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Four Technology Trends to Give Your Small Business a Competitive Edge

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In today’s digital age, technology is even more critical to business success. Even though digital transformation is generally linked to large corporations, small businesses can also take advantage of new technologies to manage and grow their businesses.

In this post, we will walk through the major up-and-coming technology, from mobile payments to the Internet of Things (IoT). We will also discuss how small businesses can leverage this technology to improve their bottom lines.

1. The Digital Wallet and Mobile Payment Technologies

Smartphones are used as minicomputers, personal assistants and online banks. Over the past 5 years, we have seen the rise of the digital wallet and mobile payment technology.

The digital wallet allows consumers to securely store credit card details so they can make purchases through their smartphone. They do not need to have their physical credit or debit card to make the purchase. Mobile payment technology, also known as Near Field Communication (NFC) enables a smartphone and a payments reader to communicate wirelessly to make a transaction.

Mobile payments are secure, fast and convenient, and as a result, are growing in popularity. Mobile Payments World reported that “the number of in-store payment users in the U.S. is predicted to reach 150 million by the end of 2020 – which will represent 56% of the consumer population at that time.”

Because of this, small businesses should consider adopting these technologies. Smartphones are not only a convenient way for your customers to pay, they are also valuable to small businesses thanks to their lower transaction costs. They also help small businesses to maintain a competitive edge in the coming years.

2. Cloud Accounting

As a small business owner, you are likely your business’s bookkeeper and are already aware of accounting best practices. Luckily, there is Cloud accounting technology available that is designed to make accounting easier and can help small business owners to stay on top of best practices. This type of technology allows you to store, access and manage financial information from a laptop, tablet or smartphone and keeps important data secure in the Cloud.

Many Cloud accounting tools are affordable and easy to use. They often include time-saving features that help small business owners track income and expenses, prepare for tax time, and understand their business.

To learn more about the best Cloud accounting tools for small business owners, check out our post, the Top 4 Tools to Save Time on Accounting for Your Small Business.

3. Connected Devices

IoT refers to everyday physical objects, such as vehicles, appliances, and other items, that are connected with the Internet through sensors and other software. This allows these objects from your watch to your coffee machine to send and receive data.  While IoT may seem like something of the future, it is already commonplace among consumers, thanks to products like Apple Watch and Amazon’s Alexa. And analysts expect for IoT to have an economic impact of up to US $11.1 trillion.

Small businesses can take advantage of the benefits that IoT have to offer. A Spiceworks study revealed that “20% of companies with under 100 employees are currently using IoT, and 17% more plan to utilize it in 2018.” There are a variety of ways that IoT can help small business owners work more efficiently, such as helping them control costs, track inventory, and improve manufacturing and other processes.

4. Data-Driven Analytics

In today’s digital world, we have access to more data and information than ever before. Google Analytics is a tool with which small business owners can not only access this data, but can also pull meaningful insights from this data to improve their bottom line.  

Google Analytics is one of the most popular Web analytics services, used by thousands of companies of all sizes across the world. It is very comprehensive and allows you to measure your advertising results as well as your website activity, all applications, and your social media performance. According to Christopher Smith, president of AGI, “Google Analytics provides unparalleled insights into how a Website or app is performing, and if they are meeting the objectives of the business.”

Google Analytics is completely free of charge for all users who do not exceed 5 million impressions per month, which is generally the case for small-to-medium-sized businesses.

As our world becomes more and more connected, technology will continue to impact the way we do business. If used correctly, technology can drastically improve small businesses’ bottom lines by driving efficiency, profitability, and growth. Take some time to consider how you can leverage technology to improve your small business.

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