A big week for small businesses

RICH PREECE | December 10, 2014

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Here, Rich Preece reflects on the past week, hailing a positive Autumn Statement and a Small Business Saturday that represented small companies well across the UK.

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Top 7 Small Business Tech Stacks for 2021

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 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 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 Technology 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. Tech-assisted Shopping 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. Software Integration 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. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How small business owners use technology to improve the business?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The use of technology enhances small businesses. 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5 Ways Google Alerts Can Help Build Your Small Business

Article | June 1, 2021

Does your small business use Google Alerts? Do you even know what Google Alerts are? Once you set them up (see below), Google Alerts will notify you anytime the keywords you choose appear online. This is only for newly published content, not content already published on the internet. So, what can you even use Google Alerts for? Here are some ideas and how they can help you build your small business.

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How to Report Revenue on a Small-Business Credit Card Application

Article | February 10, 2020

When filling out the “revenue” portion of a small-business credit card application, you want to make your small business or side hustle look its very best without stretching the truth. But revenue can swing dramatically from year to year, and credit card applications often don’t spell out what you should or shouldn’t include when reporting it. So what counts as an honest, just-the-facts answer? Generally, in credit card applications, issuers want to know your verifiable gross revenue from the previous year.

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7 Best FreshBooks Alternatives for Small Business Owners

Article | February 24, 2020

If you’re a small business owner, then your business accounting is one of the most important things you manage to keep your business running smoothly. That also means that having the right accounting software can go a long way in helping you achieve your goals. Maybe you’ve heard of, if not tried, FreshBooks in the past and are wondering what else is out there. We’ll go over some of the best FreshBooks alternatives on the market for your business. Some of the highlights of FreshBooks include that it’s cloud-based, has a mobile version, offers a variety of plans at different price points, and more. Before we dive into the FreshBooks alternatives, let’s take a look at what FreshBooks has to offer your business.

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Spotlight

Startup San Diego

This June 25th - 29th the San Diego startup community comes together to share progress, exchange resources, and celebrate each other. At Startup Week you will meet thousands of entrepreneurs, startup founders, developers, designers, students, community advocates, and leaders in the San Diego startup scene.

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