Up until recent times, small businesses had often struggled to grow and scale their operations. This was mainly because it involved heavy investments in IT, and small businesses couldn’t really afford it.
Large businesses always used IT to their advantage – to run as well as maintain day-to-day business operations.
Hence, there has always been a huge difference in the way IT is used for growth and daily operations by small and large businesses.
Thanks to new innovations in IT, this huge gap is now much smaller. Small businesses now have better opportunities to improve and scale more effectively, without being tied down by the past constraints.
Here are some ways in which IT innovations are changing the game for businesses these days:
- Faster revenue generation – Business enterprises can generate more revenue and grow in a number of ways. They could consider introducing new products and earning new opportunities or they could use their already existing client base to tap new clients. Both of these methods call for an effective and timely socialization or onboarding process for their new clients and partners. Inefficient onboarding processes are often one of the main reasons that keep small businesses from scaling effectively.
With new IT innovations like cloud computing, onboarding processes are no longer the burden of IT. As a matter of fact, an organization’s IT team can enable their business managers to set up their own secure connections easily. Such fast and easy data connections can literally shorten the duration of onboarding processes to a matter of a few days. This in turn, leads to shorter time for conversion of a new client into solid revenue. Thus, it facilitates faster growth of the business as well.
- Easier advertising – Traditional ways of advertising often involved the television, newspapers, the radio and even magazines. These demanded pretty large sums of money, not to mention the hours spent in brainstorming ideas as well. All of these had their own limitations in reach too. Now with the latest social media outlets, businesses can get their sales in front of potential customers, in a matter of minutes, that too without burning a hole in their wallets. Social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest can really help businesses in establishing their names out there effectively without having to rely on bulky advertisements. Businesses can even have mobile applications to get their products in the hands of their possible customers directly. Put together with interactive promotional offers and contests, they can have their sales shooting up in no time.
- Better business networks – Large businesses used to have their networks built around other large businesses as well as a number of established vendors and suppliers so as to make their products available to a large mass. However, small businesses often had their networks limited to other small businesses alone.
Such limited networks hinder an organization’s ability to scale effectively. Thanks to the latest technology innovations, this is not the case anymore. With the right software solutions, any business entrepreneur can collaborate with any supplier – big or small, and integrate them into the supply chain, even if the suppliers do not have the necessary technology for it. Finding and building connections can be entirely automated these days, making the business networks much wider.
- Increased ROI – Growth for small business always meant heavy investments in IT. In order to keep up with their competing big players, they simply had to make IT investment a priority. But they could never afford it.
With cloud-based technologies these days, this problem is solved to a great extent. Small businesses can now have access to advanced IT capabilities without making any huge investments in IT infrastructure or hiring an entire IT department. Scaling with the help of cloud technologies can also eliminate the costs involved in maintenance and hardware, while allowing them to sustain their improvements, without getting broke. This helps them bring up their ROI and grow effectively too.
Growth is no more a pain point for small businesses. IT has literally changed the game for them and has almost leveled their playground with large businesses, equipping them with a number of opportunities and tools to compete and win.
In what other ways do you think IT is changing the game for small businesses? Share with us in the comments below.