Technology gives small business owners an edge, allowing them to use limited resources in smarter, more efficient ways.
However, many on Main Street remain slow to adopt new technologies. An AT&T survey reveals that 75% of small business owners want to embrace new technology but 30% find it hard to adopt.
More than a third of small businesses don’t even have a website, citing cost as the biggest obstacle, according to Clutch’s 2018 Small Business Survey.
A big part of running a successful small business comes down to how you use your resources. The technologies below will help you manage daily tasks, run a more efficient business and grow in the New Year and beyond.
Tech to Try: Augmented Reality
Big businesses use augmented reality (AR) to deliver personalized experiences to customers. Small businesses can do the same.
In 2019, watch for AR to become even more accessible for small businesses—and you don’t need programming or coding experience to implement it. All you need is some AR software and a vision for using it in your business.
According to DigiCapital, the market for mobile AR is projected to reach $108 billion by 2021.
Small businesses can use AR to integrate their products into customers’ lives. Consider how customers could benefit from AR, whether they scan to learn more about a product or they download an app to interact with an item.
AR provides an opportunity to educate or entertain customers and inspire them to take a specific action with your business.
Tech to Try: Chatbots
If you can make life easier for your customers, they’ll likely reward you with repeat business.
One way to streamline the shopping and customer service experience is by using chatbots. In 2019, Gartner predicts that three times more businesses will use chatbots than in 2017.
According to MyClever, some of the biggest customer benefits of chatbots include 24-hour service, quick answers to simple questions, and streamlined communication.
Consider how chatbots could work at your small business. Could customers use them to track an order, ask a sizing question, or make a reservation? Chatbots allow you to provide immediate responses and make customer interactions helpful and friendly.
Tech to Try: Data Security
Cyberattacks loom as a massive threat to small businesses.
According to UPS Capital, more than half (60%) of small business go out of business within six months of a cyber attack and almost two-thirds of all attacks are directed to small businesses.
Still, nearly 90% of small businesses don’t protect company and customer data.
In 2019, small business owners should explore technology to keep information safe and guard against malware and security breaches.
Even if you only have a few dozen customers, it’s worth taking the steps to safeguard sensitive information. Here are a few security solutions to explore.
Embracing Tech in the New Year
Adopting new technology in 2019 doesn’t mean you have to accept cryptocurrency or replace workers with robots. It means exploring technology that could ease or eliminate the daily struggles of operating and growing your small business. Take small steps to implement new systems and watch your business reap the benefits.