With the impact and diversity of technology in today’s economy, technology has become a major key player in helping businesses grow and maintain relevance. The dawn of technology has greatly influenced the rate of competition and opportunities for businesses around the world. Also, people are now tech-savvy and connected across the globe.  It is therefore important to leverage technology if you must be up-to-date with trends, reach a wider audience, and generally scale your business.

As a business owner, you could leverage technology to grow and strengthen your business by:

  • Moving your business into the cloud: Many small businesses are now embracing the cloud because of its numerous benefits that include data backup, mobile working, flexibility, easy access to files, file storage and information sharing. Using the cloud could help you run your business better with an assurance that your business information is safe, can be easily accessed from any location and can be shared remotely[1].
  • Prioritising sales opportunities with cloud-based CRM tools: Finding the right technology solution is critical for small business owners.  You can use a web-based CRM (customer relation management) tool to manage your client pipeline.  This tool would help you focus on the important tasks that need to be done each day. Using a CRM tool effectively will help prevent a profitable business from falling through the cracks[2].
  • Working virtually: The real benefit of mobile technology is agility and efficiency. Creating a mobile office will allow you to work productively from anywhere. You can leverage the use of your mobile phone by enabling features like email alerts, google alerts, bank alerts, industry monitoring etc would help your business. Also, ensuring that you have a website for your business that is both simplified and responsive offering the same experience across all devices will enable growth in your business[3].
  • Embracing social media: Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+ are the most obvious social media vehicles currently being used to drive business growth. Adopting an effective social media strategy can rapidly enhance your company’s branding and online visibility, helping you interact with your audience around a direct message or offer and drive traffic to your website[4].
  • Collaborating and learning: Technology has made it easy for businesses to do more with less and help you become more efficient and versatile. As a business owner, you can conduct teleconference calls to make sure team members in different locations are on the same page, expand your knowledge with online business training, set up an Intranet for local file sharing, and communicate quickly with your team through instant messaging[5].
  • Boosting productivity with online applications: Stay on top of your business by using technology to see where you are spending your time so you can become more productive, streamlining your work processes with digital dictation, exploring open source applications to replace some of the more costly alternatives, using project management and task management tools to stay on top of your daily business responsibilities, creating a digital filing system to make it easier to sort, save, share and find documents, and developing an efficient process that makes it easier for you to stay on top of the flow of messages[6].
  • Using Technology to Improve Customer service: You can create a platform where you can use social media to conduct customer service, set up an online help desk or ticket system to handle customer issues, allow clients to schedule appointments online at their convenience, use online surveys and questionnaires to get customer feedback[7].

Leveraging technology appropriately can and will lead to business success. It is also important to remain up-to-date with technologies that would be beneficial for scaling your business.

[1] YFS Magazine, 12 Ways to Leverage Technology to Improve Business Opportunity, May 10, 2013: http://yfsmagazine.com/2013/05/10/12-ways-to-leverage-technology-to-improve-business-productivity/ accessed May 9, 2017

[2] The balance, 5 Ways to Use the Cloud in Your Small Business, Sep29, 2016: https://www.thebalance.com/the-cloud-in-your-small-business-2951636 accessed May 9, 2017

[3] Small Business Trends, 10 Ways to Improve Your Business with Mobile Technology, May 20, 2013: https://smallbiztrends.com/2013/05/improve-business-mobile-technology.html accessed May 9, 2017

[4] FOX BUSINESS, 5 Tech-Based Strategies to Grow Your Business, Oct 31, 2013: http://www.foxbusiness.com/features/2013/10/31/5-technology-based-strategies-to-grow-your-business.html accessed May 9, 2017

[5] The balance, 33 Ways to Use Technology in Your Small Business, Aug 23, 2016: https://www.thebalance.com/how… accessed May 9, 2017

[6] The balance, 33 Ways to Use Technology in Your Small Business, Aug 23, 2016: https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-technology-in-small-business-2951633 accessed May 9, 2017

[7] The balance, 33 Ways to Use Technology in Your Small Business, Aug 23, 2016: https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-technology-in-small-business-2951633 accessed May 9, 2017