Whilst digital transformation is all the talk for the majority of businesses, both small and large, many business owners expect this transformation to be expensive, complex and too time-consuming to manage without extensive tech skills or a programming degree.
The future of work relies heavily on technology, so it’s important that it’s made more affordable and accessible than ever. At Zoho, we call this the “democratisation of technology”. However, many small businesses still hesitate when it comes to digital transformation. Not for lack of trying, but because they don’t realise they have the skill set.
Because of technology democratisation, small businesses can now master formerly complex technology solutions. Here are a few tech skills to develop, even if you aren’t tech-savvy.
Until recently, if you needed a custom app or solution, you would be forced to pay a developer a lot of money to build one for you, or simply go without. However, through low-code, no-code, you can build them yourself with no coding experience. Through it, your small business can build, automate, manage and customise applications through a user-friendly process as simple as drag and drop. To keep up with savvy consumers, business owners must be agile – low-code, no-code allows you to build the processes your customers demand, and your business needs to adapt and innovate.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Business Intelligence (BI)
Never has data been more important and more accessible to small businesses than it is today. Through AI and BI, your small business can automate the collection and analysis of crucial data and turn those insights into actionable growth strategies. If you’re a small retail business, you don’t have to second guess whether social media or email marketing generates more leads or whether online vs in-store is responsible for more of your revenue; AI and BI automate the collection, preparation and visualisation of data, so you can make informed, data-driven and strategic decisions to grow your business. With the right software, you can benefit from the expertise of an in-house data scientist, and results ranging from an increase in productivity and revenue to a decrease in expenses and admin.
Unification and collaboration
Over the past two years, many businesses adopted technology with a short-term, survival mindset. In most cases, the technology may have helped overcome the immediate impacts of the pandemic. However, the rush in adopting technology didn’t leave time for strategic implementation or medium- to long-term goals. As a result, businesses are now operating in silos where different departments or processes operate independently through different software. So master unification. When your business is unified – whereby all your software, from sales and accounting to email and documents is integrated – you can work more productively, efficiently and cost-effectively. Having a platform like Zoho Workplace unifies and centralises your operations so your business operates as a team, not a series of individuals.
Invoicing solutions made easy
Nothing is more important to a small business than getting paid. As with the technology above, the key is automation and streamlining. Invoicing is a constant business function, so rather than issuing PDF or paper invoices, which hampers cashflow and wastes time, e-invoicing eliminates this stress. Deploying good invoicing software, integrated into your existing technology stack, reduces payment delays, increases productivity and allows you to keep track of all your payments and forecast cashflow. What’s more, by automating everything in one platform it can make the EOFY a breeze.
The way forward for small businesses is innovative technology. Today, sophisticated tools have never been easier to access and leverage. Whether it’s these skills or anything else you want to add to your arsenal, if you engage the right vendor, you’ll be able to optimise and master your technology, even if you’re not tech-savvy.