An ideal way to scale your business is by leveraging technology. In 2020, we expect to see a surge of 50% in small business tech spending due to increase in affordability of today’s cloud-based services and mobile devices.
Small businesses are confident about accessing new markets and targeting new customers at relatively lower costs using digital tools.
According to a Deloitte research, with the help of technology, small businesses, with less than 250 employees can:
- Create 3X more jobs than the previous year
- Earn 2X as much revenue per employee
- Experience 4X as growth over the past year
Despite the potential gains and openness, 80% of small businesses are failing to take the full advantage of technology. Adding to that, here are four technologies that can scale your small business efficiently on a limited budget:
- Using Artificial Intelligence for higher control and visibility of your sales performance
87% of small businesses said they were using or considering to use AI to forecast sales. [Statista]
Many small businesses tend to prefer the human touch in sales as it involves direct interactions with clients. Blend it with automation and machine learning to make your sales team more effective and productive.
For instance, there are virtual sales assistants powered by artificial intelligence that predicts the number of customers who would churn as well as algorithms that tell you the kind of customers who would churn. For such segments, you could create specific reminders or promotions, to keep them engaged.
Datoin is an automated AI-based platform that helps small businesses improve the performance of their sales teams. Datoin helps businesses get visibility of the following metrics:
- Churn rate for the month
- The customers likely to churn
- Predicted demand for products
- Price predictions for products that might fetch higher transactions
- Forecasting daily sales
Datoin is designed to be used by business owners. For businesses who do not have data scientists, Datoin is a plug and play platform where you can enter the data. The platform starts analysing this data and shares the insights.
Click here to sign-up for using AI for free, with Datoin. https://app.datoin.com/signup
Some tools compile data from previously won and lost deals and also gather data from sales calls, meetings, and emails to determine what factors are likelier to lead to a successful sale. All of these can help your sales team close deals more predictably and boost their confidence by providing them with data-backed inputs.
- Let technology streamline your onboarding process.
36% of HR professionals agree that lack of technology is why they are unable to organize and automate onboarding programs. [Kronos]
As your business grows, you will be hiring new people more often. Completing all the paperwork and collating all the documents for those recruits can be a tedious task, both for your small business and for the people joining.
You can thus make things easier for your human resources team by using technology to streamline onboarding. For instance, there are several apps such as Gusto and HROnboard that allow new employees to finish all their paperwork and get connected online to the rest of the team even before they join work. They give the recruits an in-depth view of the company’s culture and vision, set up an agenda for their first day, and help them set work goals for the initial 90 days.
Many apps can also sync with other HR and communication software solutions, such as by automatically adding new employees to Slack groups, Gmail accounts, or messaging groups. With technology, you can make more time for interactions with the team – which is the essence of any onboarding program.
- Use machine learning to automate new projects and daily tasks.
97% of companies agree that project management is critical to business performance. However, 44% of project managers use no software to manage tasks. [PwC]
While your existing process frameworks may be robust enough to handle day-to-day requirements, starting on a blank slate with each new project is time-consuming. This is where machine learning plays a significant role.
By training itself based on historical performance data and automating essential design decisions based on stipulated parameters, machine learning can eliminate repeated work and thus cut project-design costs for your small business.
The technology can also handle repetitive day-to-day tasks such as billing and invoicing, managing social media, handling customer support communications, and more.
That takes off a significant portion of performing the mundane tasks from your employees’ shoulders, to allow them to focus better on high-end tasks that call for more creativity and critical thinking. This leads to overall productivity enhancement for your small business.
- Use chatbots to respond quickly to customer service queries
80% of businesses are expected to have chatbot automation by 2020. [Oracle]
When you are just starting, a small team of customer service executives are capable enough to handle all the queries that come through. As you expand your business, customers would want their issues to be solved immediately, around the clock.
That is where chatbots play a crucial role. They can efficiently handle a large variety of customer queries and complaints while maintaining a conversational tone and redirecting to a support executive when it fails to grasp the contact or when asked specifically by the customer.
They can also engage with the customers by redirecting them to specific pages, answering the frequently asked questions, requesting product reviews, or providing short questionnaires for feedback.
Particularly, if you are planning to reach a global audience, a chatbot can engage website visitors from around the world and in different time zones, which an in-house team would be unable to do all the time.
Summing it up
The modernization of technology has supported small businesses in many ways, and their use will only increase in the coming years.
There’s no denying that artificial intelligence is going to be a fundamental element in the future, with 72% of industry leaders calling it a “business advantage.”