The impact of technology on small business communications
Establishing good communication is one of the crucial aspects that determines the success of a small business, especially in today’s competitive market. Once upon a time, in a business world loaded with paperwork, communication was entirely different.
One might argue that paperwork is still very much prevalent among businesses, but due to its fast development and just as fast adjustment on our end, we sometimes fail to see just how much technology has impacted communication. Especially for a small business, technology is an important tool that contributes to establishing the business, creating good organizational practices, reaching goals, and growing further. Here are some of the advantages that technology has brought to small businesses and their communication processes:
Exchanging information and communicating rapidly and with no delay is one of the biggest advancements in technology that has made it possible for employees to communicate with each other, management, and with clients in real-time. This has facilitated communication processes that would earlier take a significantly longer time and back and forth emailing or written communication.
Connecting with people working remotely
“Remote work” is one of the phrases that defined 2020 and 2021, with many businesses having to transition from the office environment to working from home due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, as the world reopens, many employers and employees are choosing to still work remotely, while others return to the office. In this unprecedented era of working models, technology came to the rescue to connect with people working remotely. Many businesses have also transitioned from working from the office to partially using co-working spaces and partially working from home, therefore relying solely on online communication platforms.
While in bigger companies collaboration between separate teams may not always be necessary, a small business is likely to have fewer employees, therefore is heavily dependent on collaboration between them. Thanks to collaborative software and apps such as Clariti, working together and having all necessary communication channels grouped into one place has significantly eased the challenges of communication within a business. Thanks to such technology, employees don’t need to go from desk to desk or office to office in order to communicate with one another.
Creating virtual offices
As the traditional business models are starting to gradually transition into hybrid or remote-only work, there is consequently less need for physical office spaces. Instead, with the development of technology intended to improve communication, small businesses can benefit from creating virtual offices. These are not only ideal for communication within startups, small businesses, freelancers, and remote workers, but they are also cost-effective since businesses save money by not having to pay office leases and other office maintenance costs.
High communication security
In an era when communication is at constant risk of security breaches, technological advancements are constantly targeting areas of improvement in communication platforms. As a result, these platforms now offer end-to-end encryption, which is a process that applies encryption to a message sent from one user and which can be decrypted only by the person receiving the message. With the increasing amount of data that is shared within businesses, regardless of whether they are big or small, it is important that data protection is taken seriously, a process that is continuously being improved by technology.
Improved customer relations
Small businesses that are customer-oriented can benefit immensely from communication technology. Through various communication platforms and forums online, small businesses can ensure that their customers are happy by addressing any of their questions, concerns, requests, and thanking them for choosing their business. By replying in a timely manner and respectfully, you will gain the trust of your customers, which then increases the chances of them returning back for your product or services.
Sharing ideas made easy
Back when online communication platforms and software didn’t exist, making proposals would require gathering people in one place in order to present an elaborate idea in front of them. This would often be quite the hassle since someone might have not been available, or the meeting room could be occupied, which made the process of sharing ideas time-consuming and inconvenient. Knowing the importance that developments from new ideas and proposals have in the growth of start-ups and small businesses, implementing communication platforms was an important step to be taken. Through chat rooms and messaging tools, collaboration and sharing ideas take less time, they are feedback-friendly and others can access them at their own time.
Wide range of potential clients
Networking, referrals, and online promotion are three of the many ways technology can be employed to communicate with new potential clients. By expanding communication channels, a now-globalized industry allows for connecting with clients from all over the world, an opportunity which back in the days was much more difficult to achieve. This advancement of technology helps to tap into a wide network of potential clients, which could further help to grow your business.
Maximized employee engagement
Internal communication is an integral part of engagement and productivity, as it helps to create a safe space for employees and establishes a workforce network. By creating an effective communication strategy through various technological platforms and tools, small businesses employers can build a better team by giving them better channels to address any concerns, problems, or questions they might have. These platforms allow employees to also build better relationships with their colleagues, which will contribute to creating a motivating and productive work environment.
During the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than ever before, we got to experience the importance of technology in communication. As many of us worked from home, the only way we could connect with coworkers and employers was through communication software and apps. This not only showed to maximize time efficiency and work effectiveness, but it also helped small businesses survive in a year when going digital was almost mandatory for many industries.
Now, small businesses can take advantage of the benefits that digital communication offers, from cost-effectiveness, to various platforms and tools for task management and productivity tracking, easy collaboration, networking opportunities, and much more.
Written by: Amelia Johenson
Amelia Johenson is a freelance writer with expertise of over six years. Amelia loves sharing her knowledge, skills, and personal experience in digital marketing so that others, too, can craft content that makes people take action. She enjoys travelling, going on hikes, and checking adventures off of her bucket list. You can reach Amelia through her website: https://ameliajohenson.com/