Article | June 23, 2021
The start of the COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented demand for digital marketing irrespective of large businesses or small-medium businesses. Along with it, the pandemic brought the ever-increasing demand for tech stack in business. Business tech trends are important for small business owners in 2021 that play a vital role in the growth and efficiency of their business. Growing business and start-up tech stack issues for small businesses differ from large enterprises.
Tech stack has been in marketing for ages, yet it was the most neglected aspect by small business owners. However, the emergence of the pandemic brought business technologies for small businesses into action. Embracing technology is crucial to enable your company to equip with the right tools to find the solutions for the ever-changing demands and expectations of consumers.
Small business technology trends will be substantial/significant in 2021, and here are the best 7 small business tech stacks to reshape your business.
What is a tech stack?
A Tech stack is a set of technological tools used to build applications for web or mobile, software, and other operational tools. Tech stack is also called a solutions stack, technology infrastructure, or data ecosystem. As more and more businesses have started operating through computers and mobile devices, the tech stack has become a necessity to the app, web, or software development process.
About 89% of companies are going digital; thus, adopting it as their first strategy for business, the demand for technology is also growing. The technology stack is used for various reasons: sales, human resources, finance, digital marketing, operations, and analytics.
Why businesses need tech stacks?
Tech stack helps small business owners leverage capital in more effective and smarter ways. You will benefit from building your tech stack, whether you manage a large company, a start-up, or a solopreneur, and automate some processes. Your tech stack defines how different parts of your business fit together and interact. The right tech stack can streamline all your processes and help your team increase efficiency, improving your bottom line.
Top 7 Small Business Tech Trends for 2021
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning
The rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning is a significant trend and has transformed the way businesses are operating today. Most of the solutions are now implementing AI technology, where small business owners can include them in new and existing processes in 2021. Soon artificial intelligence (AI) will be widely adopted by small businesses in 2021 as it offers more personalized experiences to their customers by automating manual tasks and saving time. AI acts as an automation tech stack in business operations. AI will be implemented into new and existing processes and on a broader scale in 2021, from voice assistance to personalized customer experiences.
AI-based tools offer various benefits, which includes:
• Reducing time spent on tasks
• Increasing results
• Lowering costs
• Reducing risk
• Improving flexibility and responsiveness
Here are a few existing AI solutions that can help your small businesses.
AI-infused CRM is a marketing and sales tech stack for businesses. It helps to improve sales and marketing. Customer-relationship management is nothing but a system designed to collect customer data through communication channels such as phone, emails, and social and thus helps to automate and boost the sales process. It is a significant small business tech stack that helps small business owners to identify and focus on audiences based on the customer feedback received through all those communication channels. Based on this information, you can adjust marketing and lead generation activities through implemented AI-infused CRM. AI-infused CRMs can be utilized to gather marketing and sales-related insights
AI-infused CRM can be the best marketing tech for small businesses.
AI-powered Chatbots is one of the effective small business tech trends. It automates customer communications. Many small businesses do not have strong customer service or sales teams. In such a case, AI-powered Chatbots can ease the pressure by working 24/7 without taking any breaks. Furthermore, AI-powered chatbots handle inquiries, improve customer experience, troubleshoot, and provide immediate support, and so on, all at the same time.
Streamline human resource tasks
The most unexpected arena that AI has made an entry is into human resources. AI tools streamline the hiring and onboarding process and acquire feedback from the new employees about improvisation required in the HR process. It saves time and money from manually interviewing every applicant. According to small business trends, 84% of small businesses still manually manage inventory and record data.
5G is a super-fast new global wireless fifth generation of cellular capability replacing 4G LTE connection. 5G promises faster data transmission speeds, a better and more consistent user experience, and improved network reliability, eliminating delay in data transfer between different devices’ communication. Small businesses can leverage IoT sensors of 5G by optimizing their workflow with automation, operating CCTV cameras, or placing a motion detector in a store during after-hours. According to Statista 2021, there will be more than 1.9 billion 5G subscriptions worldwide by 2024. 5G is a significant innovation for small business tech.
Comprehensive HR Technology
The need for comprehensive human resources software and tech by small and medium-sized businesses gained importance in 2020 due to the remote work in practice. By adopting this technology, small businesses can track their employees and their needs. This trend will continue in 2021, too, and can bring change in small business tech.
HR tech comprises the tool that HR managers will need to deliver a better employee experience. HR tech allows to store data, automate daily activities, reduces human errors, and maximizes productivity. A centralized HR system will help your employees to communicate better. Comprehensive HR tech helps to train your employees online and offline and allows you to track your employees regularly.
As a result of the pandemic and lockdowns, the major business shifted to mobile tech, online shopping, and mobile scheduling payments to establish a contactless shopping experience to their customers. However, this trend of making payments and shopping will continue in 2021 as well. Many retailers and small businesses rely heavily on online shopping, delivery, and mobile payments giving rise to popular eCommerce tech trends such as voice-activated payments, omnichannel shopping, augmented reality shopping experience, and mobile tech among the few. Tech-assisted shopping can benefit small business tech trends as it emphasizes convenience.
More Automation for Small Businesses
Automation was a buzzword for small businesses until 2021. Automation for small businesses saves enormous amounts of precious time and money on manually completing the tasks. The largest of the budget of small businesses will be spent on automation in 2021. Automation investments will increase as small businesses include online pricing automation and inventory management systems to conveniently solve their problems. Estimates say that there would be a boom in companies looking out for utilizing automated solutions for small business activities.
Additionally, automation tools improve sales, revenues, communication, create and manage invoices, increase customer experience, and much more. Automation increases the efficiency and productivity of small businesses. It is one of the core aspects of small business tech.
More Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is new-age marketing. It is also known as social media influencers, wherein you use the people having a strong influence on a brand’s industry or target audience. Influencer marketing is a dynamic form of the marketing strategy of 2021. Small businesses cannot afford to use a big celebrity or a high-profile influencer in influencer marketing. In such a situation small business can find a blogger, Instagrammer, or YouTuber that most of the audience relate with and join forces with them to recommend or promote their services, products, and brand. Besides, you can personalize the marketing strategy that will help you effectively connect with your customers, improve marketing campaigns, and create a niche within your industry. Thus, influencer marketing is the best marketing tech for small businesses.
With the modern workplace and innovation of more and more tech solutions, small businesses are also adopting new technology tools, thus giving rise to the need for software integration. Integration platforms allow any software to connect well with any other software. It brings various software together to make one unified software. Companies use various software to connect teams, manage customers, send important documents and store company information, respectively. The small business adds technology tools as they appear, which are necessary to complete the aspects of daily operations. Tech stack includes many components such as CRM, content performance and search, customer experience, social, and digital analytics. All these need to be accessible while working together. In such a situation, integration makes the tech stack streamline all the processes and enable team efficiency.
Technology integrations allow more data, eliminating errors speedily, and is also a low-cost technology. The key aspect of a tech stack is how seamless, and integrated technologies are.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How small business owners use technology to improve the business?
The use of technology enhances small businesses. Small business owners use technology to connect with people, provide better customer services, resort to remote workplace methods, automate tasks to save time, and much more.
What technology do small businesses need?
Small businesses must have some popular technologies such as HR software, Cloud computing, CRM, data and information security technology, mobile applications, etc.
Why do small businesses need technology?
Technology helps to save time and physical space for small businesses. The use of technology brings efficiency to operations. Technology helps small businesses to leverage their capital smartly and more effectively.
What are the 3 tools for small businesses?
The tools that can benefit small businesses are task management tools, email and social marketing tools, and scheduling meeting tools. These tools help small businesses to save time and money for their business to grow.
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"text": "The use of technology enhances small businesses. Small business owners use technology to connect with people, provide better customer services, resort to remote workplace methods, automate tasks to save time, and much more."
"name": "What technology do small businesses need?",
"text": "Small businesses must have some popular technologies such as HR software, Cloud computing, CRM, data and information security technology, mobile applications, etc."
"name": "Why do small businesses need technology?",
"text": "Technology helps to save time and physical space for small businesses. The use of technology brings efficiency to operations. Technology helps small businesses to leverage their capital smartly and more effectively."
"name": "What are the 3 tools for small businesses?",
"text": "The tools that can benefit small businesses are task management tools, email and social marketing tools, and scheduling meeting tools. These tools help small businesses to save time and money for their business to grow."
Article | June 24, 2021
The year 2020 saw the impact of a sudden outbreak of COVID-19 that had a significant impact on all facets of life: education, shopping, environment, health, jobs, and many more. But the effect that it had on businesses was prominent and was the most challenging years in the history of small businesses across the globe. However, 2021 came up with a few small business trends & forecasts that gave some relief to small business owners and allowed taking advantage of these trends to survive small businesses.
With everything turning digital, customer's behaviors changed, their preferences and values changed, markets turned volatile, and so did their expectations evolve. Hence, small businesses had to renew their focus on changed customers.
Even though the coronavirus outbreak has not yet ended, small businesses are optimistic and ready to be resilient, adapting their business model to changing conditions. This blog provides crucial small business trends that can smoothen the way you run your business.
Current Business Outlook
National Federation of Independent Businesses (NIFB) says small businesses in the United States are going through a rough patch ever in their business history. COVID-19 affected different industries differently.
The most common small business challenges faced during COVID-19 are:
Loss of revenue
Government restrictions are gradually easing with the increase in vaccine rollout taking place in full swing across the US in 2021. As everyone adjusts to the new normal, small businesses will be at the forefront of the economic recovery.
According to the Small Business Trends survey, 23% of respondents reported revenue loss during the pandemic, while 6% reported increased revenue. In addition, 11% of small business owners polled said they had cut their budgets, and another 11% said they had temporarily closed their doors. As more small business owners become optimistic about 2021, there is no doubt that this optimism should go with proper planning and preparation.
Find out few small business trends which are likely to dominate in 2021 and beyond and how to take advantage of the trends for your business growth:
Faster adaptability and flexibility to any crisis
With the change in consumer behavior resulting from the pandemic, the business operation also changed and adapted to the new normal of doing business. To stay afloat, many business owners spontaneously adapted and were able to identify innovative approaches to change how they operate. In addition, with the need to reduce in-person transactions, an increasing number of businesses emphasize the use of technology.
Few small businesses have achieved record sales even during the pandemic by implementing a new and renewed business model that allows them to operate even with few in-person transactions.
How are businesses innovating to survive the pandemic?
Because of the pandemic, 43% of small businesses began to rethink how they do business.
32% of small businesses discovered new ways to deliver existing service offerings.
22% of small businesses encouraged their employees to reinvent themselves to adapt to new business changes.
Rise in continuous remote work
For many companies and professions such as teachers, creatives, trainers, and more, where remote work culture was just a possibility, it became a reality because of the pandemic. As a result, COVID-19 played as a game-changer and proved to be the perfect time for businesses to create their online presence.
Remote work had existed even before the pandemic started, but COVID-19 accelerated this and turned into compulsive adoption. Remote work is here to stay even after the pandemic ends and might become a preferred way of working. Many businesses will transition to a distributed working model by 2021 and beyond. It makes perfect sense for small businesses to jump on board with this trend and go remote.
The 2021 State of Small Business Trends Report has been released by the Small Business Expo, America's most prominent business networking and educational event for business owners, start-ups, and entrepreneurs. According to the report, three in ten respondents said they intend to keep their employees working from home after COVID-19, one in ten will return to the office, and six in ten said the Work from home policy did not apply to their business.
Implementation of contactless payment options
Cash-free or contactless payment was very helpful during the pandemic and has become a new norm. This pattern is expected to continue through 2021 and beyond. Small businesses have immensely benefited from electronic payments such as digital wallet payments, touchless debit cards, and credit card payments. These payment modes are easier to manage, more secure, ensure transparency, and saves time. When it comes to payment options, small businesses should consider being extremely flexible. As a result, selecting the right payment gateway platform is the first step in dealing with this trend. This is among one of the very encouraging small business trends for growth.
E-commerce Dominance and Social Commerce Growth
E-commerce was already flourishing before the pandemic, but its emergence just accelerated the e-commerce growth. According to the report, e-commerce will be the dominant force in 2021 and beyond. Thus, small businesses can capitalize on this boom by providing a seamless e-commerce experience for their customers by making their website mobile-friendly.
Improved emphasis on employee happiness and well-being
The pandemic followed by worldwide lockdown was complex for everyone, and one thing it made us realize was the significance of our physical health and, more importantly, mental health. Lockdown and remote work was mentally draining to most employees. For every organization employee, health and wellness became an utmost priority. Hence they had to come up with something to keep their employees engaged and happy during working hours.
You have the advantage of smaller teams as a small business, and you can foster close relationships among your co-workers. Even if you work from home, you can always plan a fun evening together via video call. Small gestures can go a long way toward bringing your team together and increasing employee morale. You must go above and beyond by identifying ways to increase employee happiness.
Embark on Influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is like celebrity endorsement, which is common in the age of mass media. Social media has grabbed a large chunk of marketing in today’s world and stays in contact with the world. Influencer marketing is a subtle form of marketing that has emerged as a viable strategy for various brands. Because of their low cost and broad market reach, influencers are used by 25% of small businesses for social media marketing. The influencer marketing industry is the fastest-growing online customer-acquisition method and expected to expand further in the coming years to become the biggest future small business trends 2020/2021.
Leveraging Digital Technologies
Small businesses adopted technologies before the pandemic, which improved their bottom lines. Small business owners discovered that leveraging digital technologies and the internet enabled them to operate smoothly in the face of the COVID-19 crisis and restrictions while also ensuring the safety of their employees and customers. It allowed them to identify new revenue streams and reinvent their business models.
5G network and AI have become a big part of digital technologies for small businesses. Small business owners should invest in digital technologies and systems that will allow them to provide personalized customer service. In addition, using digital technologies can automate business processes and manage employees who work remotely.
Digital tools have the potential to boost productivity and efficiency. They make you more agile. According to the survey, 77 percent of US small-business owners use technology for personal reasons, such as online shopping or media consumption.
The 5G Network and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
5G network rollout and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are a big part of the business plan. The 5G network is a larger and better version of our 4G LTE network. The 5G network provides lightning-fast internet speeds, which expands the possibilities for using AI across industries. As a result, this combination opens new possibilities for IoT.
Experts predict that by 2024, 5G networks will have a global penetration of 40%, handling 25% of all mobile data. In addition, 5G networks provide a much simpler setup process.
AI can assist small businesses that are typically short on staff in automating processes and improving efficiency. AI can learn from data sets, analyze new information from various sources, and adapt as needed. This decision can help small businesses compete with larger competitors and prove the best small business trends and forecasts for 2021 and beyond.
The Gig Economy
As small businesses embrace the gig economy, owners and managers can hire freelancers to complete specific tasks within specific timeframes. When you allot a short-term project to your contracted worker, it eases the stress, and your staff workload brings flexibility and agility to your budgeting. You can hire as per your need of the time. By phasing out some employment setups for your small business, you can save resources and time by outsourcing expertise and equipment. Starting a side gig can help you create a business without losing an essential source of income from your current job.
The gig economy in the United States grew to around 77 million people in 2020 and is expected to grow even more in 2021. In the United States, 57.3 million people work for themselves. Furthermore, freelancers account for approximately 36% of the total workforce. Thus, the gig economy is only going to get bigger. As a result, you must stay current on marketing trends affecting small businesses.
Millennial Small Business Owners
Millennials, or those born between 1981 and 1996, account for a quarter of the American population. This generation is most likely the most researched. Millennials are the first generation to grow up surrounded by technology, from computers to smartphones and tablets. With all this knowledge, this generation is transforming the world of small businesses. They adapt to the changing technology fast.
This generation has altered the way we conduct business, from pressuring companies to improve their business practices to simply responding quickly to customers via digital channels. In addition, they are more aware of the current social climate because they are collective movers and shakers. As a result, millennial Small Business Owners are in favor of small business trends for 2021 and beyond.
What trends do you foresee in small businesses?
The trends in small business that will continue in 2021 and beyond are remote work will be the new standard, contactless payment options, 5G and AI technology, digitization will accelerate, businesses will continue prioritizing e-commerce.
How new technology helps small business to grow?
Technology allows small business owners and employees to work in the office, on the road, from home, on the road, or even across the country. As a result, technology can assist businesses in gaining a competitive advantage in the global marketplace.
Why should small businesses adopt new technologies?
The impact of new technology on business operations is significant. It enhances business communication while also optimizing production, inventory management, and financial record-keeping.
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"name": "Why should small businesses adopt new technologies?",
"text": "The impact of new technology on business operations is significant. It enhances business communication while also optimizing production, inventory management, and financial record-keeping."
Article | July 6, 2021
Starting a side hustle requires doing a bit more than deciding you will monetize your interests. You can explore a hobby or activity that you are passionate about through a side hustle. This hustle may also allow you to carve out a space for pursuing natural talents, such as the ability to bake cakes or sew clothing.
Typically, a side gig is pursued on the side in addition to full-time employment elsewhere. Side hustles may not be your full-time line of work, but that doesn’t mean they do not receive any less attention. Starting a side hustle requires an investment of time, energy, focus, and dedication. This ensures that you may pursue what you love, learn by doing, create and establish a working business plan, and, ideally, set yourself up to build a loyal customer or client base that enjoys and invests in your offerings.
Starting a side hustle also means being able to ask, and answer, tough questions to ensure you’re ready to commit. Before you start, make sure you can confidently answer the following questions to ensure a healthy lifecycle for your side gig.
Article | March 6, 2020
Small businesses are putting themselves at a disadvantage if they don't have a website, says Roy Digitrio, founder and CEO of Digitrio Pte Ltd. Digitrio adds that some small business owners think that simply having a website is enough; what they don't realise is that they're missing out on the valuable opportunity that is SEO. Websites provide a way to connect with existing customers as well as new potential customers. And this is why SEO really matters for small business websites! Small businesses that are utilising SEO are more likely to receive more organic traffic to their site. And the more traffic on a site, the more likely the business will gain a new customer.