We are witnessing unprecedented times amid a global pandemic. It is no surprise that businesses are grappling with economic crises like never before because Covid-19 has upset the world’s economy and threw various small businesses into financial crisis. With an increasing financial crunch and dropping sales, it is becoming tough to continue business operations.
In these challenging times, companies have the opportunity to modernize by integrating technology into their business operations. These technologies can help reduce the negative effect of Covid-19, which it has on the sales of the companies while assisting these businesses to continue operations with a competitive edge. Companies are now adapting to the ‘new normal’ of working remotely, while customers rely on online shopping.
Here are seven ways technology has helped small businesses survive Covid-19:
Artificial intelligence is successfully replacing repetitive tasks. It has come up with cognitive assistants to work out things for businesses. You don’t need full- time employees in offices because these assistants take responsibility for routine tasks. They can place orders, cancel them, issue refunds, and perform all sorts of structured tasks. If the problem seems complex, then employees are there to sort out the issue. Thus, in difficult times you can free up your employees to perform creative tasks and deal with challenges.
Cash Flow Forecasting
Over the next few months, companies will witness negative cashflows that would pose a severe concern for small businesses. After all, running day to day operations without any funds is nearly impossible. Artificial intelligence is rescuing companies in such situations. It is introducing advanced solutions that analyze data for forecasting cashflows.
Honestly, you can only leverage technology correctly with adequate knowledge and skills. In this challenging time, you can pursue a degree that will empower you with sufficient knowledge. For example, pursuing an MBA in finance online will enable you to use technology to run your business operations efficiently rightly and gain expertise all in the comfort of your home. Furthermore, it will expose you to different situations, teaching you how to manage finances while dealing with the current situation. Alongside this, an online degree will make you familiar with technology, allowing you to take your business ahead with tech-savvy innovations.
Mobile applications are being widely used by people worldwide. So, how about you design an app for your business? Indeed, you have to invest money in it, but it is worth every penny. It gives customers direct access to your brand, even during the odd hours and public holidays. However, if you are operating in the service sector, focus on providing services through the app. For instance, come up with the feature of online banking or online funding. Similarly, you can also enable communication through these apps to expand your ability to provide quality services.
Believe it or not, but social media is no longer only an entertainment platform. It has become a virtual market, where companies are selling, and customers are actively buying. It is one of the quickest and most accessible forms of technology, helping small businesses to survive Covid-19. After all, creating a business page on any social forum is free of cost, allowing companies to kick off in the virtual world without spending a penny.
Moreover, Facebook and Instagram offer distinct features; you can set demographics to target people from different regions, cities, backgrounds, etc. Likewise, you can also target people based on their behavior – online shoppers, active purchasers, engaging customers. Small businesses can use these forums to stick to their operations during the pandemic.
Every business would be making efforts to leverage technology and survive this pandemic. You have to use innovative techniques that help you gain an edge over your competitors, like integrating technology. Look up to big giants for some inspiration – New York Times used virtual reality to tell a story. Likewise, Ikea created a unique experience, allowing its customers to place furniture into their home to decide the look. Thus, consider going little over the board and come up with something big to make the most out of this lockdown.
Social distancing has become a necessity during Covid-19, and working in offices is no longer an option. Businesses are shifting their employees to ‘work from home.’ Honestly, creating this new working space is not an easy feat, but with the help of technology, everything becomes possible. A smart business owner is well-versed with tech-innovations and knows how to utilize it in these uncertain times. You can introduce employees to collaboration and project management tools, allowing them to work together virtually. Similarly, you need to ensure secure access to software that can be used in home-setting to close doors for cyberattacks.
Gone are those times when people used to skimp through newspapers while hunting for jobs. Nowadays, everything happens online through digital platforms. You might need to hire a digital marketer for your business during Covid-19, but due to the lockdown, interviewing won’t be possible. Alongside publishing your job ad online, you can carry on with the hiring process online too. You can create hiring tests through eSkill or Devskiller. After shortlisting candidates, continue with interviews on zoom or skype. Therefore, no matter what your business needs are, technology is helping in every way.
Technology has progressed to the extent where everything can happen online. However, not everyone can recognize the benefits it holds. Only people with expertise, qualifications, and relevant degrees know how to make the best use of technology. Hopefully, with the help of tips mentioned above, you can easily survive through this pandemic and make your business successful even in these hard times.