Are you one of those people that have a tendency to look at technology as a threat rather than as an opportunity. But, as a small business owner you should look at technology as a real opportunity, it’s not just for large businesses in fact given that most small businesses are much more adaptive than their larger counterparts. Every small business can use technology to improve profits, and productivity.
Many times when a business owner performs a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threat analysis, commonly known as a SWOT analysis, they often put technology in the threat column instead of the opportunity column. The reason is that we’ve been trained to see technology in a frightening light. You hear it takes jobs from people by replacing them, and even that it costs too much. Let’s look at it realistically.
Technology Actually Creates Jobs
The fact is, when technology replaces a job, it also creates a job. For example, self-checkouts are often described as job killers. While they do kill the job of cashier, they do not replace the job of customer service. Rather they create a more efficient way for consumers to check out faster and in a more private manner than using a cashier.
It’s really an opportunity for the business due to the fact that the technology costs less than a cashier over time. So, while the cashier job is replaced (but not all of them) there is now an opening for more shelf stockers, more customer service reps, and people who can code and fix automatic checkout systems. So while some jobs may be lost, others are gained that are typically higher paying.
Technology Makes You More Productive
Even if you’re a very small business, even a business of one, using the right technology can make you very competitive in the business world. You’ll be able to automate a lot of systems such as customer care, checkout and more that will enable you to focus on what you do instead of running the business.
For example, if you’re an architect you can focus on designing amazing buildings if you’re not focused completely on having to run a team of twenty people to do marketing, customer service, office managing and more. Instead, you can likely get by with hiring just a couple of people if you use technology to create systems that run themselves, and still get plenty of business to keep yourself busy.
In fact, you can do more, because you’re not tied down to a certain desk any longer due to the advent of wireless internet, laptops and much more, just look at your smartphone and what you can do with it. As an architect, you can design more buildings due to technology like AutoCAD; therefore, it’s much more of an opportunity rather than a threat to your business.
Technology Makes You More Competitive
In truth, most technology when implemented correctly will make you more competitive. This is especially true when you’re a very small business. Email helps you stay in contact with people, project management software helps you stay organized, cloud storage keeps everything you need at your fingertips, and social media keeps you more connected to your audience. The only downside to technology in reality is your perception of it, or your poor use of it.
For example, if you have proper customer service management technology set up for your business, when someone sends you an email they’ll get an automatic response letting them know when their issue will be seen by a human. This gives you a little extra time to deal with the problem and find the solution. Plus, you can hire people without being dependent on location due to cloud-based technology that lets you hire people all over the world.
Technology is an opportunity for everyone and not just big business. Today, you can find versions of technology that will help you at a price you can afford, and which works right out of the box to help you with all aspects of your business.