Business technology has come a long way over the past couple of decades. Technology used to be fun gadgets, but now we’re seeing innovative technological processes that change the way we live our lives! The business world has been completely revolutionised by technology.
It is responsible for the majority of transactions, security and communications (among many other vital processes). Yet, internet speed can hinder a businesses ability to perform necessary daily functions. The UK only ranks 45 (globally) for world-wide internet speed and it is small businesses who suffer the most from the critically slow internet. More than half of all small businesses don’t have access to high speed internet, which means they could be losing out on £23,000 a year.
Technology in small business is very different to the larger companies, as accessibility is often a major issue. And because we live in an increasingly internet-run world, without access to fast internet speed and relevant business technology, small businesses will surely be left behind.
Goodbye Cash, Hello Digital Payments
Being a digital-payment-friendly business is essential to survival in today’s day and age. With the rise of contactless payment, it is far easier for customers to just tap away – rather than break a large note, or fiddle with change.
While cash payments aren’t quite dead yet, only a mere 20% of business transactions are completed using cash now. That tells us cash-only is simply not a viable option anymore. So if you’re still cash-only; how do you survive? And what if you don’t have access to business technology?
The fact that some small businesses haven’t yet mastered the art of the digital payment could be stunting their ability to grow. According to Market Inspector, small businesses are essential for the economy. They provide a large amount of jobs, create competition and often spur innovations. But if their business technology inequity continues, the bigger businesses have the opportunity to push them out of the game.
And so, the monopoly begins.
Keeping Up With The ‘Big Guys’
It can be hard for small businesses to keep updating their business technology – particularly when starting out, as margins are smaller and priorities are often elsewhere.
It’s not that they don’t want the latest business technology, it’s more the expense – and a lot of smaller businesses simply can’t justify the expense. Which makes sense. Just having a regular old card reader more than likely comes with a monthly fee and/or a transaction fee. But without such technology, the gap between large and small businesses widens, as the ‘big guys’ are able to streamline operations and save themselves money.
Not only this, but customers are more likely to flock to those businesses that have technology. Mainly because most consumers prefer payment methods other than cash. A 2019 study on the future of in-store payment methods indicates a great decline in the use of cash, while debit card and mobile payments will become the most popular transaction methods. While this doesn’t mean cash will be completely left in the past, it does suggest technology is becoming more important and businesses need to keep up-to-date in order to remain competitive.
Business Technology For Small Companies: Key Takeaways
Without easy access to business technology and adequate internet, small businesses are bound to be left behind – being trampled by big businesses along the way.
But does this all mean that cash is soon to be a thing of the past? No one can say for sure, but something that is known, is that cash-only is no longer a viable option.
Reprinted with permission.
Original publication – March 26, 2020