Time and money are the essential resources every entrepreneur has at their disposal. But these are finite resources, and you should learn to optimize them to stay ahead of the game.
That’s where tech tools and gadgets come in to help automate time-consuming and labor-intensive tasks so that you can get back much of your time and money.
Of course, you may have to make an upfront investment to purchase and integrate tech devices into your business, but the long-term time and cost-saving benefits far outweigh the cost.
Even if you don’t have enough money saved up, you can quickly access small business loans, like ITIN loans, from a reputable lender to fund your tech idea.
The impact of technology on small businesses
Tech gadgets, software tools, and IoT devices help streamline business operations, increase efficiency, and boost productivity.
Businesses can save time and money by installing tech tools to automate repetitive and complex labor-intensive business processes. You can put these resources towards other essential activities like marketing and customer service that help the company grow.
Technology also offers AI-powered tech tools and devices that help brands prevent theft and fraud, store and analyze complex business data for better decision-making, and run targeted marketing campaigns.
Again, tech tools help entrepreneurs track KPIs, manage inventory, measure ROI, budget & collect business revenue, streamline the hiring process, and more.
Ultimate technological devices for small businesses
There are many tech gadgets that you can use to improve your business efficiency, boost productivity, increase efficiency, and slash costs. Below is a rundown of the most common ones:
Security cameras come in handy to offer 24/7 surveillance to your office, warehouse, and entry/exit points. They capture and record events within and outside your business premises and can be used to monitor staff and other on-premises activities. You can use that data to trigger specific events and actions, like:
Allow or restrict access: Smart cameras detect faces and route that data to intelligent doors to open or lock automatically.
Connect to alarm systems: Video data can be analyzed and sent to other IoT devices to trigger an alarm system. For instance, when movements or unauthorized access is detected during odd hours.
Capture intruders: You can use video data to capture thieves or intruders into your warehouse or office.
Remote monitoring: Video content is routed to the back office, where it’s easy to monitor what’s going on in every area of your business.
Smart locks are great tech devices to install if you want to get greater administrative control of every office within your business premises.
These biometric smart locks can operate with fingerprints or voice commands to allow only authorized staff into different offices.
They can also be remotely operated via a mobile app over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to restrict or allow access without the need to rise from your desk. They can be used to:
Allow temporary access: You can create quick codes to repair or clean staff to sensitive offices, like server rooms.
Restrict entry/exit: You can automatically limit access at entry/exit points to certain days or hours, hence gaining greater administrative control of your staff.
Prevent intrusion: Only captured fingerprints or voices can access your offices.
Wearable gadgets, like smartwatches, are great for improving communication and monitoring employees’ productivity. For instance, you can use Apple Watches to monitor and communicate with your warehouse workers to ensure an efficient fulfillment process.
They can help to:
Track workers’ productivity: They connect to your CRM system so that you can monitor and improve the productivity of your workers.
Extra marketing channel: If some of your customers use wearable gadgets, they can see promotional content and notifications sent from your brand.
Customers have come to expect faster delivery, and how long it takes for your brand to deliver goods determines whether you’ll end up with satisfied and loyal buyers. But traffic jams in crowded cities can spoil an otherwise good customer experience.
Drones are advanced tech gadgets that help you ensure faster delivery and beat the competition. Brands like Domino’s and OppiKoppi have leaped and started using drones to power their delivery systems.
Integrating drones into your delivery process can also help you slash delivery costs and improve your bottom line.
An intelligent light system can help you cut electricity costs, build a sustainable brand, boost security, and improve the safety and well-being of your employees.
Installing intelligent lights comes with the following benefits:
Boost security: Motion-trigger lights can detect unusual movements at odd hours and switch on/off to draw the attention of security staff.
Increase safety: They automatically switch on to respond to movements in warehouses, server rooms, and parking lots, which helps increase safety when approaching dark areas.
Improve employees’ well-being: Smart lights adjust color and brightness automatically to help workers avoid eyestrain, discomfort, and stress.
Cut electricity bills: Lights switch on/off only when necessary, which helps reduce power utilization. They also make your brand more sustainable.
Power costs can quickly skyrocket and add to your business expenses. Smart thermostats are great tech devices that connect to the building’s HVAC system to maximize energy efficiency.
They automatically detect prevailing in-premises and external conditions to control air conditioning, heating, and ventilation devices.
Again, they can be remotely operated, allowing you to control everything centrally without the need to move to different rooms to switch HVAC devices on/off.
Other tools to improve your business efficiency
Inventory management software
Inventory management is an essential factor in running a small business. But it’s also labor-intensive, costly, and rife with human error.
An inventory management system helps you automate your this processes and make decisions based on accurate data.
You get real-time accurate stock levels in each product category, which helps avoid costly human errors resulting in lost or misplaced inventory. In the end, you’ll be able to cut inventory overheads and not fall into stockouts or overstocking.
An accounting software syncs with different data points in your business to help automate an otherwise complex bookkeeping process. Modern accounting software includes budget tracking and tax filing features, enabling you to track each dollar that flows in and out of your business.
Hiring quality employees that can uphold your business values and vision is vital for business growth. Recruiting software like Zoho Recruit, Build For Teams, and Recruitee helps you search, hire and nurture the best talent to power your enterprise.
Extra tips for small business owners
Financial tools: When seeking small business loans, like ITIN loans, take advantage of a business loan calculator to determine your loan’s costs before going into debt.
Productivity apps: Use web-based office software and file-sharing tools like Google Docs and Office 365 to create, store, share files and enable your team to collaborate on tasks.
Email marketing tools: Take your email marketing game to the next level with email automation tools like GetResponse, HubSpot, and more.
Social media tools: Use social media tools like Sprout Social, Buffer, Hootsuite, and others to manage your social media accounts from one place and save time.
Fund your tech gadgets with ITIN loans
It takes money to purchase tech gadgets like security cameras, smart locks, drones, etc., and integrate them into your small business. It can be harder to access funding if you’re a part of a minority.
ITIN loans are a type of small business loan meant for immigrant business owners without a social security number (SSN) and can be very handy if you need cash to fund your tech project.
Visit the link in the intro to learn more about small business loans and decide whether an ITIN loan is right for you.