In today’s world, technology is evolving at an increasingly rapid pace. It can be hard to keep up with the new innovations in software and hardware, much less figure out what kinds of technology you should be using for your small business and how best to implement it into your daily operations. Luckily, there are plenty of resources available to help you stay on top of the latest in business technology, including these seven ways to stay ahead of the curve for your small business.
1) Set Up a Website
If you don't have a website, this is an essential first step. You can set up your own site using a service like WordPress or Wix, or buy a domain name and point it to your existing website. If you're planning on running an online store, make sure you also get hosting space so customers can view your products and make purchases. And if you want visitors to be able to contact you, set up an email account and include it on your website's contact page.
2) Do Daily Social Media Checks
Even if you don't have much time, it's important to stay on top of what people are saying about your business online. Spend a few minutes each day checking for new posts and comments on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. You'll also want to take note of any changes in follower numbers or interactions. Use these platforms as tools for staying current with customer trends and complaints, so you can address them quickly before they become larger issues. If something is trending heavily on Twitter, for example, create a poll or survey asking followers how they feel about the topic.
3) Use Influencer Marketing
It's important not to simply stay up-to-date with new developments in your industry, but also be aware of what is happening in other industries as well. One way to do this is by following influencers on social media and blogs. In addition to giving you access to their perspectives and insights, they can also help you identify trends in other industries that may affect your own.
4) Check Up on Online Reviews
It's important to monitor what people are saying about your business online. When you're a small business, customers may think that they can't speak up or that it won't matter if they leave a bad review. That's not true! Reviews are hugely important, and leaving them takes only a minute or two on Yelp, Google+, Facebook and other sites.
5) Research New Tech Tools
One way to stay ahead is to research new tech tools. There are many different apps and software programs that can help you automate your business operations. To stay up-to-date, set aside time every week or so to go through some of these new tools that are out there. There might be a tool that will make your life easier, or at least make it easier on the people in your organization who do the work each day. Plus, if you find something great, you can share it with them!
6) Look at Trends in Your Industry
As a small business owner, it can be difficult to keep up with all the latest technology and trends. For example, if you're in retail, then you're probably already familiar with how social media can be used to promote your company. However, did you know that there are also new technologies emerging in other industries?
7) Attend Tech Conferences
Attending conferences where you can meet with industry experts, as well as other businesses in your field, is a great way to keep up with changes in your industry. It's also a chance for you to speak about what you do and learn from others who are doing it better than you.