Technology is an industry that’s massively impacted everyday lives and routines. And while it’s arguable that too many “thought leaders” overuse the phrase “disruptive technology”, hardly anyone can deny that just a handful of companies may have completely changed the way we live. In just less than a decade, companies such as Facebook, Amazon, and Uber have redefined how the average person deals with their day-to-day.
However, this is all common knowledge. What most people don’t realize is beyond all of the commercial hype, some technology players have changed the game for small enterprises. Solutions that were previously available only to big businesses can now be deployed to a scale and at a price point that’s accessible to your local deli owner across the block. If you’re a small business owner who’s looking at changing the way you work, here are a few technologies that might help with just that.
If you’re a brick-and-mortar business that deals with a lot of transactions on a day-to-day basis (or if you’re a new entrepreneur who’s looking into setting something like this up), then you might be familiar with the expensive costs that go into investing in a traditional point-of-sale system. Besides the dated user interface, your system likely had to come with clunky, expensive hardware that will cost thousands to upgrade. Thankfully these days, there are many point-of-sales applications that you can simply load into a tablet or phone. Space is also very competitive, giving you many options that will most likely fit your operations’ needs.
Cloud-Based Document Management System
If you’re a small consulting firm or any type of small company that may deal with a lot of back-office work, you’ve probably needed to keep a repository of important documents handy at some point. These might be contracts that need tracking or templates that need to be readily available. Regardless of the use case, most business users agree that that’s much easier to facilitate with a cloud-based document management system than your traditional folders and filing cabinets. Most systems allow for user rights management, making sure people can view, edit or create only the documents you allow them to. And the best part is that since it’s on the cloud, you won’t ever have to worry about papers getting misplaced or damaged.
Data Visualization and Analytics
If you’re a business that’s already implemented a couple of digital solutions to your day-to-day operations, the next step might be for you to maximize that investment with some data visualization tools. A lot of software can be integrated to the existing systems that’ll allow you to set up reports and dashboards to show how your operations are going (and maybe free up 3 hours you might spend every week formatting spreadsheets). There are even affordable solutions that incorporate a bit of artificial intelligence, suggesting reports that might show some actionable insights for you and your business.
These are just some of the technologies that might completely change how your business operates. And while their uses can be reimagined in many different ways, one thing seems to be obvious: technology companies are making moves to empower small-business owners and it has the potential for small-time entrepreneurs to do a bit of disruption on their own.