Technology 2015: 5 Things That Every Small Business Needs
Google “small business technology” and you’ll be overwhelmed. There are more than 807 million articles on the Internet about it.
Instead of reading 807 million articles, we’ve cut through the clutter and come up with the following five technology lessons of 2014.
1 — Your business must go mobile
By 2017, mobile commerce — shopping from smartphones and tablets — will hit $114 billion, up from just $18 billion in 2012.
In 2015, you need to invest in a website that is “responsive,” which simply means that it will display well on any computing device, from a smartphone to an actual computer, without pinching or squinting. This doesn’t need to be a huge investment — there are dozens of ready-made responsive designs on the market.
2 — Embracing mobile means embracing mobile payments as well
For several years already, smartphones could be equipped with a small device to handle a credit card swipe. Plenty of big businesses are diving into mobile payments. But the mobile payments industry is still very fragmented, so small businesses will need to invest in mobile technology cautiously.
3 — Invest in the best cybersecurity system your business can afford
A 2013 report from Verizon showed that many of the 63,000 data breaches were directed at the world’s largest companies. The most increasingly popular type of attack is directed at the small business.
4 — Your business must be social
It’s no longer enough to be customer-friendly on the phone and at the checkout counter. Being social in 2015 means that your business must engage with customers on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and more.
Social media platforms are free; however, you will likely need to make an investment to use them well. Invest in a person to handle your business’ social media communication and a scheduling service to track it all.
5 — Big data isn’t just for big companies.
Look at all the information that you have amassed in your business; data about your customers, products and services. Can you connect the dots between that data to see patterns in purchasing or service calls?
Make one of your goals for 2015 to identify the key data for your business and think about how you could benefit from understanding it better. These five lessons apply to every small business, but every industry has some technology that is specific to it. Find what’s new in your world and think about adding it.
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Read the original article on huffingtonpost.