As technology continues to change, more and more business owners are asking the same question: how does technology impact a small business?
The overall consensus confirms that technology has provided ease for small business owners and entrepreneurs around the world. In the past 10-20 years, new applications, websites and programs have been created to make your business more efficient and effective. Numerous technological innovations are on the rise and they continually make businesses lives much easier.
HOW TECHNOLOGY HAS IMPACTED MARKETING:
SEO? Google? YouTube? Instagram? Blogging? Apps? E-Commerce? Cellphones? Snapchat? Pinterest?
Although technology has made marketing more complex, the complexity allows for a more specific and forward approach. Prior to advances in technology, there were only a few channels of promotion and a certain geographic location that you were limited to selling your products in.
Firms previously posted advertisements in newspapers, on the streets or through bubble-gum wrappers. Although these forms of marketing are still used, the majority of marketing firms have changed focus to online marketing strategies. From thinking up the idea in your head to implementing your marketing campaign, technology can be used throughout every step of the process. Technology allows you to use your full creative freedom while providing support through different resources, channels and statistics.
A prime example of how technology has impacted marketing is one of the most recognizable brands in the world: Coca-Cola. As shown above, they utilized the wall of a building to attract a large number of people in the “good-old-days”. Today, Coca-Cola has successfully used technology to support their marketing campaigns, promoting their products through television ads for major sports events (FIFA, Superbowl, Olympics, etc), social media or “Hug Me” vending machines. Although their marketing goals pertain to international efforts, the effect technology has made on marketing applies to businesses of all sizes (including small businesses).
Promoting your marketing campaign has become more streamlined through the online world. You can set a certain location, demographics and more. Reaching your target market is easier than ever and it will continue to become more specific as time passes. Specific examples include Facebook Adverts which provides options for businesses to analyse customers shopping behaviours and interests. If your business is tight on a budget, Google Adwords lets you set a maximum budget so that you know exactly what your invoice will be. Streamlined marketing strategies through the internet allow small businesses to market to their specific target market and analyse the effectiveness. 15 years ago, a small business with limited money and resources did not have the ability to reach a large number of people, but technology has eliminated those barriers. Although technology has made marketing initiatives more efficient and effective, businesses still need to be conscious of the trends occurring, how it will impact them and how they can strategically use it.
Analysing your marketing campaigns can also be done through technology. Social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn provide social media analytics on your specific account. In terms of marketing campaigns, you can analyse the success of your advertisements depending on what marketing channels you use. For websites such as Google, YouTube and Facebook, they will tell you the amount of clicks each advertisement gets so you know how successful they are. There are also third party extensions such as Bitly links that you can include in your marketing initiatives. Small business owners can use this information to improve future marketing campaigns and compare these statistics to their sales.
HOW TECHNOLOGY HAS IMPACTED HUMAN RESOURCES:
As a small business, managing Human Resources has never been easier and we can thank technology for that. Recruiting for new team members can be done through websites such as Indeed, Workopolis or even on your own personal website. No need to post advertisements on store windows, newspapers or asking around. These websites allow you to filter through individuals based on their education, skills, and work experience. Filtering through applicants ensures that you find the right person to become part of your business. If you chose to build your own online application process through your website, it will provide additional structure. Each resume and cover letter will be in the same format so that you can compare the information given to you equally through a streamlined approach. Receiving applications online allows you to review them as soon as they have been entered and hire the right employee, even if you are on a deadline.
Once you’ve hired those team members, check their compatibility through leadership tests such as Myers & Briggs, DISC Assessment, or other online resources. This will allow you to understand each employee’s personality traits and how they can motivate one another. No need to hire a whole HR team when small business owners have access to numerous resources at the tip of their fingers.
HOW TECHNOLOGY HAS IMPACTED FINANCE:
Most small business owners often find financials the most difficult aspect of their business. Although it may be difficult, it is the foundation of any business, and as such, must be considered thoroughly. Your business cannot continue to operate without earning income and understanding how to improve financial growth. Technology has given small business owners the opportunity to gain access to accounting and financial expertise at a cost-efficient rate.
Amplify LLP has leveraged technology through our services and is helping benefit small business owners who may not have the ability to either do their own accounting or hire a full-time accountant. Amplify’s team was specifically selected from over 100 employees at our sister company, RLB LLP based on their experience with small business owners and accounting expertise. Technology has allowed the team to offer their services at a fixed monthly cost because we utilize websites such as Quickbooks, Xero and Receipt Bank. Small business owners now have the opportunity to have online accounting, tax and planning done through cloud accounting.
Not only has technology provided small business owners with expertise at their finger tips, but it also provides convenience. Clients simply have to take pictures of their receipts, upload them to receipt bank, and we take care of the rest.
Prior to online accounting, small businesses would have to fork up a large sum of cash to hire an accountant. Not only was it more expensive but it also required more time! Owners had to put all their receipts into a shoe box and bring them in at the end of the month. If business owners had any questions, they would’ve had to write a list and ask their accountant at the next appointment. Technology has allowed for all the previous methods to be history. With Amplify LLP, small business owners now have the ability to have the expertise of an accounting firm but the convenience of doing it online (and at a fixed cost, too). Since Amplify LLP takes care of all your financials, small business owners have the luxury of overlooking their financials at home and focus on doing what they love.
☑️ Breakfast in bed
☑️ Check up on your small businesses financials through Amplify
☑️ Morning tea
☑️ Seize the day pic.twitter.com/JrW4UYMLn5
— Amplify – Online Accountants (@AmplifyLLP) June 21, 2016
Technology hasn’t just affected marketing, human resources and finance, but it has also affected other industries such as legal or operations. An additional department has been added into businesses as well: Technology! Now that it impacts every other industry, knowing how it is used and how it can be maximized is crucial to the success of any business.
Overall, technology plays a major role to a small business because they can achieve all their goals through a cost efficient, streamlined approach.