Article written by Alan Shannon (Executive for Small Business Services and Private Clients – Nedbank)
For many small businesses, one of the obstacles to implementing new technology is a mindset that resists change. Many employees see technology as a threat to their jobs when, in fact, it can enable them to do their work even better, especially those who want to succeed in a rapidly evolving digital economy.
Significant potential for growth within small businesses lies within using online financial tools and platforms such as e-commerce to their advantage. The exciting reality is that there are millions of potential customers on e-commerce sites, which takes products and services far beyond their current brick-and-mortar structure.
Nedbank’s Avo app, a fully-fledged digital marketplace, is such a possibility-filled avenue that business owners should explore. Avo gives registered businesses access to over 1,6 million users, including access to payment technology used by large companies, for example bank-grade security, payment reservation and end-to-end logistics support. This is the kind of tech that small-business owners cannot ignore.
There is also a wealth of free and cost-effective options available to every small business embarking on a digital transformation journey, including sales, marketing, and operational tools from companies such as Xero, which offers affordable accounting and bookkeeping services. These easy-to-use tools also tap into another major advantage of technology – data.
Now, more than ever, big data and being able to analyse it are key to business growth. The ability to assess your competitors, customers and their buying behaviour quickly and accurately is game-changing. Knowledge is power and creates more possibilities.
Online accounting tools, especially those that can be linked to your bank automatically, also have benefits. Small businesses are often not able to give banks the kind of information they need to assess requests for funding and support. With these accounting tools, you can give your bank access to the information it needs, in the format that it requires.
At the same time, web-based tools such as Nedbank’s Market Edge can draw rich data from card transactions to help business owners make more informed business decisions about the present and future.
Ultimately, all these digital tools are out there for business owners to discover and use in empowering ways. Every part of your business, from sales to finance, can be revolutionised through technology. The sooner small businesses embark on this journey, the sooner they will reap the rewards of using innovation to their advantage.