Many small businesses do not see the need to adopt new technology in their stores. They do not think that the investment is worth it and wait until their operations accelerate before they consider using technology that bigger retailers are already equipped with.
They do not realize that the hesitation to upgrade to new technology might be preventing their growth. Here are some of the technological upgrades that small businesses will benefit from.
Switch to Cashless Payment
More people prefer to use their credit card or an app on their smartphone/smartwatch to pay for products and services. Cashless transactions are more convenient for both the consumers and business owners. There is no exchange of paper, which makes transactions easier and faster.
Moreover, research has proven to be very unhygienic. Did you know that there are more germs in coins compared to a toilet seat?
You do not have to forego physical banknotes completely. More Americans are still using cash. However, being open to credit card processing for small businesses would be a good place to start.
Later on, you can start integrating terminals for mobile payments, too, so your customers have more options to pay for your products and services.
Start Using the Cloud
The cloud is not for big corporations exclusively. Small businesses can also gain from migrating their data and processes to the cloud.
The cloud offers enhanced security, a must for small businesses. Many hackers are targeting small businesses that may not have the resources to secure their and their customers’ data. With the cloud, you are protected through measures that multi-million dollar industries employ for their own data. In the event of an attack, you will be able to easily migrate your data somewhere that hackers will not be able to reach.
The cloud is also best for small businesses because it is scalable. You can pay a little more if you need more bandwidth or any of its functions as a response to increased demand. You can go back to your original plan once things start to settle.
Be on Google
A business that has no presence on the internet, especially on Google, might as well not exist. When you are not online, you are fighting for visibility. It would be almost impossible for customers to find your store, which will put a limit on your sales and further growth.
Consumers nowadays use the web to search for where to buy items, where to eat, read reviews, etc. The internet is an integral part of their decision-making. For your small business to be known, you need to make an effort to be searchable online. Take advantage of the best practices of search engine optimization or SEO. Build your website, post blog entries, claim business listings on search engines, and, most importantly, create social media pages. This will promote your small business to a wider audience and stir interest from potential consumers. You also get to reach out to consumers to introduce a new product or service and respond – courteously – to unsatisfied consumers.
The benefits of integrating new technology into your small business are very clear. Although upfront costs will not be cheap, the potential for growth makes it a good investment. Take your time to think about it and figure out which technologies will suit your store best.