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.
"name": "How small business owners use technology to improve the business?",
"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 23, 2021
Small businesses are the backbone of the US economy, generating local jobs and innovation while encouraging entrepreneurship among minorities, women, veterans, and other community segments.
As stated by Florida tax monitor data, small companies employ 48% of all Americans and generate 43.5 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). At the speed of light, the corporate environment is continuously moving to new digital technologies. However, many small company owners are unable to keep up with this small business digital transformation.
In the opinion of recent Google-commissioned small company research, 80% of small businesses in the United States are not fully utilizing digital technologies. A few more reasons at play prevent small firms from adopting digital technology and falling behind on digital transformation trends.
Ignoring digital benefits or refusing to adjust is a surefire way to fail in a constantly evolving digital world.
"At least 40% of all businesses will die in the next ten years… if they don't figure out how to change their entire company to accommodate new technologies."
— John Chambers, Cisco
Factors Contributing to the Lag in Digital Transformation Race
Keeping up with New Technologies Is Tough
Numerous small business owners are unable to keep up with emerging digital transformation trends. Various digital opportunities for small businesses exist to employ in their operations. However, companies lack the will to leverage digital capabilities and so fall short of their full potential. In addition, limited resources create an impediment to digital adoption inside. Employee experience and digital skills are other significant impediments to SMBs adopting digital technologies.
Small businesses need to overcome their fear of change to capitalize on the digital dividend, accelerate growth, and scale effectively.
Change in Customers Behavior and Persona
Changes in customer behavior and knowledge of SMB consumer personas are critical components of small business digital transformation and are the primary issue confronting small business owners. The most significant change that small companies anticipate in the next five years is a shift in consumer expectations and personas.
Owners believe they understand their businesses since they are small or medium-sized business owners. Still, customers have a different perspective more than 70% of the time due to social and digital transformation trends. For the next five years, the top three consumer trends are expected to increase product or service customization, increased emphasis on customer experience, and higher expectations of quality or value for money.
"Clients are going to expect a lot of personalization in their businesses; consumers are going to expect the same. To avoid data silos, having an emphasis on driving real-time information from customer data and sources is core for any company to become digitally native."
– Bibhakar Pandey, Vice President & Leader of Customer Experience, Marketing Services, Capgemini.
Need Assistance for Right Decisions
Making technological decisions is challenging for small firms. Additionally, many business decisions are made by small business owners. Therefore, they must have the appropriate knowledge and help when making digital decisions involving various conflicting obligations.
Because the costs of digital technologies are so high, it is critical for small businesses to have sufficient information about the value of sales, service, and marketing technologies to select the appropriate digital systems, upgrade digital skills, and provide adequate protection and security. In addition, the small owners need timely assistance to cope up with small business digital transformation.
Small firms have several digital gaps in various areas, including internal skills gaps, financial gaps, and digital infrastructure shortages. Due to the utilization of high-speed internet connections and cloud-based technologies, these disparities are more significant for small businesses than large enterprises.
The owners need to cope up with different stages of digital transformation in small businesses. However, there is no denying the link between digital and productivity, which is critical for productivity.
Digital Transformation Approaches:
Adoption and Upgradation to CRMs
To evaluate client behavior, it is critical to implement and improve your customer relationship management system (CRM). In addition, businesses should leverage cloud-based solutions to strengthen their relationships with their consumers.
According to Deloitte, SMBS that use CRM generate 44 percent more income than those who do not have a system or only have a rudimentary system. However, numerous CRM features, such as omnichannel customer care, marketing automation, social tools, and predictive analytics with automation are not part of the classic CRM model.
"Right from the start, based on our ICP, we focus on what level of personalization and automation needs to be built out and what touchpoints like overlays, retargeting, and remarketing are to be done to convert the customer in the end and take them to the SQL stage."
– Amitabh Ramani, Global Marketing Director, Jade Global.
Adoption and up-gradation of CRMs will open new digital opportunities for small businesses.
Improvement in Digital Infrastructure
To fill the digital gap and be a part of digital transformation trends, small businesses must embrace high-speed broadband for small business digital transformation. In addition, adopt digital technologies in the workplace to enhance SMB productivity and connectedness.
By incorporating innovation and technology, small firms may increase their competitiveness.
Below are few actions that can be taken for more digitally engaged small businesses:
Raising awareness of digital opportunities
SME training and upskilling programs
Promoting business innovation and the provision of new digital solutions
Implementation of Sales and Marketing Tools
In today's competitive corporate climate, the focus is firmly placed on the sales and marketing aspects of the enterprise. As a result, small businesses strive to capitalize on possibilities for personalized marketing based on prior interactions or sales and engage clients through customized marketing.
Amaysim is an example of a company that focuses on customized marketing using a cloud-based marketing platform; they ensure timely marketing communication and connect with clients in real-time via SMS.
Only one in every five small businesses uses digital tools or social media platforms to acquire new consumers or connect with existing clients. Incorporate artificial intelligence into different business processes, such as predictive analytics, automated product recommendations, and upgrade suggestions based on consumer behavior.
Shift to Online Interactions
Face-to-face transactions have decreased as a percentage of total sales, and the line between physical and digital is becoming increasingly blurred, resulting in behavioral adjustments.
The purchase is moving due to internet channels, or you might say that more consumers favor online purchases over in-person transactions. With the increase in online sales, small companies also need to enhance their delivery services to keep up with the demand. In addition, the shift in communication channels to emails, social media platforms, and websites have altered consumer behavior about enquires and complaints. As a result, implementing CRM software for service interactions has become a necessity of the hour to ensure a fast response.
Shift to online interactions of sales or any business operation is an escalating demand for small business digital transformation.
With the evolution of digital trends in small businesses, owners can leverage small business digital transformation benefits by using the techniques as mentioned above. Regular use of digital tools may help small businesses enhance their performance and adapt to dynamic business conditions and changing consumer expectations and the surrounding environment. Engage small companies in new digital prospects for success and business growth, resulting in a greater return on investment (ROI).
Why is digital transformation important for small businesses?
Digital transformation enables small businesses to ease out their operations, increases efficiency, automates workflow, helps to improve customer relationships. Adopting digital transformation enables to fulfill changing behaviors and needs of customers.
What are the most significant trends of digital transformation?
Here are few significant trends of digital transformation in the coming year 2022 that will impact the work culture of businesses.
Improved connectivity (5G)
Multi-cloud and APIs
What are key areas of digital transformation?
The key areas of digital transformation are as follows:
Business process transformation
Business model transformation
"name": "Why is digital transformation important for small businesses?",
"text": "Digital transformation enables small businesses to ease out their operations, increases efficiency, automates workflow, helps to improve customer relationships. Adopting digital transformation enables to fulfill changing behaviors and needs of customers."
"name": "What are the most significant trends of digital transformation?",
"text": "Here are few significant trends of digital transformation in the coming year 2022 that will impact the work culture of businesses.
Improved connectivity (5G)
Multi-cloud and APIs"
"name": "What are key areas of digital transformation?",
"text": "The key areas of digital transformation are as follows:
Business process transformation
Business model transformation
Article | June 23, 2021
For small businesses, every dollar counts. That's why it is important to make sure you aren't overspending in areas you can't afford to. Starting up a new business is rarely an easy endeavor and keeping it growing and thriving for years to come will always require work and attention. Industries change and consumer spending habits can shift from year to year. How a business manages its finances to adapt to these changes is often a determining factor in its survival. The best way to ensure that entrepreneurs don't steer their new business ventures off a cliff is by planning ahead to avoid potential money mistakes. Hidden overspending pitfalls could be one of the more dangerous issues small businesses face.
Article | June 23, 2021
Finance: Make sure you are on top of bookkeeping from the beginning. Good bookkeeping and accounting are the foundation of a healthy and thriving financial future for your business. I would highly recommend meeting with some of the Start Small Think Big experts to hone these skills earlier than later. Lastly, be super clear about your business plan and how you look to make money from your business and make passive income, along with how to scale. Preparation is truly the key to success for thriving businesses.
Marketing: You must do the work to discover your why. Building this foundation helps to develop your brand voice and messaging. Without this core, your business can crumble because it lacks the firm foundation on which it needs to stand. You will attract the right customers and team if you stand firm in your authenticity and why. Secondly, I would advise getting to know your customer to understand how to speak to that particular group. You want it to feel natural and not like you are selling to them. The more you truly learn about their passions and wishes, the more you will best be able to fulfill their needs.
Legal: Protect your intellectual property as soon as you have the financial backing to do so. I would also highly recommend becoming a legal business entity of any sort. Doing so helps separate you from your business in any legal ramifications because becoming an LLC has made me feel protected and legitimized.