Feature: Moving America’s Heart and Soul: Small to Medium Business Driving Change

Small, Medium Businesses Can Transition to Tech and Apps Wisely

Author: Steve Woods
Published: January 04, 2013 at 9:42 am

Thank you to Spark Business from Capital One for sponsoring this feature highlighting small business.

It used to be that when your small business invested in cutting-edge technology, the move ultimately changed how your business was conducted, and how customers interacted in-store. That new inventory program on your desktop pushed your employees to learn special keyboard combinations, often figuring out shortcuts to meet your business’ needs. Websites and online ordering pushed the high-tech envelope further, as customers marveled at the ease with which they could reach your business from the comforts of their home.

Things have changed, haven’t they? More often than not, customers have more advanced tech in their purses and pockets than many small businesses have on their counters and desks. How often have you found yourself marveling at the devices brought into your store, rather than the tech you’ve been providing your employees, or yourself? Pay attention to how your customers’ devices are being used, as they will soon drive how you do business, too.

People like you and I will be purchasing over a billion smart devices over the next year, according to a Gartner study. How these phones, tablets and convergent “phablets” are being used, and the shifting expectations based on their continued use, is flipping who’s responsible for driving the change in business-consumer interaction. You no longer drive the technological change for your customers. Wherever the consumer goes technologically, so must go you.

It’s hard for a small business to keep up with all of the shifts in technology. Although you don’t have to chase after every digital breeze, there are some consumer trends you ought to pay attention to if you want your small to medium sized business to show up more often on those portable screens.

On-demand and Instant

Can you answer a client’s question 24/7/365? For many small businesses, sales and services often occur when other larger firms have closed their doors for the night. Your clients are growing up used to instant feedback and service, or they keep looking until they find it. Something as simple as upgrading to a smartphone with an unlimited data plan (and making a point to check it consistently) could pay for the investment many times over.

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Article Author: Steve Woods

Tech Geek. Digital Sommelier. Tea Aficionado. Founder of http://www.kupeesh.com Twitter: @YouKnowSteve

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