Technology has always played an integral role in how business is done. Let us look at three of the most important issues currently at the forefront.
Collaboration and Expansion
As a small business owner, your ultimate goal should be to expand your organization in the most effective, cost-efficient manner. There are different ways to do this.
First, you can expand geographically. For instance, if you are the owner of a small cafe or clothing store in one area of town, you can open a second location in a different area.
Second, you can look into growing the number of products or services your enterprise provides its clientele. If you sell shirts, you can start supplying pants, hats, or sweaters as well. If you are in the business of language translation and interpretation services, you can add another tongue such as Mandarin, Japanese, or Russian.
A third option to consider is becoming a franchisor. In this case, you would be advancing your firm by selling your idea and business model to a third party sharing your vision and objectives. And while this is easier to do for well-established brands like McDonald’s, KFC, or H&M, it is far from impossible for a smaller entity like yours.
Today, many small businesses are working hand in hand with experts in developing franchise-focused inbound marketing strategies. Aside from custom integrated solutions that help your business grow from the ground up, they provide the necessary skills and expertise to market your brand organically and attract the best possible franchisees.
A Level Playing Field
In essence, the term laissez-faire describes a decentralized economy theory where businesses can partake in free-market competition with as little regulation and government interference as possible. First explained by 18th-century Scottish philosopher and economist Adam Smith, it paved the way for what would later become the economic model of the vast majority of countries in the world. In case you have not guessed it already, we are talking about capitalism.
Yet, like any other theory coined by any other person in any other field, capitalism is not a flawless proposition. Among other things, it doesn’t take into account the financial resources a business has available to it.
For example, suppose you are Elon Musk and your company Tesla has an annual operating budget of close to 50 billion dollars. In that case, chances are you will be able to do much more with regard to marketing and promotion, research and development, corporate facilities, etc., than a starting enterprise.
Therein lies the value of technological development in business. In the 21st century, companies big and small have access to affordable human resources and recruiting software, state-of-the-art video conferencing and presentations platforms, and a wealth of cloud solutions. In addition, with the exponential growth of social media, anyone with a computer and a stable internet connection can reach potential and existing clients in all corners of the globe.
Looking Into the Future
When it comes to technology, what does the future hold for the small business entrepreneur? Will it make things easier, better, faster, and more efficient? Are there any disadvantages to it?
These are three of the most popular questions business owners, financial experts, and tech gurus alike constantly ask themselves. And while there are no clear-cut answers to any of them, there are a few key aspects to consider.
The first relates to security. One fundamental aspect of technological development is that it serves those who wish to do good. It also helps individuals and groups outside the law interested in maximizing its potential for personal gain or to harm others.
From a small business perspective, this is both good and bad. It is good because, as a small organization, it will not gather as much interest as a company with millions to lose. But it is also bad because a growing firm does not have the necessary financial and logistical resources to protect itself from an attack.
Second, we should take a look at automatization and artificial intelligence or AI. Nobody will argue that having dangerous jobs done by machines is a bad thing. However, what about the middle-aged worker that isn’t tech-savvy or the owner of a mom-and-pop store in a small town? Will there still be a place for him in the future corporate environment?
As we have seen, there are three important topics to tackle as it pertains to technology and small businesses. They increase collaboration in company processes, a level playing field defined by fair competition, and the most pertinent issues moving forward.