There is no doubt about it; the worlds of business and commerce have changed beyond almost all recognition since the turn of the century. Some businesses have yet to fully embrace the technological revolution, particularly smaller ventures who despite recognising the importance of innovation are failing to act due to the cost of implementation and a fundamental lack of knowledge.

Refusing to embrace or invest in technology remains a huge false economy, however, and one that can negatively impact the success, reach and future growth of your business (regardless of its size).

In this article, we will consider some steps that will help to bring your business kicking and screaming into the 21st century, without forcing you to break the bank: –

  1. Introduce Smartphones and Tablets as Primary Communication Tools

 There are two things that we know about smartphones. Firstly; they are increasingly accessible and affordable in the modern age. Secondly, more than one billion citizens in the Western world now own a smartphone, making this is the single most fluid communication tool available to firms.

The adaptation rate of tablets is also increasing, while the sophistication of contemporary devices means that they are able to complete a host of work-related tasks (either remotely or otherwise). This creates a natural opportunity for your business to create a more connected and collaborative working environment, while also making working processes and tasks easier to manage.

This can also have wider implications for your business too, particularly in terms of data collation and understanding employee engagement issues on a deeper level.

  1. Embrace the Rise of Cashless Payments

 In case you hadn’t noticed it, there has been something of a revolution in the way in which consumers pay for goods. This reached an important milestone last year, however, as it marked the first 12 month period during which cash was used for less than half of all transactions (just 45.1% in total).

While the continued use of debit cards is partially responsible for this, the rise of contactless and mobile payment solutions has transformed the consumer market. It is therefore crucial that your business fully embraces this new trend, by incorporating flexible and contactless payment solutions at the point of sale to optimise revenues.

It is important to partner with a knowledgable industry expert when managing this process, as this type of outlet will help to reduce implementation costs and issue detailed user guides to aid staff training.

  1. Help Your Staff to Develop Their Personal Brands and Value Propositions 

We have seen the freelance economy grow at an incredible rate in recent times, to the point where an estimated 40% of the US workforce will be self-employed by the year 2020. A similar trend exists in the UK and other Western countries, meaning that firms are finding it hard to retain their top talent in the current climate.

Rather than throwing money that you do not have at the issue, however, why not consider the additional benefits of freelancing? These include freedom and a genuine sense of empowerment, which create a purpose that can often be lost within rigid corporate structures.

By recognising these benefits, you can begin to change the way in which you incentivise staff and create a culture that establishes them as key performers within your organisation. One of the best ideas is to encourage staff members to develop their own personal brands, as this creates a sense of self-importance and job satisfaction that cannot be achieved through salary alone. You can even assist your employees by endorsing them on social media, turning them from staff members into motivated brand ambassadors in the process.

Laura is a freelancer blogger and researcher from the UK, with a passion for small business growth and technology.

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