Small businesses have historically had an uphill battle when competing with large corporations. Deeper pockets meant large businesses simply had more capital to devote to advertising and marketing. However, thanks to advancements in technology over the last 15 years or so, small businesses are increasingly closing the gap between themselves and their larger competitors.
Phil Simon, a tech consultant and author of “The New Small: How a New Breed of Small Businesses Is Harnessing the Power of Emerging Technologies,” feels that technology has given small business owners not only a voice, but vast options at their fingertips, helping them handle everything from marketing to automating operations. Here are some ways technology benefits small businesses.
• Social media: Getting the word out about a business used to mean expensive mailers or television spots on local television. But the vast reach of the internet enables small business owners to reach many people without that much spending. A Clutch 2018 Small Business Survey found 52 percent of small businesses post on social media daily, 79 percent weekly and 94 percent monthly. Regular exposure gets brand names out there. Small businesses can use social media in conjunction with news outlets’ digital and print advertising solutions to reach a wide audience.
• Online services: A proliferation of online businesses means that small businesses can look to other small businesses for their needs. Web hosting, printing services and content-producing freelancers can be found online. Small businesses and freelancers who provide such services don’t have the overhead of larger businesses that offer similar products, helping small business owners get their messages out without breaking the bank.
• Open application programming interface: Thanks to open API, savvy small businesses do not have to develop proprietary solutions to their various business needs. Open API is a publicly available application programming interface that gives developers access to change and program software applications that already exist. With OPI, businesses can create new applications or connect applications without having to invest a lot of money or time developing from scratch.
Sometimes all an existing app may need is a small tweak to make it work for a particular need. Businesses can create apps to streamline specific processes.
• Mobile workers: Technology has made it possible for businesses to keep qualified staff without the need for a physical office. Fast internet connectivity means remote workers can log into central servers and essentially work from anywhere. This means small businesses can cut down on office rental overhead and attract talented professionals from anywhere.