Many SMBs are struggling to catch up with the speed of technology growth and it is seriously inhibiting their success and innovation. Customers are used to having everything at the push of a button (usually from their cell phone) in their personal lives – transportation, hotels, groceries, etc. and they demand their interactions with businesses be the same. Similarly, employees, an entire generation of whom grew up with smartphones, expect to use digital technology to solve problems. If your business isn’t prepared for the internet, mobile-first generation, it risks being left behind.
The Challenges for SMBs in a GIG Economy
Without large IT departments or a wealth of technology resources, SMBs are hard pressed to tap into this digital economy. For example, over half of SMBs say that their single biggest challenge is simply identifying the right technology to invest in. And, the risk of getting it wrong can be costly. Even if you know what system you need, you may still end up procuring the wrong solution. But for most SMBs, their problems don’t start with technology. It’s about what they want to accomplish. Whether it’s getting more customers, generating more revenue, working more efficiently, differentiating themselves from the competition, and doing more with less. At every turn, there are challenges across their business operations.
In order to tap into the digital economy and address their most pressing challenges, they need a solution that isn’t overly complicated or too simplistic. This means operations need to be accessible from anywhere at any time. The solution must also be efficient, easy to implement (no code necessary), and customizable for specific business needs. With thousands of technology solutions vying for a place in your technology stack, it’s like trying to find a needle in the haystack. Yet, there are cost-effective solutions that address each of these challenges, and they draw on the tools that SMBs are fast embracing – mobile technology and cloud services.
Building the Future of Work
Today, cloud-based mobile workflow solutions are solving some of SMBs biggest problems and are driven by where you’re going, so you can digitally transform at your own pace with flexible platforms configured to your specific needs. Reducing barriers to the future of work, these platforms make it easy for your business to create powerful applications (no coding required) so that you can capture and share information and glean insights across all facets of the business.
Data is being captured at unfathomable rates across your business – about customers, employees, equipment, inventory, compliance, and so on. This data could drive powerful insights if you can harness it. The problem for most SMBs is that they rely on manual processes to capture that information – email, fillable PDFs, image capture, forms, etc. The process of sharing that data is also highly inefficient. Time-consuming and error-prone workflows delay the insights that can be derived.
Actionable Data, Advanced Analytics, Anywhere
Using the power of the cloud and the ubiquity of mobile devices, SMBs can empower non-technical business users to build a range of simple business applications to make tasks more manageable and achieve actionable insights at the tips of their fingers. For example, by replacing each of your paper forms with an application that can be filled out on a smart device and passed from one user to another for review and approvals, tedious tasks, errors, and inefficient processes are replaced with a digitized, streamlined workflow.
And, because the data is stored in the cloud, it can be seamlessly pushed into existing tools like QuickBooks, Box, Google Drive, or other systems via Zapier integrations for greater utilization and insights. Mobile workflow platforms can also be plugged into your systems, including accounting, warehouse management, ERP, and CRM – so you can do more with your data via powerful dashboards and reports that unlock insights based on your business needs – on your desktop or from a mobile device.
Small Changes Can Have a Big Impact
It can start with a single application – like time sheets or inventory management – and soon after, numerous applications follow. You’ll be unleashing your data in no time to make powerful new business decisions. Easy-to-use drag-and-drop interfaces let you fashion and tailor your applications in minutes, no programming or IT help required. For those who prefer a tried and tested approach, robust tools give users the flexibility to take advantage of pre-built templates for even faster deployment.
We live in a mobile-first world, such platforms are breaking down barriers and helping SMBs prepare for the future, today. Small changes can have a big impact – helping you do more with your time, your team, your customers, and your data.