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How technology can future-proof your micro-business in 2020

Posted by Amina Addow on Mar 3, 2020 11:56:31 AM
Amina Addow
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Technology plays a big part in business today and for micro-business it's no different. The current streamlining of operations and applications may work today but it doesn't guarantee that these will work in the future. Due to this, it's important that your micro-business is always planning ahead.

We have actionable tips on how to use technology to make sure your micro-business is best suited to deal with changes in the future.

Upgrade your telephony

First off, make sure that your telephony is up to date. From 2025, landlines will no longer be issued by Openreach with the full ‘Stop-Sell’ occurring in 2023. As telephony moves to IP networks, mainly VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) micro-businesses would need to make the switch. VoIP, which allows high-quality business calls to be made via an internet connection has a wealth of benefits. Work towards future-proofing your internal and external communications by making the switch now.

Protect your data and information

Cyber attacks can happen at any time, make sure your business is prepared. Sustained attacks can have devastating effects and on average, it takes months or even years for businesses to recover. In fact, in 2019, small firms were subject to over 10,000 attacks daily.

Invest in security software to protect your customer and employee’s data and information. Making cyber security a priority could enable your business to survive longer and also avoid any unnecessary downtime. Try applications such as Norton, McAfee etc. Cloud systems such as VoIP and Google Drive can also provide necessary security and backup for files and documents.  

Technology allows your systems to scale along with your business

No matter how great your forecasting plans are, nobody can predict the future. It’s important to have and invest in technology that allows your micro-business to scale and also scale back when necessary. Invest in scale bandwidth for your company to facilitate growth. This way your technology will be able to scale along with you and more importantly prepare for the future.

Adapt to evolving trends

Adapt or die.

It applies to business too. To survive your business would need to identify and adopt/adapt to evolving trends to survive.  The algorithm is always changing and a key way of finding out about up and coming trends is to check social media and make sure that your micro-business is adaptable. If possible, intertwine technological advancements into your operations such as AI, voice search etc. 

Streamlining operations

Technology plays a big part in streamlining operations, in particular communications. It’s important that your telephony and IT infrastructure is well equipped for day to day operations. By equipping your business with the fastest internet speeds and high-quality phones/headsets you can make sure your business is functioning efficiently. Enable an annual review of your internal infrastructure to make sure it is up to date and that you are on the right price plan for your business.

Acquiring the best technology available can help with your sale funnel and making your business sustainable in the future. This can play a huge role in providing good customer service and user experience. 

Start improving and utilise strategic innovations.

With the right technology, micro-businesses can now have access to a wealth of customer data and see what sales/marketing tactics are working and what isn't. Furthermore, you can view customer's spending data, how much they are spending and what they want from service providers. Consumer research is readily available online and through CRM/lead management systems. Use this information to polish your strategies and create new innovations. 

For example, use technology metric reporting to identity customer pain-points and create solutions. In the long run, this can help create and develop loyal customers and activists of your brand.

Make employees happy

Finally, use technology to make sure employees are happy. Employees are the bread and butter of your workforce and business. Slow internet speeds and outdated telephony can obstruct them from doing their best work. More importantly, customers will not be attended to. Keep employees happy by introducing technology available to help them do their best work. For example, this could be customer conversation tools such as Dixa or Intercom. Furthermore, VoIP can also introduce a reliable and comfortable phone system for them to interact with customers.

Keeping the workplace a happier and more efficient place to work can also help with brand reputation as more customers who get their problems resolved are likely to leave public positive reviews.

Final thoughts

Overall, technology has a big part to play in the operation, streamlining and communications. Make sure your micro-business is working with technology to improve and future-proof your services. The right technology and application can assist with a sustainable business model.

If you need help with deciding what technology you need to run your business, bOnline has helped over 30,000 businesses with their telecoms solutions and getting online. Give our experts a call on 0203 697 4166.

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A blog by bOnline for news, tip and insights for  UK 'micro-business' owners.

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