Businesses and companies in all sectors have been forced to decentralize, adapt to working remotely, and figure out how to better serve their customers in the face of rapidly changing operating environments, laws, and health safety regulations. This article contains 10 small business tech trends of 2021. For many, embracing modern technologies was the only way to keep up with the fast-paced market environment.
Some things can never return to how they were during the pandemic, now that customers and workers have become accustomed to the changes. As companies around the world continue to adapt their operations, these are the small-scale business technology developments to keep an eye on in 2021.
While you might not be at the cutting edge of technological development like enterprise-level companies, technology still plays an important role in the growth and productivity of your company. These small business emerging technologies will undoubtedly be relevant in 2021, considering how much has changed in the last year.
Although new infrastructure such as 5G will continue to gain momentum throughout the world, other trends including targeted marketing, tech unification, and encryption can have a direct effect on small businesses.
There will be some significant technological advancements that will continue to reshape the small business landscape.
- As the year draws to a close, experts shared their predictions for the small business tech trends to watch in 2021.
- Certain technical advancements, such as the widespread use of 5G wireless networks and artificial intelligence, will begin to gain momentum in 2021.
- Other technological improvements to expect in the coming year are directly related to the current pandemic.
This article is for entrepreneurs who want to look forward to the coming year’s technology trends.
10 Small Business Tech Trends of 2021
For years, artificial intelligence and robot learning have been hot topics in the tech world. In 2021, as these innovations become more widely adopted, small business owners can begin to incorporate them into new and existing processes and virtual bookkeeping services. From voice assistants to customized customer interactions, this may mean a wide variety of integration scenarios. While artificial intelligence may appear to be a technology that only large corporations use, Meredith Schmidt, vice chairman, and general manager of small business and essentials at Salesforce, believes that small businesses will begin to embrace it.
In 2019, 5G technology – the 5th generation of cellular capability – was introduced, offering substantially higher data transfer rates than the more commonly used 4G. 5G offers higher speeds than 4G LTE, with little to no lag, according to Huawei, a mobile phone maker (delay in data transfer). This move is significant for the internet of things (IoT), as 5G networks are better equipped to handle the proliferation of interconnected smart devices. Although there is a lot of excitement about 5G, it is only in its early stages.
HR Technology that is Comprehensive
The need for robust human resources software and technology that will help small business operators keep track of their workers and their needs grew in importance in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Experts predict it will begin in 2021. A lot of the emphasis on HR tech stems from the transition to remote work, according to Rhiannon Staples, chief marketing officer of Hibob, though this technology will undoubtedly continue to facilitate small businesses even in more common times.
Shopping with the Help of Technology
Large retailers have used mobile technology, online shopping, online bookkeeping services, and mobile scheduling to create a PayPass shopping experience in reaction to lockdowns and other pandemic-related disturbances. This high-tech approach to keeping us safe, according to Staples, has expanded beyond curbside pickup, which has evolved into a natural extension of existing technology such as mobile payments and portals.
“Payment systems used to be a nice-to-have that gave shoppers in crowded stores the ease of skipping long checkout lines,” she said. “However, as a consequence of the pandemic, they’ve become almost a prerequisite for most retailers.”
Onboarding Through the Internet
When cities’ populations begin to shrink, more people may pursue remote jobs. As more companies adopt this new paradigm and the potential savings it offers, they will be forced to rely on technology to manage remote onboarding processes. When it comes to recruiting new hires and bringing them up to speed on their duties and the business culture, onboarding is critical. Companies can use apps to connect people if they are unable to connect in person due to the pandemic or their geographic region, according to Staples.
Unification of Software
In today’s workplace, more and more tech communication solutions are becoming common. Slack is used to link teams, Outlook is used to submit important documents, Salesforce is used to handle clients, Basecamp is used to schedule projects, and Google Drive is used to store company data. “Connecting apps to communicate with other software is difficult,” said Roy Mann, Monday.com’s CEO and co-founder. “With better description, there will be a breakthrough that will enable any software to communicate well with any other software.”
According to BullGuard’s study, nearly 60% of small businesses believe they are unlikely to be harmed in a cyberattack. Many small businesses, however, have been impacted by cyberattacks and security breaches, so 2021 should be the year in which small business owners begin to fight back. Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) should begin seeing protection through the prism of enterprise businesses, according to Jim Lippie, general manager of cloud computing for tech company Kaseya.
Automation is being emphasized more.
Automation has long been a buzzword in small business circles, but 2021 may be the year it finally takes the lead. Popcart’s CEO and founder, Omri Traub, predicts that in 2021, company owners would seriously consider technology as a way to save money and cover problem areas. “With continuing labor shortages in some industries,” Traub predicted, “automation investments will continue to rise.” “Online pricing optimization to balance profitability and sales growth, as well as inventory control systems to ensure the right amount of inventory is on hand, are examples for small businesses.”
Influencer marketing and social media influencers are increasingly viable options for engaging with consumers and showcasing goods. The days of conventional print ads driving sales are long gone. A company now needs a diverse marketing plan, which in 2021 would include collaborating with influencers. “Customers want more credibility in their commercials,” said Alex Shvarts, FundKite’s chief technical officer and director of business growth. “This also comes in the form of a recommendation from someone they trust, such as an influencer.” Personalized marketing will help you establish a relationship with your customers and carve out a niche in your industry.
Advertising on social media
In 2021, small companies will continue to use social media ads. While influencers are considered social media marketers, the term also includes other forms of advertisement, such as pay-per-click marketing. “If more companies go micro, social ads will continue to evolve as a cost-effective and reliable way to reach specific audiences,” said Matt Rosenberg, a current Wix.com marketing manager, and present Weber Shandwick senior manager of public relations. “In today’s growing digital world, the ability to create unique and differentiating content that connects consumers across social media platforms is paramount.”
Begin by using QuickBooks and other easily integrated tools to automate your back office.
Small business owners who want to keep up with or get ahead of the technical curve should begin by optimizing and automating their back office. Since bookkeeping and accounting services are repetitive, time-consuming, and prone to human error, they are the best place to start implementing new technologies in your business. You’ll save time and money while allowing your workers to concentrate on things that are more important to them. Plus, you’ll still have access to actionable financial data, helping you to figure out which small company tech trend to tackle next.