Some major tech innovations could transform the landscape of small businesses.
- Experts shared their predictions for the 2021 small business tech trends as 2020 draws to a close.
- In 2021, some tech trends will not change, such as the growth of 5G cellular networks or artificial intelligence.
- The ongoing pandemic is directly responsible for other tech changes that you can expect to see in the coming year.
- This article was written for small business owners who wish to be proactive about technology trends in the next year.
money.defendthegrave.com Although you might not be as involved in technology development as large businesses, small business owners can still play a crucial role in your company’s growth and efficiency. These small business technology trends will be crucial in 2021, given how much has changed over the last year.
New infrastructure like 5G will continue to gain momentum throughout the country. However, other trends such as personalized marketing and software unification can have an impact on small businesses.
Trends in small business technology
We asked small business owners and tech experts what the most important technology changes would be for small businesses in the next year. These are the top 10 tech trends for small businesses in 2021.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence have been hot topics in tech for many years. These technologies will be integrated into more business processes, and small business owners will continue to incorporate them into existing and new processes in 2021. This could lead to a variety of implementation scenarios, including voice assistants and personalized customer experiences.
Meredith Schmidt is the executive vice president and general manger of small business and essentials at . She stated that while artificial intelligence might sound like something large companies use, small businesses will soon adopt it.
Schmidt stated that AI will allow small businesses to offer personalized experiences to customers through optimizing their time and automating manual tasks.
Businesses can save time by using tech solutions that integrate with AI. Salesforce discovered that 55% small businesses consider insufficient time a significant challenge. AI has the potential to improve small business operations.
Schmidt stated that AI and automation could be huge assets if you spend nearly a quarter of your time on manual tasks like entering data.
In 2019, 5G technology was adopted. This fifth generation of cellular capabilities boasts much faster data transmission speeds that the 4G LTE. According to Huawei cell phone manufacturer, 5G promises speeds up to 4G LTE with minimal or no latency (delay)
This is a significant step towards the development of the internet of things, as 5G networks will be more capable of supporting interconnected smart devices. Although 5G is being hyped, it’s still early days. [Read similar article: 5G and the Future of Small Businesses ]
Comprehensive HR tech
A coronavirus pandemic in 2020 made it more important to have comprehensive human resource software and tech. This will allow small business owners to keep track of their employees’ needs and help them manage their finances. Experts predict that this trend will continue into 2021.
Chief marketing officer at Hibob Rhiannon Staples stated that a lot of the attention on HR tech stems mainly from the shift towards remote work. However, this technology will continue to help small businesses in more normal times. Need HR software for your company? For the best HR software, check out this article. ]
She stated that the shift to remote work has had a profound impact on businesses’ productivity, engagement, culture and two-way communication. This has made it clear that effective technology is needed to navigate these issues. “Centralized HR information systems are now crucial.”
Staples stated that HR leaders now understand that HR tech can be more than a “system for record” and help to create an environment of engagement.
Staples stated that many small businesses rely on Excel charts and outdated HR systems to manage their employees. However, employees expect more from employers, which is why centralized systems are so important.
Major businesses have used mobile tech, mobile shopping, and mobile scheduling in response to pandemic-related disruptions and lockdowns.
According to Staples this high-tech approach has gone beyond curbside pick up to protect people. It has evolved into a natural extension to existing tech like mobile payments and terminals.
She said that mobile payments were once a luxury that allowed shoppers to avoid long checkout lines in crowded stores. They’re almost a requirement for all retailers now that they’ve been affected by the pandemic. Mobile terminals and QR codes are becoming a common way to shop and check out in retail.
These tech-driven solutions will continue in 2021 and beyond, even though the vaccine is not expected to reach critical mass in America until the spring. Staples stated that people have become so used to this type of service, it would not be surprising if it becomes the norm.
She said that many retailers are changing their in-store experiences to reflect our current and future reality. Walmart is transforming 200 of its stores into airport-like environments that emphasize convenience, touchless transactions, and are even converting Walmart’s.
More people will seek remote work as the urban population continues to shrink. As more businesses adopt this model and reap the benefits of it, they will need to rely on technology for remote onboarding.
Onboarding is an essential part of the process of hiring new employees. It helps them get to know their responsibilities and company culture. Staples stated that companies will use software to make it possible for people to communicate in person, regardless of whether they are affected by the pandemic or where they live.
Hibob’s study found that nearly two-thirds (65%) of employees are forced to look for a new job after an onboarding experience that isn’t professional.
Staples said that companies will invest more in technology to help people understand [organizational] charts and familiarize themselves with relevant connections outside their immediate team. This allows them to connect with other people with similar interests.
More and more tech solutions are being used in modern workplace communication. Slack is used by companies to connect teams, Outlook for sending important documents, Salesforce to manage clients, Basecamp to plan projects, and Google Drive to store company data, among others.
Roy Mann, CEO of Monday.com, stated that “connecting software to work together with other software is difficult.” “There will be a breakthrough in integration platforms that will enable any software to communicate well with other software.”
He believes that the internet will eventually link multiple platforms, allowing for seamless communication. He said that customer information can be updated simultaneously on multiple platforms if it is adjusted in one. This unification can also save time for businesses.
Security is the focus
BullGuard research shows that nearly 60% believe it is unlikely that they will be attacked by cybercriminals. Many small businesses have been affected by data breaches and cyberattacks, so 2021 should not be considered a new year for small business owners.
Jim Lippie is the general manager of cloud computing at software company Kaseya. He said that small and medium businesses (SMBs), should begin to view security as an enterprise business.
He said that they would finally be able to take security precautions seriously. “SMBs, like their large enterprise counterparts, will lock down on a comprehensive backup-and-disaster-recovery solution to keep protected, and also form new standardized blocking and tackling game plans to keep the business even more safe.”
Automation gets more attention
Although automation has been a popular buzzword in small business circles for a long time, 2021 may be the year it finally takes the seat at the table. Omri Traub is the CEO and founder Popcart. He believes that business owners will seriously consider automation as a way for them to save money and address their problems.
Traub stated that automation investments will continue increasing because of the continuing shortages in certain domains. Online pricing automation is one way to balance profitability with revenue growth. Inventory management systems are another option to make sure that the right amount of inventory is available.
Traub stated that he believes there will soon be a new wave of companies looking to develop these automated solutions. He said that many companies will use the cloud to provide this service and help increase automation.
Marketing to Influencers
Personalized marketing and social media influencers are viable options for connecting with customers and showcasing your products. The days of traditional print advertising are gone. A business must now have a dynamic marketing plan. In 2021 that will include working with influencers.
“Consumers are looking for more authenticity in advertisements. This can be in the form of a recommendation by someone they trust like an influencer,” stated Alex Shvarts (chief technology officer and director, business development, FundKite).
Personalized marketing is a way to connect with customers and create a niche in your industry. It is important to understand your business and do your research about industry influencers.
Advertising via social media
In 2021, small businesses will continue to use social media advertising. Social media advertising is not just limited to influencers. It also covers other areas like pay-per click marketing.
“As more micro businesses start, social advertising will continue growing as a cost effective and efficient way to target specific audience,” stated Matt Rosenberg, former communications manager at Wix.com, and currently senior manager of media relations at Weber Shandwick. In today’s digital world, it is crucial to be able to create distinctive and unique content that engages customers via social media channels.
This trend is paying off. According to Rosenberg’s research, three quarters of U.S. customers purchased a product that they saw on a brand’s post on social media. It’s time for you to get on social media if you haven’t already.