As more companies and consumers incorporate technology into their daily lives, your small to midsize business must keep pace. After all, if you stand by too long, your competitors will get ahead of the game and adopt all those innovative digital methods first. While digital innovation may seem daunting to an SMB, these tools are increasingly available to companies of any size. Here are five innovations to consider, courtesy of Arturo Fernandez.
1. Cloud Computing
Cloud computing can be a game-changer for an SMB. It is the practice of using remote servers to store and access data instead of holding them on a computer or server at your facility.
Cloud computing lets small to midsize businesses leverage the IT power that only large companies traditionally had. You can access IT professionals and data centers without investing in tons of hardware. Cloud computing reduces your costs while increasing scalability at a reduced risk.
2. Artificial Intelligence
AI is another concept that once seemed to belong only to large companies. However, artificial intelligence has many applications for SMBs:
- Customer relationships: With AI, customer relationship management can analyze the information it collects and create personalized advertising that resonates with the target audience.
- Cybersecurity: AI can review behavior patterns and trends that affect your software and data. It can link relevant ideas and habits and alert you of atypical patterns.
- Human resources: Artificial intelligence can screen candidates to let you concentrate on the best matches. It can also help you collect information from candidate references.
3. Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is not only innovative. It's popular. According to a study, global digital advertising and marketing will reach $786.2 billion by 2026.
Interactive content is a type of digital marketing innovation. It invites the audience to participate and select preferred experiences. Examples include quizzes, polls and interactive flipbooks.
It's good to incorporate your logo with any interactive content you use. Your logo is the face of your company, so you want it to stand out among competitors and be memorable to your audience.
Luckily, you can skip hiring an expensive graphic designer and simply design a creative and attractive logo yourself by using an online logo maker. Select your style, then choose an icon and add your text. You can view an array of logo choices and adjust fonts and colors to suit your taste.
4. Mobile Payments
Many customers expect the ability to pay for purchases with NFC technology. The concept may soon become a standard practice instead of an innovation. If your retail business hasn't adopted near-field communication yet, it is time to introduce it. As fewer people carry cash, the ability to pay with a mobile device becomes increasingly popular.
Mobile payments work for businesses beyond the point of sale. Your company can use banking methods that allow you to make financial transactions on the go.
Many people think of cryptocurrency when they hear about blockchain. It is indeed the most common example of this type of technology. Blockchain lets businesses securely transmit data by using verification tools. They ensure your information is not compromised.
Small to midsize businesses can leverage the power of a blockchain public ledger by using it to protect sensitive records. One example is using it to secure health information in a doctor's office.
Digital innovation may seem out of reach for an SMB. However, as technology becomes more affordable and increasingly available, your business has excellent opportunities to put these tools to work.