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You Don’t Need a CIO or an IT Guy!

"Do you want the good news or the bad news first?” You have likely been asked this many times in your life. Research has shown that most people prefer to hear the bad news first and save the good news for last. Many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) were hit hard with a serious business downturn recently, barely staying afloat. Almost 200,000 had to shut their doors during the first year of the pandemic alone. But others not only survived, they are thriving. In fact, many SMBs are optimistic, according to the latest Verizon Business State of Small Business Survey , with more than 60% of respondents believing that their business is going to be better this year compared to 2021 and 46% are optimistic about what 2023 has in store. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy; they create two-thirds of net new jobs, drive U.S. innovation and account for 44 % of U.S. economic activity,” states the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy . Just think of the business owners, their employees, the consumers who support them, and the entire supply chain that is affected. Finding new ways for SMBs to thrive has required them to be resilient, tailor their offerings to address new market demands, and revamp digital strategies by updating their tools and technology infrastructures. Post-pandemic, savvy SMBs are better able to compete and are flourishing. I would call that good news, wouldn’t you? Latest Survey Finds SMBs Face Challenges…with Good News Ahead The latest Verizon survey identifies key trends affecting small businesses across the country. Concerns around maintaining adequate staffing; supply chain interruptions affecting sourcing materials; cyberthreats and viruses, especially as cyber risks nearly double year over year; and the upcoming holiday season and the effects inflation will have on their businesses. Fortunately, SMBs are finding that incorporating technology can help address these challenges. In fact, more that 77% of SMBs have already done the digital transformation work based on recent lessons learned and implementing digital tools and technologies. 5 Ways Digital Transformation Supercharges Business The adoption of new digital technologies for businesses of all sizes is helping to supercharge business operations and increase sales and profitability. While Main Street businesses may lack the budgets and resources of their Wall Street counterparts, there are easy-to-implement technology tools of the trade and strategies for SMBs to implement — no IT department or big budgets needed: 1. Update to broadband. When running a business in today’s hyper-competitive environment, businesses that run 5G — the ultra-fast, low-latency cellular standard that fuels data transfer speeds — can empower new customers to get authorized for instant credit checks and shipments to be tracked with pinpoint accuracy. 2. Invest in enabling mobile and digital payments. Make it easy for customers to pay the way they want, and ensure it can happen securely by having the right point of sale system in place. 3. Automate orders and bookings. Make it easier for your customers to engage with your business, such as installing a reservation app or creating a chat for questions and feedback. 4. Leverage tech to update online company info. Consider a service that can update all your company sites (e.g., Yelp, Google, etc.) with your store information, including open hours, address and contact information. 5. Ensure your website is mobile-ready. Mobile devices are the tool of choice for one third of consumers, according to a recent PYMNTS report . The implementation of technology is proving to be a winning strategy for SMBs, with more than 78% of small and medium-sized business owners adopting new tools and technologies to streamline their operations and costs, offer new customer services and experiences, and drive sales. As small businesses continue to innovate, fuel jobs, and thrive, these businesses are also keeping the American dream alive......»»

Category: blogSource: crainsnewyorkDec 5th, 2022