6 Ways Bulverde/Spring Branch Area Small Business Owners Can Tap Into Innovation to Enhance Growth
The world is becoming more and more digital every day. That means if you want your business to stay relevant, you need to be willing to innovate and adapt to the times. But what does that mean, exactly?
For small and mid-sized business owners, it can be tough to know where to start when it comes to developing your business through digital innovation. The good news is, there are a lot of different avenues you can take. To get you started, the Bulverde Spring Branch Area Chamber of Commerce has put together 6 ways you can develop your business through digital innovation.
You Probably Need an App
In today's world, it's more important than ever to have a strong mobile presence. That's why creating a mobile app for your business is a great way to grow brand awareness. All Business explains that, not only will a mobile app make it easier for your customers to engage with your brand, but it will also give you a valuable platform to collect data about your customers' preferences and behavior. And the best part? There are now numerous platforms and tools available that make it easier than ever to create a high-quality mobile app on a budget.
Turn to the Cloud
If your business isn't already using cloud-based applications and services, now is the time to make the switch. Cloud-based applications are not only more convenient and flexible than their traditional counterparts, but they're also much more affordable. Additionally, by adopting cloud-based solutions, you'll be able to take advantage of features like automatic updates and real-time collaboration—both of which will help boost your efficiency and productivity.
Use Data to Your Advantage
Big data isn't just for big businesses—small businesses can also benefit from collecting and analyzing data about their customers and operations. By leveraging big data, you'll gain valuable insights into your customers' needs and preferences, as well as your own business processes. Armed with this information, you'll be able to make better decisions about everything from product development to marketing strategy. And thanks to advances in technology, it's now easier than ever for small businesses to get started with big data analytics.
Don't Shy Away from AI
Artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer the stuff of science fiction—it's quickly becoming an integral part of businesses across industries. And there's no reason why small businesses shouldn't also be taking advantage of AI tools. Keap explains that, whether you're using chatbots to improve customer service or implementing machine learning algorithms to automate tasks, AI can help you streamline operations, improve efficiency, and save money.
Adopt Cybersecurity Practices
As businesses increasingly move into online spaces, there comes a growing need to protect your business against cyber threats. It is best to work with a cybersecurity company to install a firewall, dual factor authentication, and other virtual protections, but there are practices you and your employees can put into place to reduce your risk.
Start by offering training on things like how to spot phishing attempts and fraudulent emails, how to create a strong password and how often to change it, and why you need to shut down equipment at night. You should also encourage employees to password protect important documents for added security. Employees can use a merge tool to combine various PDFs until they have related files gathered together. Need a PDF merger tool that's free? They’re easy to find and even easier to use. Once the files are combined, password protect them by finding Protect under the Tools menu. Then, select Encrypt and Encrypt with Password. The files now have an extra layer of protection.
Contract with IT
In order for your business to fully reap the benefits of digital innovation, it's important that you have a strong IT infrastructure in place. However, building and maintaining a robust IT infrastructure can be costly and time-consuming—particularly for small businesses.
One way around this is to partner with an IT service provider who can help manage all aspects of your IT infrastructure, from security to data storage. Not only will this free up valuable internal resources, but it will also ensure that your IT infrastructure is always up-to-date and compliant with industry regulations.
Put Online Tools to Work
One of the most effective ways to improve productivity in any organization is by streamlining project management processes. And thanks to the proliferation of online project management tools, it's now easier than ever for small businesses to get organized and stay on track. From Wrike to ProofHub to Trello, there are dozens of different project management platforms available—so take some time to research which one would be the best fit for your needs.
Be Innovative and Secure
As you can see, there are a lot of different ways that small and mid-sized business owners can develop their businesses through digital innovation. By taking advantage of technology trends like cloud computing, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, and mobile apps—to name just a few—you'll be able to position your business for long-term success in today's competitive marketplace. But don’t forget to protect your tech with strong passwords on files and systems, as well as firewalls and employee best practice training. These things together will help you stay cutting edge while keeping your business safe.
Access even more great resources to help your business grow and thrive in our community by joining the Bulverde Spring Branch Area Chamber of Commerce.