If the last year taught us anything about how to run a business, it included adopting technology into a business’s operations. Technology, ranging from a website to utilizing online ordering tools for restaurants and participating in online video meetings, became a must for small businesses to survive the pandemic. Small businesses that were quick to adopt new forms of technology and meet customers more than halfway thrived during the last year and are far better off today because of it.
So, what types of technologies and tools have helped businesses succeed?
By far one of the biggest adoptions from small businesses in the last year was the ability to communicate their products and services on mobile devices. This meant rebuilding websites to adapt to smaller screen sizes, using services that were only for mobile (i.e., mobile payment processors), and handling business on a mobile phone much easier. Businesses that jumped on mobile improvements included restaurants, laundry delivery services, and even medical practices.
The time away from brick-and-mortar businesses also gave decision-makers the time to re-evaluate their company websites too. This turned to migrating from existing web platforms to new systems, updating content and updating company graphics. Several business owners took to coding bootcamps to learn how to do this themselves and some hired a 3rd party web development firm. In either case, this type of forward-thinking about website design was a much-needed change for several small businesses.
Another thing that was implemented by many small business owners was the use of Zoom and other video conferencing systems. Zoom became the standard way to communicate with employees and was quickly adopted by organizations with more than 5 people. As more and more people began working from home, it was a must for communication to persist through video meetings. Although Zoom experienced some technical and security difficulties along the way, it’s now highly regarded as the go-to video conferencing software.
This time also gave business owners a chance to revise their marketing strategies. Those who were invested in offline marketing through phonebook advertising, bench advertising and other forms of outdoor ads, quickly reallocated their marketing budget to online forms of advertising. Online advertising includes paid search advertising on Google, search engine optimization techniques, advertisements on sites like Yelp, and social media marketing. Opting into this style of advertising helped create a lot of new business for many small businesses in Colorado and all over the country.
As it seems that technology changes every day, it’s important for business owners to stay on top of those changes. Businesses should opt into new technologies as quickly as they can and as their budget allows. Failing to do so could result in a loss of new customers and is partly why so many businesses struggled in the last year. Take time to review your company’s technology and decide what you should begin implementing today. Consider your business’s mobile presence, when the last time your website was properly updated, how you handle internal and external communication, and if it’s time to work digital advertising into your marketing mix.