As we dive head first into 2015, turns out there’s a lot of good news to celebrate. Small and medium businesses are thriving. Since 1995, small businesses have provided 65% of net new jobs in the U.S. and employ over 50% of the working population – making them more important to the economy than ever.
Small and medium businesses are often willing to take risks that bigger corporations cannot, which frequently put them at the forefront of innovation. In addition, close ties to their communities help ensure they know what their customers need and want.
So how can small and medium businesses continue to grow and thrive? By harnessing their advantages and pairing with emerging technologies to make them faster and more efficient. As Himanshu Sareen so eloquently put it, SMB’s are using technology to “stay ahead of the curve, and more importantly, ahead of their competition.” As you work to stay ahead, here are three things you should know:
Mobile isn’t an option-it’s a requirement
“There’s an app for that” isn’t just a funny saying – it’s true. No matter what industry you’re in, there are apps that promise to help you do your job better and faster, no matter where you are. In fact, mobile apps are delivering incredible value to small and medium businesses. From giving customers better ways to connect with you to using tools that allow your employees work faster and smarter, mobile functionality is becoming key to every aspect of business.
Look for mobile-ready apps, from Evernote to Zendesk to Slack, that provide better ways to work, freeing much-needed time and money so you can allocate resources to more important matters. Choose products that are easy to use and have a reputation to back up their claims. You can also check to see if companies similar to you are using the same services, and get their opinion on whether or not it works for them.
Networking is key
Focusing hard on your business is what you do best – but sometimes, it’s smart to leave the office behind for a while and hear what others are doing. Industry and networking events can be a great place to learn what’s new, and meet people who can help you grow.
At the end of March, Concur is holding our annual Fusion event in San Francisco. It’s a great opportunity to network with other business owners and discover new things from entrepreneurs and experts. You’ll not only learn how to maximize the value of managing expenses through Concur, but you’ll also get insights on how to move your business forward. We’d love to see you there! Registration is open now.
The cloud-based solutions provide an edge
Cloud-based solutions are becoming more robust, more secure, and more vital than ever. Before you invest in expensive software or hardware, take the time to find if there is a service in the cloud that will allow you to skip the headache of managing things on your own.
Consider these important cloud-based functions:
- Data storage solutions that provide ways for you to manage large volumes of data without buying your own hardware.
- ERP software to help you manage sales and customer payments just as easily as large retailers do – but without the massive IT investment.
- Mobile and integrated solutions for streamlining expense management and business travel.
By going through a third party, you can reap all the rewards these services offer without taking unnecessary risks.
Technology is a powerful tool, and the cloud is making it more accessible every day. By staying in tune with emerging trends, discovering ways that software can help you run your business more efficiently, and adopting trusted tech are all ways to ensure that your small business will thrive.
Success could be just a click away – so what are you waiting for?