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The Alternative Board Blog

How to Embrace Changing Technology as a Small Business

Aug. 1, 2017 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Merging With Technology

We all know technology is changing at warp speed, so it’s easy for small businesses to feel they can’t keep up—or worse, to feel too intimidated to even try to do so. There’s also the concern that implementing new technology is both costly and laden with potential risks.

This can sometimes lead to a mentality among CEOs and business owners that it’s safer to stick with “what you know.”

But, says Dan Hoffman at Business.com, “for whatever investments a business owner incurs upgrading their business model, if done correctly, they can expect up to between 400 to 900 percent return on that investment after just a few months.” That’s because improvements in digital technology, and related areas, have the potential to dramatically improve and streamline business operations.

Such improvements can be especially beneficial if your business has reached a certain plateau and isn’t prepared for expansive growth.

For example, to what extent is your company invested in the use of big data? If you’ve been slow to adopt big data analysis, your business may be at a severe competitive disadvantage. After all, there’s a ton of valuable customer data out there, and you can be sure larger companies are mining that data for every buying insight they can find.

According to Small Business Trends, big data describes “large sets of structured and unstructured data” that fit into the “3V model” of big data analysis. The 3Vs are:

Volume—Storing data collected from sales transactions, social media, etc.
Velocity—Capturing data that streams in real-time
Variety—The wide array of data to be collected (text, video, audio, images)

Why is this important? Analyzing data compiled through the 3V model offers an in-depth understanding of the reasons behind customer purchasing behaviors, which can help you decide which product lines are worth the most in terms of promotion and ROI. Big data can also assist in predicting what your customers want in advance—valuable information to have in terms of planned future upgrades or a new product launch.

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Additionally, big data resources enable companies to closely track social media activity, and take proactive steps if and when a flurry of negative comments about a business appear.

Other significant benefits of embracing changes in technology include:

  • More effective internal communications, when all employees utilize a cloud-based system for staying in touch with each other and with your customers
  • Greater lead capture and conversions through an optimized website, designed to entice customers to provide contact information and feed the sales pipeline on a continual basis
  • Opportunities to encourage customer feedback and interactivity, thus enhancing your brand on social media and enabling you to stay on top of customer buying trends
  • Tracking software that enables senior leadership to closely monitor levels of employee productivity (for example, making progress on key company initiatives)

Of course, no single individual can hope to stay current with every advance in technology. But by hiring the right people and giving them the proper resources—and by staying informed through industry updates and information from organizations like TAB—executives can feel more empowered about leveraging the benefits of new technology as they arise.

In other words, to remain competitive in the marketplace, there’s really no other option than enthusiastically embracing the opportunities new technology provides.

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Written by The Alternative Board

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