Technology is one of the biggest and most important investments an independent business owner will make. The myriad of options available means that independents have the opportunity to tailor their tech choices and ensure they run their business in the most efficient and profitable way possible.
To help make your search for the perfect setup easier, here are the top three technology trends independent business owners should know about:
Take advantage of the cloud
Over the past few years the cloud has proven to be more than a buzzword, with cloud-based platforms and tools providing real value for businesses of all sizes, but independents especially. SMEs pride themselves on the fact that their size and structure allows them to be nimble and adapt to change quickly. That often implies the need to manage their business remotely or while on the move.
This is where a cloud-based system can truly prove its worth, as it can provide business owners with up-to-date information at the touch of a button, no matter where in the world they are. Having the peace of mind that you can make the right decisions for your business from anywhere and at any time, makes cloud-based tools a worthwhile investment.
Stay efficient with omnichannel
It is no secret that in order for customers to have a successful shopping journey, businesses need to provide two things: an eye-catching online site that showcases products clearly and in the best possible light, as well as a bricks-and-mortar store where customers can touch and test out products for themselves.
With technology on your side, managing both platforms has never been easier. Omnichannel is a great way to make sure you offer a frustration-free experience every time prospective clients interact with your brand. Lightspeed’s omnichannel solution is one such example that seamlessly integrates your online and offline platforms into a powerful system that is able to keep track of your inventory and purchases, while also making sure your brand remains consistent across the board.
Know how to use your data
Your tech tools can become virtual business advisors, able to provide you with invaluable data about your company. The key is to stay open to change and use that information to adjust your processes and ensure you are running your business as efficiently as possible. This can mean anything from the smallest detail about how and where you source products, to wider issues of distribution and volume control. When every penny saved counts, data should become an integral part of the decision-making process for your business.
Customer relationships and building up a loyalty base are also crucial for the success of independents. Personalisation is no longer an option, but a requirement, and data can help you delve deeper into who your customers are and what they like about your brand. You can tailor your services and communications accordingly and offer an experience that will keep customers coming back and, most importantly, telling their friends.
My main advice for business owners who are in the market for tech tools is this: keep in mind that technology is here to help, not get in the way or cause frustrations. Choose the systems that work for you and make sure you make the most of what your tech has to offer.