Who can work with technology?
Do you need to be a scientist or engineer to consider automation and digital transformation?
Wherever you turn to for advice on starting or growing your business, you will be encouraged to incorporate technology into your business model for both the quantifiable and intangible benefits that it provides.
Regardless of the size of your company, or your stage of business development, incorporating technology into your operations will help you increase profits, enhance customer satisfaction and make your life easier. Embracing technology also helps secure your customer and company’s confidential information.
Technology is central to every successful business, and can be implemented throughout the product design process, development and manufacturing, sales, marketing, and employee and customer management. The options available for digital transformation are constantly increasing and evolving and effecting how business operates. It is imperative that, as a business owner, you embrace technology to not be left behind.
What are the benefits of embracing technology in your business?
Make Collaboration Easy
Collaboration between team members and with external colleagues is necessary for your company’s success, but can often be logistically difficult. Team members are not always working in a shared space, and if the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it is that teams can be highly successful while working remotely. Building a team dynamic through technology can help build trust and breakdown tensions, while avoiding workplace cliques and social tensions.
Today there are many digital technologies on the market that can ease some of the difficulties of collaboration, such as project management software or business communication platforms that help businesses to collaborate more effectively, improve efficiency and promote a healthier work-life balance. There are many software solutions available that enable non-synchronous collaboration where people can work towards shared goals, while working independently. They are also useful as central hubs where files, updates, spreadsheets etc… can be shared and edited.
More Efficient Business Processes
There have been many technical advancements that have assisted businesses of all sizes become more adept at supporting their customers and streamlining processes. Innovations with artificial intelligence have helped companies in a myriad of ways including automation, data analytics, marketing, and sales. Many of these key processes can be streamlined using technologies that save time and money.
For example, something as simple as implementing a Customer Relationship Management platform automates many tasks that have traditionally been done manually, freeing up time for employees to concentrate on other important tasks. Using chatbots and scheduling extensions on your website are other examples of improving the speed and efficiency of the customer service experience, while saving time and money in the long run.
Efficiency is key for small and medium sized businesses, where budgets are a concern and entrepreneurs are often overwhelmed with time management, however, using collaborative technology tools can increase operational efficiency, and improve peace of mind.
Improve Customer Experience
In every industry, the customer experience is of the utmost importance. However, first point of contact with potential clients can sometimes be time consuming and logistically challenging. Making your website more intuitive and user friendly can simplify this process significantly.
The proper use of technology allows businesses to enhance customer service by opening communication with customers. Technology helps you collect customer data to use for analysis and business improvements, can keep customers up to date with custom and/or automated messages, and can help you offer more access with 24/7 digital service. Use of these technologies and the benefits they provide can also help build consumer trust and increased revenue.
Reach More Customers
Effective marketing is key to reaching your ideal customers and increasing your consumer base, and technology strongly affects a businesses’ ability to communicate with potential customers. In fact, technology has greatly altered the marketing industry. Businesses no longer need to rely on print media, TV or radio commercials, and have much better success with more powerful online marketing tools.
Social media marketing can empower businesses to connect with their targeted audience. Digital marketing often costs far less than traditional advertising while yielding bigger results, and you no longer need to be or hire a professional designer to create your marketing assets. There are many tools that the average business owner can use to easily create and schedule their own marketing campaigns.
Simplify Staying Organized
Business owners have a lot of data to keep track of. Every dollar made and spent should be purposeful and accounted for, and in the past these records would be kept on paper, and in files. However, technology now enables businesses to track their income, expenses, customer data, payroll, supply chain management, warehouse, and manufacturing information in a central and secure place in a much more efficient manner.
There are many ready-made tools available for use to help you automate many of these time-consuming tasks. Customer relations management systems (CRMs), human-resource software, accounting programs, health information management systems and programs that keep track of ordering, pricing, storing, tracking, and selling inventory are a few of these available tools. Regardless of the industry that you are in, technology can help you keep organized and on track.
Technology Maintains Business Security
Contemporary businesses are not only at risk of theft and vandalism (in a brick and mortar setting) but also cyber-attacks. Your financial, proprietary, staff and customer information can be at risk if sufficient safety precautions are not taken.
Technology can be used to protect this data, keeping company information away from both competition and cyber criminals. Cybersecurity is vital to keeping information, money, company secrets and people safe from cyber-crimes, and there are many tools available to aid in this.
How to Get Started
If you are unsure of how to get started implementing technology into your business, there are a few easy steps that you can take to start you thinking.
- Connect with the RWEIT Program and meet with one of our Entrepreneur Ecosystem Navigators, who can help you assess where technology can most benefit your business.
- Attend a workshop to learn more about different options of technology utilisation. The RWEIT program offers courses on Artificial Intelligence, Using Technology in Marketing, AgriTech, Intellectual Property Rights, Building your Minimum Viable Product, and many more. You can look for upcoming workshops here, or reach out for information on a specific topic.
- Evaluate your operational practices and identify where you spend the most time and resources. Consider how you could automate some of these practices, and don’t be afraid to ask for advice!
- Evaluate your current technology use and decide if they are still serving you.
- Train your employees on cybersecurity practices and new technologies.
- Explore the many grants available to assist in expanding your technological adaption! RWEIT has a list of them here.