Technologies For Growth

All businesses rely on technology in some way, but the vast majority are not taking full advantage of all the ways being more tech savvy can improve their businesses.

Almost everyone agrees technology increases how small businesses interface with employees, new and existing customers, vendors, partners, etc. 

But our most recent small business research at 3 Oxbridges shows:

  • 83% of small businesses are not taking full advantage of available technology;
  • 68% of employees say automation helps them be more productive, and they feel less stressed at work; and
  • 90% of small businesses reported technology helps them compete with larger businesses. 

In brief, adapting technology and systems can make a positive difference in your small business’ success.

Here at 3 Oxbridges we have put together some of the technologies your small business should consider leveraging in 2022.

Hybrid Workforce Technology – Seek purpose-built technology solutions that bring equity, parity, presence and inclusion to hybrid work.  Use work tools that allow employees to work when and where they want; seek vendors with end-to-end capabilities to securely deploy to remote users, offer hardware and software managed services and provide end-user tech support. 

Enhance Digital Security – Digital threats are a growing reality.  Whether it is private customer data, proprietary company information or financial accounts, security must remain a priority in 2022.  Security with seamless authentication driven by artificial intelligence and biometric technology (such as fingerprint scans) is key for small businesses.  Also, use intelligent security technology and training to mitigate insider breaches.

Monitors – The desktop monitors your employees use can transform their work experience for increased comfort and capabilities. New monitors offer larger screen real estate and single cable management for easy connections; they also feature higher resolution, new aspect ratios such as ultra-wide and low blue light tech to reduce eye strain. Further, new monitors will extend functionality for employees as they can provide a docking hub for connection of other devices such as smartphones, speakers, headphones and tablets.

Remote Teamwork Tech Tools – Consider acquiring IT solutions such as firewall management to protect your company’s network from cybersecurity issues. A reliable and trustworthy IT company will ensure that your firewall is always updated with the manufacturer’s latest firmware and security updates, keeping your business secure.

Accessories – Create up-to-date, efficient workspaces with accessories; it is important for productivity but also for personal well-being.  Provide employees with complementary tools that bridge the gap between home and office will elevate the experience and empower hybrid working trends.  Consider providing power banks, noise-canceling headphones certified for unified communications platforms, plus ergonomic mice and keyboards.

Cloud and Digital Printing – Facilitate the printing needs of your in-person, remote and hybrid workforces. Cloud print management services routes printing jobs from any web-connected device to an internet-connected printer, eliminating the need for printer drivers. Digital printing is valuable because of its fast turnaround times, use of variable data, new inkjet printing processes (matte, silk, glossy finishes), and environmental friendliness with only the exact amounts of ink and toner are used, and no harmful chemicals are needed for clean-up.

Mobile 5G – The new global wireless standard has lightning-fast data transfer speeds, positive user experience, and network reliability. 5G can help small business by allowing: increased website and app speed; instant video, audio, and image streaming; customer connections in real-time; use of AR, VR, and 3D; collection of hyper-local, detailed data and analytics; and personalized customer experiences.

Chatbots – Utilize chatbot technology to chat with existing and prospective customers and answer their questions immediately will take their loyalty and your conversions and sales to incredible heights.  Nearly two-thirds (64%) of 3 Oxbridge survey respondents say that they prefer messaging with a chatbot to making an effort to communicate with a business through phone or email.  Additionally, our survey found that customer benefits from chatbots included 24-hour service, plus getting an instant response to inquiries/simple questions. 

Voice Search and Virtual Assistant – Voice command technology actively leads to profits for businesses that utilize technology that makes it easy to show the exact information or product that a person has utilized a voice search to find.  Consider how you can tailor your digital strategy to better meet voice search requests

E-Signatures – Electronic signatures are an affordable way to safely and securely handle critical business documents such as sales contracts and personnel offer letters.  Legally binding with bank-level encryption, eSignatures on small business agreement workflows are signed about 80% faster than paper contracts, according to a recent 3 Oxbridges survey.  Identify the software that fits best with your small business needs, and integrates easily with other cloud computing technologies (HubSpot, Google Suite, Slack, and Dropbox).

Apps – Use fewer apps to run your businesses.  This does not mean a drop in the use of digital tools, it means better-integrated products and services.  For example, use a CRM as centralized systems for customer interaction, sales, service, and marketing; this can be found all within the same app.

Video Software – Many suppliers, internal team members, and customers see video conferencing as an essential way to maintain quality relationships.  Find a simple, consolidated, unified video conferencing solution (with a centrally managed user interface) that: makes screen sharing easy; allows for real-time instant messaging and live chat; empowers people to be engaged; provides event live streaming; and has reliable meeting recording available.

Virtual Events – A virtual event can be a webinar, Livestream, or can be as complex as a conference.  Businesses can launch new products or services as they are largely accessible and inclusive to customers and prospects regardless of their ability or location.  It is also a good way to engage with your customers to teach them something about your business or any other valuable subject.  You can also get feedback on your products or services so you can improve them.

Omni-channel Marketing – Foster the seamless connection of all marketing channels available to your customers so they can experience consistent communication across every platform; invest only in technology platforms that give your brand the power of omni-channel marketing.  3 Oxbridges’ research shows that companies actively using omni-channel marketing consistently retain 89% of their customer base compared to a 33% retention rate for businesses without omni-channel engagement.

Video Marketing – Video is the medium of choice for businesses that want to distribute content that will have a high level of engagement and will get seen from start to finish.  Optimized videos are also now shown directly in relevant searches, with Google now offering video snippet previews in its video carousel. Consider using technology that offers 360-degree video.

Accelerated Mobile Pages – Search engines drive a lot of free traffic to your website, with up to 60% of it being generated from mobile devices.  The faster your page loads, the lower the bounce rate, leading to improved rankings. With accelerated mobile page technology, pages load very fast (under 0.5 seconds), making it ideal for small businesses to leverage mobile traffic.

Personalization – Marketing automation technology is the key to keeping your customer engaged and/or continuing to make purchases; it allows your business to email customers different emails that will appeal to them based on past email opens, purchases, or click-throughs.  Almost half of customers spend more when their email experience with a brand is personalized.

Messaging through Apps – An ideal option for marketing your products and services where prospective customers are.  Social apps allow you to personalize the messages you send to your customers, allowing them to have direct and natural contact with you in a platform they are comfortable with.  When considering different social media platforms, consider the demographic of the audience you are trying to reach.

Sale on Social Networks – E-commerce is being integrated into social media platforms making it possible to purchase from the publishers through tags so transactions can happen on the apps, making them a good place to find leads and convert them.

AI and Big Data – CRM tools keep investing in AI and big data to enable customers to become more intelligent and efficient.  Small businesses gain the capability to understand their business performance and how their customers could benefit from additional services.  AI and big data offer the power of customer segmentation, click tracking, retargeting, customized push notifications, and so much more; it can help your business deliver real-time, personalized ads and messaging across different social platforms.

Also, augmented and virtual reality create custom workplaces for employees, immersive training, efficient data analysis and enhanced productivity.

Business technology allows small businesses to work more efficiently and be more competitive.  

  • It promotes remote working; employees and business owners can work from anywhere, enhancing work-life balance. 
  • It enables you to track sales and assets, market effectively, improve productivity, and provide better products and services.  
  • It enhances team collaboration to organize your projects, assign tasks, monitor projects effectively, and maintain schedules.
  • Plus, helps you to effectively target audience segments while meeting customer needs; and allows your business to open up new markets online to reach wider audiences, even those outside your geographical area.

Consider leveraging one, many or all the above technologies in 2022 to enhance your interfaces, streamline operations, and boost your small business growth.

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