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How to Supercharge Your Business With Technology in 2024 | Entrepreneur

How to Supercharge Your Business With Technology in 2024 | Entrepreneur

Tooba Shakir 1 month ago 0 0

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Technology is moving at an incredible and almost overwhelming pace. Technology has the potential to disrupt industries and create real threats to existing businesses. To avoid becoming obsolete and falling behind, entrepreneurs should have a strategy to aggressively embrace and utilize technology to their advantage.

The challenge is that there seems to be an unending stream of advice and recommendations for entrepreneurs to leverage these cutting-edge technologies, but very little explains specifically what entrepreneurs should be doing to implement these tools. Here are some practical ways that entrepreneurs can start embracing new technologies today.

Related: 3 Ways Embracing Automation and Technology Can Turbocharge Your Entrepreneurial Quest

1. Stay up-to-date on new technology and trends

Part of the reason why many small business owners struggle to implement new technology is because they don’t take the time to really understand what these technologies do, how they work and what trends are emerging in the technology industry. As a business leader, it’s important to start regularly consuming information on emerging technologies. This can be as simple as committing to reading one article on technology each day or attending technology conferences that are focused on your industry.

If you aren’t technologically savvy, that’s perfectly fine. You can also ask someone on your team to take ownership of researching and recommending ways you can incorporate technology into your business.

2. Implement off-the-shelf solutions first

Too many small business owners and entrepreneurs shy away from innovative solutions because they have the misconception that advanced technology is only available to large corporations that have billions of dollars to invest in R&D. This might have been true 20 years ago. Today, there are numerous inexpensive and free technology solutions that are available to small business owners.

While there is an opportunity to create customized tools and technology platforms, small business owners should always look for off-the-shelf solutions first. Not only can you implement these faster, but they have been through extensive testing and are often backed with a team of technical experts to support your business.

3. Leverage generative AI

Generative AI is a technology that leverages artificial intelligence to create visual and language-based outputs such as text, music, images and even entire conversations. Companies like ChatGPT have revolutionized this space and brought this technology to the masses.

Small business owners who are new to generative AI should focus on two key areas — content creation and customer interaction. AI can easily create content for your blogs, marketing materials and email campaigns rather than having someone on your team go through the painstaking creative process. Also, generative AI can streamline and automate how you interact with your customers through tools like chatbots or auto-email replies.

Related: Small Business Owners, Don’t Run From Technology — Embrace It. Here Are 5 Strategies to Succeed.

4. Streamline processes and tools with automation

One of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs is the limited number of resources as they work solo or with extremely small teams. There are only so many hours in the day to get all the work done. Technology can help streamline your workflow, allowing you and your team to get more done through automation.

The good news is that you probably have access to a number of automations within their existing tools. For example, your CMS may have automations built in that your team can leverage without implementing any new systems.

As you implement automation, it’s important to quell the fear employees have that their jobs will be eliminated. While that may be true in some cases, as an entrepreneur, you can leverage automation to free up your team’s time to work on more valuable tasks like creating a new product offering or face-to-face relationship-building with your customers.

5. Focus on data and smart analytics

Data analytics is another area where technology offers huge benefits. Tools like AI and machine learning (ML) can help small businesses quickly and efficiently leverage data to identify new opportunities and trends to better understand their customers, what products and services need improvement and what is happening within the marketplace.

Entrepreneurs should start by evaluating their data collection process. If you don’t have a good process for collecting data on your customers, their buying habits and preferences, analytic tools will be useless. Fortunately, many of the tools that businesses use today collect data; you just have to know where to find and access this information.

Once you have a good process in place for data collection, businesses can leverage tools like Domo or Google Analytics to help interpret the data and highlight opportunities.

6. Personalize customer interactions

Consumers no longer want to be treated as a number. Instead, they want personalized experiences that are unique and built around their needs, preferences and interests. This is where small businesses still have a small advantage over large companies.

Small businesses should focus on leveraging technology to help provide a customized experience for each of their customers. For example, email marketing tools can segment your contact list to allow you to reach different audiences with different messages. You can take this a step further by offering personalized recommendations and information based on their past purchases and behaviors.

New technologies create unique experiences and ways of interacting with your brand. It’s up to each entrepreneur to determine how they want to implement technology into their business. We’re at a pivotal moment where embracing technology can differentiate your company and create unprecedented opportunities.

Related: 6 Ways to Leverage Technology to Rock Your Digital Relevance

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