The idea of the Mom and Pop small business is disappearing more quickly than many of us expected. At one time, the term “small business” brought to mind a shop on a town’s main street where the owners knew every customer by name and had more “regulars” than new customers.
Today, a small business can operate like that – and in some small, rural areas, many still do – but it’s much less common overall.
Today’s small businesses are wielding technology as a powerful tool and weapon that makes them a more formidable opponent to big business.
Technology is dramatically changing small business in a handful of important ways. We’ll talk about some of them below.
How Technology is Dramatically Changing Small Business
Technology makes it possible to outsource work to qualified individuals or providers when your workload reaches the tipping point. With most of the world and certainly most our nation being connected via the internet, outsourcing has become a simple way to delegate work to people and/or agencies that may be nowhere near your physical location.
Unsure about the difference between outsourcing and offshoring? Check out our blog post outlining the differences between outsourcing vs offshoring here.
Expanding the workforce
Just as making outsourcing available to more small business owners, technology has also enabled small business owners to expand their workforce without restricting their talent search to their immediate physical location. Why is that important?
When a small business hires locally, their hiring pool is restricted to those who:
- Live within commuting distance of the store
- Possess your preferred qualifications and skills
- Have the required education or training for the position
- Get along well with employees in your office
Now that technology has made it possible to work remotely from anywhere in the world, small businesses can hire remote employees that meet their qualifications but may live 2,000 miles from the office. Expanding the hiring pool is improving the quality of the small business workforce in general.
Driving a quest for efficiency
Small businesses are gaining a lot in terms of profits, efficiency, productivity, and length of time in business. Technology has been driving a quest for efficiency within many small businesses with the availability of a plethora of applications and tools that help owners more efficiently run their business.
Part of that quest for efficiency is being able to look at the success other small businesses are having – websites and social media keep us informed about every company’s actions, blogs are filled with tips for increasing efficiency, etc. – and then acting to imitate that success using similar technology.
Better audience targeting
Finally, technology has enabled small businesses to better target their audiences and in turn, boost their sales and customer retention rates. Being able to know exactly who looks at your website, for how long, on what device, from what place, on what days, while doing what (and on and on – you get it) enables you to know exactly who your audience is and market more effectively to them.
When you can better target your audience thanks to technology, things start changing for the better. Ads and marketing campaigns start hitting the nail on the head. Conversions leap through the roof. Website visits go up and bounce rates and exit rates dip down low. Perhaps better audience targeting is one of the most valuable ways technology is dramatically changing small business.