The Mom and Pop small business may be quickly fading, but small business isn’t dying out–it’s changing, shifting to adapt to the new digital landscape. Technology is rapidly progressing, creating new opportunities for small business owners who pay attention to the times. We found 3 concrete ways tech is changing small business, according to IBM’s Midmarket Business GM John Mason.
John is witnessing the way small businesses harness and use technology to drive their growth and innovation, and he’s impressed. “[Tech] is changing the landscape for small and midsize businesses by allowing them to focus on their own innovations and making them more competitive with larger, more established companies.”
Mason calls data the new natural resource. He believes the booming cloud, mobile, social, and analytics industries are resulting in three clear impacts for small and medium businesses.
3 Ways Tech is Changing Small Business
1. New technologies enable businesses to move from concept to product much faster by removing the barriers of upfront investments in technology and staff.
2. Technology allows businesses to quickly scale up or down, depending on their needs, and enabling them to better meet customer demand.
3. Technology removes geographic and access barriers for both customers and employment opportunities.
The adoption of technology in small business hasn’t been a smooth process, but the added direction and accuracy that analytics and digital oversight provide has made the transition well worth it. One of the most important impacts we see technology having on small business is the ease of adaptation it creates for business.
Simply tracking analytics helps small businesses ensure they’re hitting the mark and resonating with their customer base. Campaigns, services, products, and the popularity of announcements and social updates can all be tracked, targeted, and measured using technology that wasn’t available just 15 years ago.
Enabling businesses to reach customers where they already are–which, increasingly, seems to be on social networks, tablets and smartphones–is another way technology is giving small business a boost. Digital advertising and social presence makes it possible for even the smallest business to create buzz online.
And one of the most powerful impacts technology has on small business is the level of accessibility it provides. It’s now possible to reach and connect with customers across the globe without a lot of extra capital, and certainly no Visa needed.
Small businesses can now hire remote employees who never step foot in their office yet can manage entire departments from a lap top, or outsource tasks to qualified professionals who work from a remote call center.
How is tech changing your small business? We want to hear about your experiences with using technology to drive your business’ growth.