While some small businesses may envy the tools and technology that large corporations have, what many don’t realize is the process that large corporations go through to get there is many times an excruciatingly long process due to their rigid vertical structure and processes. When it comes to technology they are at a greater disadvantage because their investment costs are much higher and if they find that the technology they chose, once installed, isn’t exactly what they needed, it can take years to change course.
What Small Businesses Can Do That Corporations Can’t
Small businesses have many advantages, particularly when it comes to technology. Much of today’s technology requires little or no infrastructure as it is either mobile oriented or cloud or web-based. These technologies seem perfectly suited for a small business because the startup costs are typically low and they can be rolled out quickly. Though your requirements and needs are the same as a large corporation, the decision-making process is streamlined in comparison so you can jump on a new technology far faster than bigger companies.
You also have a closer relationship with your customers. When you change your website or introduce a new feature or technology, you have the ability to get faster feedback on the changes. If your customers are unhappy, you don’t need a committee meeting to decide what to do, you can back out the change or dump the technology in a short amount of time before your customers move to a competitor that meets their needs better.
What Kind of Technologies Are We Talking About?
From simple plug-in apps to email marketing to tools to connect your staff and your vendors, you have the advantage. Small businesses must watch their pennies and the more you can save, the better for you. Since your staff is smaller than a large corporation, you can take advantage of technology that is as powerful as what the big boys use, but for you is free, because of the small number of people that will use it. Web conferencing tools are perfect example of this as they usually price based on the number of participants. Email marketing is another technology that will give you an advantage in the cost department. Typically, these products are based on the number of emails sent for a specified time period. You can take advantage of these products and since they’re free, you’re free to switch products quickly if you find that the one you chose isn’t adequate for your needs or simply doesn’t work as expected.
POS systems are now easy to use and reliable and allow you to accept more than cash. For a business that finds themselves selling in remote locations, these devices are great because now you can take credit and debit cards on the go. This definitely gives you the edge over competitors because plastic is increasingly the method of choice for purchases. You can also hook up your reward system with a small plug-in to further develop customer loyalty.
If you do find a technology that does require some capital investment, you also have an advantage simply because your investment costs are so much lower and there hasn’t been a better time to get a loan. Lenders are eager to invest in small businesses and with the lowest interest rates in years, this is the time to do your research and formulate a plan for your future. And there’s no better time to begin your research.
What About Customer Service?
Your ability to provide strong customer support is at the heart of your business. Without excellent customer service, your client base will drop and so will your revenues. There are amazing tools out there that will not only help you with your vendors and your staff, but will also help your customer support specialists provide stellar service.
Customers measure service by not only how well their problem is handled, but also by how easily and quickly they can get a question answered or a problem solved. UberConference has stellar tools that can be utilized by your customer service people to quickly identify a problem and easily guide the customer to an answer to their question or a solution to their problem. This service is priced to enable small businesses to have access to the tools they need to not only survive, but to grow.
It not only allows you to conference call, but it gives you so much more. It has a mobile app that allows you to conference on the go and gives your customer service staff the ability to guide customers through a process utilizing screen sharing technology. You can even record calls to use in the future for training purposes. If you’ve had experience with these technologies or would like to share your technology strategies we’d love to hear from you.