Technology is revolutionizing businesses and it’s becoming a fundamental requirement for a successful business.The biggest question in the minds on most entrepreneurs/business owner today is “How business can use technology to gain competitive advantage?”
In the current business environment, small to medium-sized enterprises must adapt to new technologies to stay relevant in a competitive economy and access to global marketplace. Technology revolution has a big impact on the way businesses are currently run and presents ways business can use technology to increase revenue and reduce operational cost.
The rapid spate of technology growth is no doubt enhancing and improving business operations. As technology advances, the way of doing business also changes and therefore, it is imperative of entrepreneurs or business owners to adapt to these changes brought in by new technologies. The era of disruption in business is no longer news. Doing business in a very competitive economy like Nigeria, in the year 2018 must come with a renewed approach and the best way to go about this is to incoperate technology in your core business operations.
I have highlighted five (5) ways in which business can use technology to provide more value and grow exponentially.
Employ IT personnel’s and create a tech savvy workforce:
The business world is becoming increasingly digitized allowing for a more efficient work process, as well as offering employees the flexibility to work remotely (from anywhere). As such, this is the time to get the culture at your office to become more technology driven. The cloud is where almost all businesses will be working within the next 5 years. Your business must therefore embrace cloud technologies. From managing payroll and employee time to invoice and balance sheets, cloud technologies are making this processes incredibly simple. Cloud solutions to adopt includes: Google Drive (for data management and storage), Google Sheets (for spreadsheet/accounting operations), Microsoft Office 365 (For a complete business operation & data management).
On of the best way your business can use technology to drive change is to incorporate this new thinking early enough is to test for skills in using any cloud solution during recruitment or lay this foundation during new staff on-boarding.
These new cloud software solutions need to be integrated into every aspect of the company’s business operations. Also, businesses attract great talents by cultivating a collaborative and tech-driven working environments.
Be accessible- Get a business website it’s your strong selling point:
The internet is a place where virtually all your potential customers and clients spend most of their time. Almost everyone uses the internet to get information and potential customers are using their smart phones to decide what to buy. Your business must not be left out when people search for services on the internet. People expect businesses to have their own websites just as they want them to have physical office. Not having a website will question the integrity and credibility of your business. Having a business website is one great way your business can use technology to gain a strong online presence and a competitive advantage. Think of it as an online billboard where many people will get to know your product or service. A mobile-optimised website is becoming non-negotiable for any ambitious SME. Online search engines are the second most common contact point for new customers.
Technology can free your small business from the restriction of prints ads when it comes to reaching new and existing customers. There is therefore the need for you to expose your business to the internet through internet marketing. Small businesses with limited marketing budgets are able to compete with bigger brands when it comes to internet marketing space.
In an ever-growing digital era, small or large business can use technology to compete with established corporations that have much larger marketing budget. An effective digital marketing strategy can get a lot people talking about your products or services online which leads to more customer acquisition in the long run. Out-witting your competitors in a vast populated & clouded internet space will however require diligence and exploring all social media platforms. Get your business a linkedin account, Facebook page, Instagram account and a twitter handle where you can show case your products or services. These are platforms where your customers constantly spending most of their time.
Use teleconferencing and collaboration tools for meetings and team working:
Your team can actually work on lots of documents together and regularly share them with your clients using collaboration tools. This will increase the efficiency of their performance and deliver your job with minimal cost and effort. You can use these tools to hold meetings with people in different locations. Phones & email conversations are quite good for interacting with your intending clients but advancement in technology brought web conferencing to the fore. So you can now use Teleconferencing tools to get a contract, hold meetings with your intending clients who are in other countries while seeing them face to face. Skype and Zoom are some of the best teleconference tools while Slack is great for collaboration and project management. Leveraging teleconferencing and collaboration tools are effective ways a business can use technology to gain competitive advantage.
Data is a highly valued asset in today’s connected world and is growing in volume like never before. Data analytics tools provide various insights from business data which serves as opportunities for SMEs to create a competitive advantage through informed decision making. Today’s Data technologies provides advanced reporting and business analysis capability to help you gain a deep understanding of business performance, customer preferences, and market trends. Also, executives and business managers can access business performance metrics and analytical reports via a web-based or mobile application dashboard. Insight from these tools can be used to redesign new business strategies. Get your business a data analytic tools like Power BI, Tableau to do your data and business analysis.
Above are the top 5 ways your business can use technology to gain competitive advantage. Share your experience and thoughts with me in the comment section. I will love to read from you.
I have also researched and highlighted the Top 5 digital skills you need to make a fortune in year 2018.