How Online Technology is Empowering Small Business


Years ago, you had to have a significant amount of capital and the right connections to start a business. You might have had to find investors or ask a bank for a sizable loan. Today, technology allows even the most meager entrepreneurs to start a business and be successful. New business owners do not even have to have a brick-and-mortar location to be successful—they can often do the majority of their sales online.

Technology has become even more critical following the global pandemic. It has allowed companies to deal with things like social distancing, supply chain disruptions, and staffing shortages. The United States Chamber of Commerce reports that small businesses that are using technology platforms are more likely to see growth in sales, profits, and employment. Of those surveyed, 93 percent are using at least one technology, and 86 percent report that technology helped their business survive during COVID.

Technology has made small businesses more resilient and even more efficient. Lean companies rely on technology to keep their business model thriving under any circumstances. Below are just a few of the technologies that are empowering small businesses today.

Website Builders

A website builder allows anyone to create and edit a website, from design to content, without having to know or use any code. It is a user-friendly way to create beautiful websites, even when you may not understand how to address some of the more technical aspects of website building.

Website builders have several benefits for small business owners.

  • Adds legitimacy to the business
  • Provides contact information
  • Allows for ordering and reviewing products
  • Provides information so customers can research products and services

For a small business, having a website is often critical. Individuals and other businesses can research a company by looking online, and many websites allow users to order products and services directly through the site. It also provides vital contact information so customers can get in touch with the business.

Automated Advertising

Automated advertising manages marketing processes across several channels automatically. A business can simply set it and forget it—it uses software to address marketing needs, so business owners do not have to manually update marketing and advertising as often. Automated advertising can be a great way for small businesses to advertise with little experience or expertise in more complicated forms of advertising. The benefits of automated advertising include the following.

  • Generate more targeted, better leads
  • Provide data so companies can make more informed decisions
  • Create personalized customer journeys
  • Conduct high-level marketing and advertising strategies with little time investment
  • Get better results for lower dollar values
  • Testing and optimizing content

Advertising methods are certainly changing today. Many people forego traditional radio and television consumption in favor of streaming services, which means many businesses need to get creative about how they get information to consumers. Automated advertising may be just what small businesses need to survive and thrive in a competitive market.

Ultimately, automated investing allows small businesses to use “big company tools” like advertising with Google and other large platforms without having any specialized skills. It gives small businesses a way to compete with large companies without breaking the bank.

AI Customer Service

AI (Artificial Intelligence) customer service allows business owners to turn over first-level customer service needs to a bot. Chatbots and similar technology can often solve some of the most common customer issues, such as providing information or assisting with simple problems to the business owner can focus on more complicated customer needs.

Benefits of AI customer service include:

  • Handle large amounts of data
  • Save time and money for business owners
  • Allow companies to cut down on customer service staff
  • Track customer needs and performance easier

AI customer service can save time and money without sacrificing customer service.

Company Formation

Business owners would sometimes have to stumble through manual company formation processes by teaching themselves how to form and maintain their companies. Or, they might have gone to an attorney and spent thousands of dollars to get their business off the ground.

Today, companies can turn to online LLC formation platforms or get information about corporation formation with a click of a button. These tools make formation faster and help companies ensure they are keeping up with compliance and maintenance requirements, while being on top of the differences across the fifty states.

Benefits of these tools often include the following.

  • Faster, cheaper formation options
  • Easier maintenance and upkeep
  • Less stress in researching and learning formation options and obligations.

Creating an LLC or corporation has many benefits for small businesses. It legitimizes the company, provides asset protection to decrease risks, and might have tax benefits in some cases. However, forming a business can be daunting so some small business owners avoid the process entirely. A company formation service technology makes the entire process less intimidating and more accessible for even the smallest business.

Social Media

Companies can often get the word out about their companies faster and easier by using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Some businesses even use social media almost exclusively for their marketing and advertising efforts—often because they can be very effective with very little or no costs.

Social media is often very user-friendly, so business owners do not have to be particularly tech-savvy to get a social media campaign off the ground. Combining social media and automated advertising can make many marketing campaigns even more effective. Benefits of using this type of advertising technology include the following.

  • Very easier to use and set up
  • Reaches a large number of people at a very low cost
  • Utilizes community to increase brand awareness
  • Touches the specific type of person your company is attempting to target
  • Allows the company to build relationships with customers

According to one survey, roughly 77 percent of companies use social media to connect with their customers. Because there are almost 4.6 billion people active on social media, it is easy to see why it can be a critical tool for small businesses and huge companies alike.

Accounting Software

Businesses need to be aware of “their numbers” at all times. Tracking things like profits and losses, how much capital you may have (or need), and inventory information is critical for successful businesses. And, improving cash flow management is essential to ensure smooth operations and financial stability. Accounting software that connects directly to bank accounts and credit cards can allow for careful, accurate tracking without a huge time commitment. Many very small business owners can be their own bookkeepers without specialized skills or experience because newer accounting tools are so user-friendly today.

Accounting software also has these additional benefits for small business owners.

  • Automates processes
  • Streamlines tax filings
  • Make it easier to view and create financial reports
  • Organizes records
  • Reduces errors
  • Access anywhere with online platforms

Having the right accounting software can help small businesses attract investors and even get loan funding from banks in the future. Investors want to see that a business owner can track and maintain their books and records in a responsible and reliable way to ensure that their investment is safe. Accounting software can help small businesses prove to investors that they are making money or that they have the potential to provide a good return on investment in the future.

Conclusion: Getting Technology Right for Your Company

Technology is driving business today, and when small business owners use it properly, it can help a company thrive in a challenging environment. It can reduce costs, make processes more efficient, and allow a small company to reach an even wider range of potential customers. The right technology for your company will vary based on your preference and your particular industry, but the above examples can often be used by any small business to take their company to the next level.