There’s no doubt that we live in a time that is reliant on technology. From our smartphones in our pockets to our smart speakers in our homes, technology can be applied to almost every area of our lives to make things easier, more effective or simply more fun. And the world of business hasn’t been left out. Technological developments can be applied to the daily running of any company, with impressive results.

It doesn’t matter if you head up a multi-national corporation or are a proud sole-trader on your local high street. Any business can and will benefit from using technology. And for those entrepreneurs looking to build and grow their fledgling company, it’s vital to optimise the potential of technology if you hope to stay ahead of the competition. Read on to discover four key ways that technology can help you as you are starting out.

Reach more customers

If you have a business then you need customers or clients. And technology can be of great assistance in both finding and retaining those who will go on to become loyal to your brand. Developing an effective web presence is an extremely inexpensive yet powerful means of connecting with people, and of ultimately boosting sales, too.

Make sure your website is fit for purpose with easy navigation, interactive features and clearly presented information. If you plan to sell through your website be sure to get SSL in place. This will give your website the trusted https and padlock symbol when it is displayed in your customer’s browser, and will reassure them that your site is legitimate, professional and secure. This has been proven to build valuable trust in a brand and lead to increased sales as a result.

And it’s not just your website that can help to build your business either. Social media can be a very powerful means of reaching your target audience and of highlighting the unique ethos of your company. Engagement must be positive, consistent and with an 80/20 ratio of interesting content to selling material.

It’s essential to prioritise engagement and customer relationships on these platforms, so make sure every customer comment or tag is acknowledged or answered. It’s more effective to have fewer social media accounts that are managed effectively than too many that leave customers feeling unheard.

Improve efficiency

Thanks to the rise of cloud computing there are plenty of software solutions available that will make short work of daily administrative tasks and processes. This software is available on a subscription basis, making it affordable and scalable as your business grows. Dedicated tools like task or email management can be chosen as and when you need them, ensuring you stay in control.

Boost productivity

The latest cloud-based software can be a great aid to productivity, too. All you need is an internet connection, which means that you and your team can safely work from home or even on mobile devices while out and about.

For businesses dealing with large quantities of stock, warehouse management systems can transform the speed of picking and packing, with optimised route creation and real-time updates sent to your courier to ensure packages are dispatched straight away. You can even link the system to your website so customers avoid the disappointment of finding out that their purchased product is unfortunately out of stock.

Protect your data

No matter what size your business is, if you deal with any form of personal data you must meet compliance regulations. Failing to do so can result in hefty fines, legal liability and considerable reputational damage too. Fortunately, technology can protect you. As well as software solutions which can safely store and organise your valuable data, the most advanced encryption technology and malware detection software can help keep cyber criminals at bay. Using artificial intelligence and machine learning, security software has never been so effective.