Small businesses compete hard for attention – both with other small businesses and with the big guys. So it’s good to know that you don’t have to be a big business to have technology with a big impact. Here’s how small businesses can do big tech on a budget.If you’re running a small business, it’s easy to feel outnumbered. After all, small businesses are just that – little. But no matter how small your business is, you’re far from alone. There are more than 27 million small businesses in the U.S. today. And of those 27 million, the overwhelming majority (21 million) have no employees, meaning that the entire company consists of the owners.
To be honest, it sometimes feels daunting to keep up with technology on a small-business budget, especially if you compare what you can spend on tech versus what the big boys can. But today’s tech market is full of products that are geared for the little guy.
Be a small business with big technology
With a little detective work (and not too much of that, I promise), you can find tools that give your business the technology it needs to compete. If you’ve ever thought any of the following scenarios, it’s time to reevaluate. No business, and no budget, is too small to have good technology.I’m too small to have …
- An idea of what’s available. Sorry, but Uncle Sam disagrees. Head over to the Small Business Technology Coalition webpage to see what’s available for cloud computing, online marketing, operations support, and other traditionally big-business-sized-bankbook options.
- My own app. Whether you need an app or not is another article. But if it’s something that your customers would like or that your team needs, don’t fret. And don’t worry about taking out a loan either. Build it yourself with Appy Pie, the world’s most popular no-coding-needed app builder. A very basic, ad-supported single app is available for free; a more supported and customized app (still built by your own virtual hands) will only set you back $15 a month.
- Powerful marketing. We hate to be contradictory, but au contraire. There are plenty of affordable services that will handle marketing, customer relationship management, and even give you some marketing training. HubSpot is a strong contender is this area; Salesforce is another. If you’re looking for value, it’s hard to beat what Insightly offers: a free account. Check them all out.
- Any clue of how effective my website is. Not to harp on the subject, since we’ve already spent quite some time on it recently, but Google Analytics is free, and it comes with its own free training program. No reason not to have solid metrics on your online performance.
- A specialist working for me. Guess what? You don’t need to hire one full time. Or even part time. Instead, outsource your tech needs to managed IT companies (ahem, like Techsperts Services, perhaps?). It’s also increasingly common to hire freelancers to take over many kinds of specialized tasks, like copywriting and content creation.
There’s no rule that says small businesses must be stuck with second-rate technology. If anything, the proliferation of cloud computing and mobile tech has put expert-level tools into the hands of John and Joan Businessperson. We’re betting that your budget can accommodate pretty big tech, no matter how small your business is.