5 Tech Essentials for Small Businesses
With the pandemic further catalysing digital transformation, many small businesses are now acknowledging technology as their key to gaining a competitive advantage. From streamlining customer services, boosting productivity, cutting costs, and even safer management of sensitive information, it’s clear that new tech has been beneficial in many areas in small businesses.
However, in a heavily digitising era, tech isn’t just an additional benefit but an essential to thrive. If you’re unsure where to start, here is our guide for the five tech essentials your small business needs to prioritise.
Many assume that only large businesses are targets for cyber security threats. However, security breaches are costing small businesses £65,000 – £115,000, and as we’ve previously discussed, increasing numbers mean businesses need specific protection in the form of cyber insurance.
Cyber insurance is a customised business insurance package to protect against cybercrime and IT system failures. Because small businesses deal with lots of sensitive data and customer payment details, proactive measures must be taken to safeguard against security breaches. This can cost as little as £132 a year (£11 a month) for a basic package for a small business and is a worthy investment for the long run.
Payment processing solutions
Hygiene and social distancing were non-negotiable concerns during Covid-19 and were resolved by frictionless online payments. Today, online payments’ efficiency in streamlining consumer transactions and accessibility in expanding the market to include seniors and PWDs is unparalleled.
Covering major card brands and online, mobile, phone and email transactions, payment solutions for small businesses aren’t only convenient but more secure and reliable as well. The processing technology can be built into your POS and work in coordination with any other tech or cyber insurance you’ve invested in to keep your consumers’ data safe.
Installation is easy too. Thanks to options like countertop, portable, or mobile card machines, the right payment device for your business can be determined with a payment expert for the fastest incorporation—boosting convenience for businesses and customers alike.
Besides cash payments, paper invoices and paper payslips are also being left behind. Many micro and small businesses in the UK are investing in cloud technology, which makes the growth of scalability of operations much smoother. This is done by tracking consumer data at limited bandwidth, while safely keeping this information and the recovery system secure.
Moving your locally-stored data to separate servers connected to the internet doesn’t cost much, or at all, really. However, onboarding your team to the new system may take time, so be ready to invest in that process.
By investing in marketing automation, small businesses can triple their reach without burdening an already limited workforce. And although automation seems advanced, it can be inexpensive too.
Email marketing automation, for example, is an accessible solution that streamlines email marketing campaigns. Here, manual data entry tasks such as copying and pasting data from one platform, document, database, or system to another are reduced. Simultaneously, efficiency and accuracy in your business operations are increased.
Customer service is crucial in sales. To help you manage your customer load, chatbots can answer questions and interact with customers shopping online. This streamlines the shopping experience while also freeing employees from answering repetitive queries. However, chatbots must be paired with security measures like cyber insurance and other solutions, given that many UK consumers are still concerned over privacy.
Technology maturity used to hold many smaller companies back. Today, embracing tech innovations is easier to align with predicted growth for the months ahead, and small businesses can ensure they stay ahead of the competition.