time, but also where you’re losing it: allowing you to provide customers with more accurate project timelines and invoices. With this accuracy and trust in your workflow, you can begin to build a reputation for accuracy and reliability with your customers by using productivity software.

As your organisation grows, you can automate common business areas like payroll, staffing rotas and customer service for your business, so you can spend more time where it matters most to you.

Accounting

Businesses of all industries and sizes must spend time managing financial admin. Between managing revenue inflows, expenses, tax compliance and net margins, accounting admin can steal time away from building your business.

Unfortunately, the learning curve required to build these accounting skills and bookkeeping practises can be off-putting for people at the early stages.

With Countingup, we’ve taken this stress away. The business current account and accounting software in one app is helping thousands manage their financial admin in one place. Receive receipt scanning reminders, automatic expense categorisation and instant invoicing – saving you time, stress and helping you keep on top of your finances. 

If you’d like to know more about how Countingup can help run your business, find out more here.