Starting your own business can be an exciting time -- yet also very daunting. A recent poll found that 32% of small companies will increase spending on tech over the next 12 months, and that 95% regard tech as their most important business priority, ranking it above HR, training, or marketing. To stay nimble and keep your competitive edge in the global marketplace, make sure your business is equipped with the right tech tools.

Mobile first

Beyond streamlining your operations, mobile-first is just smart business. According to a recent global  conducted by PayPal, 64% of smartphone shoppers polled have purchased via an app and 52% have purchased via browser. Among those who have used both platforms, apps are typically preferred (47% prefer to shop through an app).

When smartphone and tablet users were asked about the benefits of using an app to pay for things either online or offline, the most cited benefits were convenience (35% of smartphone/tablet users agree this is a benefit) and speed (30%). We made sure our app and mobile site allowed users to check their balance or make payments on the go because of behaviours like these. Similarly, businesses needed to be able to accept card payments with PayPal Here.

Here’s one more reason that it’s more important than ever that your business is mobile-optimised: Google recently announced a new search algorithm that favors mobile-friendly sites – meaning businesses that aren’t mobile optimised could find their site ranked lower in search results.

Why the cloud matters

Cloud services are dramatically changing the way people work, and how business is done globally, for the better. We agree: we’ve spent three years migrating all of our operations to the cloud, enhancing security and processing times for everyone. Small businesses report seeing big benefits from cloud adoption, including a reduction in time spent managing IT (and a reduction in spend on IT resources overall), to ensuring better security benefits, to improving customer service. In fact, that same survey found that 87% of small businesses have some function of their business operate in the cloud, and 43% wish they had adopted cloud services sooner!

The business of social media

According to Nielsen, almost two-thirds (64%) of overall social media users say they use social media sites at least once a day via their computer, and almost half (47%) of smartphones owners visit social networks every day. To remain competitive, having a social media presence is no longer just a “nice to have” for SMBs – it’s a must-have. According to data from Hubspot, 8 out of 10 SMEs use social media for their business to drive growth, and 3 in 5 small businesses say they’ve gained new customers by using social media.

Consider this: Facebook has more users than the most populous country on earth.

Having a social media presence and engagement strategy is imperative for your business’ online growth and success. The ‘social’ aspect is key here, and one of the reasons to develop Paypal Me, which allows friends to quickly send cash – say, for that split bill, even before it hits the counter.

The future is now

As technology levels the barrier for communications between physical locations and enabling anyone around the world connect instantaneously, a flexible work-from-anywhere business culture is becoming the norm. For many SMEs, this is a win-win: removing geography as a barrier opens up employee candidate pools, and can also save big bucks. It’s also a big plus for companies that want to retain valuable employees who relocate. Imagine the savings of avoiding recruiting and retraining alone!

Customer service is still job #1

Excellent customer service should be at the heart of everything you do. No matter the size of the business – from a start-up to Fortune 500 companies – customers are the driver of their success. The bottom line for any SME looking to grow and scale their business in today’s global marketplace: those that respond and adapt to the rapid shift in business-consumer dynamics that technology is driving will not only survive, but thrive. Make sure your business is taking advantage of these technology tools.

Canstar Blue Most Satisfied Customers Small Business Mobile Phone Providers 2017

 

4 Minute Read

Read More

Emma Hunt

Director of Small Business for PayPal Australia

Emma Hunt,
Director of Small Business for PayPal Australia

A senior executive and entrepreneurial leader in the digital services industry. Emma's driven, passionate and an asset to any business.

1
Article