There’s traditionally been a clear-cut dynamic when it comes to business size: big companies would have all the resources to spend heavily on improvement and marketing, but their small startup counterparts would have far greater flexibility and freedom to operate creatively. Over time, though, old attitudes have been worn down, and it’s become more common for giant corporations to take inventive risks and simply accept that not all of them will work.
This has left startups struggling to compete — and the substantial rise in entrepreneurship certainly hasn’t helped that predicament. There are more people than ever before trying to forge their own businesses, and that makes it extremely hard for any given company to get ahead — and that’s before you factor in the difficult economic conditions of a post-COVID-19 world.
Thankfully, as is so often the case, technology has the power to mitigate this pressing problem. Technology with business applications has seen a dramatic rise in affordability, and it’s aiding the efficiency of many small businesses, essentially allowing them to punch above their weight. In this post, we’re going to sweep through some ways in which this is happening. Let’s begin.
Leasable tech is supporting bold ambitions
Though it’s true that a bad worker blames their tools, it’s also true that having the right equipment is extremely valuable. Even the most talented worker will struggle if tasked with working on a sluggish and outdated laptop. Given the limited resources of the typical small business, though, it’s hardly reasonable to expect the purchase of high-end machines.
This is where the equipment-leasing model comes into play. Using a flexible leasing approach makes it affordable for small companies to bring in high-end hardware. They don’t need to commit to buying them and contend with their devaluation: if they’re rendered obsolete by newer machines, they can be swapped out, and the lease can easily be cancelled if the machines are no longer needed for whatever reason.
Analytics services are allowing superior tracking
A core requirement of efficient operation is knowing how things are going. If you can’t accurately gauge the success of a given project, you can’t make the adjustments necessary to improve it. This has traditionally called upon nebulous factors like gut feeling, with managers trusted to say how things seem to be going — but the ever-improving accessibility and versatility of analytics services is really helping in this regard by reducing it to meaningful metrics.
You can see this across myriad industries. Ecommerce sellers can hit their targets through enhanced A/B testing and glean remarkable insight into their conversion funnels. Fledgling fleet-based businesses can optimise their routes and driving patterns by managing remotely through sophisticated telematics. In short, any company trying to discern a path to success can benefit enormously from comprehensive digital analytics.
Cloud-based computing is reducing costs
How much would a high-end cache of local network storage cost? And how much would the same amount of space cost through a service like Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive? No matter what you’re trying to achieve with a computer, it’s going to work out cheaper to turn to a cloud-based service instead of attempting to handle it locally.
But that isn’t the only way in which this pertains to efficiency. It’s also true that the sheer scalability of cloud services makes them perfect for adaptable businesses with changing needs. If you want superior website hosting to accommodate a temporary rise in customer interest (presumably stemming from some kind of promotion), you can pay for it until it’s no longer needed, at which point you can go back to your previous plan.
Automation is clearing repetitive admin tasks
Few things hamper productivity as much as dreary administrative tasks. Data entry and manipulation is a particular blight: inputting data for a project can take a huge amount of time if done manually. And then there’s the matter of ticking off parts of a long project, ensuring that all the appropriate people are notified accordingly. It’s exhausting.
Thankfully, the prevalence of complex automation systems is doing much to reduce these frustrating tasks. It’s more affordable than ever before to devise and implement rich workflows that leave workers to focus almost exclusively on creative tasks that genuinely require their attention and effort — especially with tools like Zapier empowering cross-system integrations.