Small businesses had to be more tech savvy to thrive in 2014, Telstra said in its predictions for the coming year.
Industries that practiced traditional business would be impacted with innovative new business models designed for the digital, global marketplace, said John Boniciolli, Telstra’s executive director for small business.
“In 2014 even the smallest of businesses will face both the challenges and opportunities the new digital world brings, whether that means embracing social media for marketing,
an online retail function or the digitisation of business data in the cloud to improve efficiency and reduce administration,” Boniciolli said.
“We’ve seen the internet and multimedia technologies advance at a rapid pace. E-business has been the buzzword, pushing businesses to take a close look at how they operate and what they must do to remain relevant to customers,” he added.
SMBs needed to know four key lessons to carry them forth in 2014.
1. Business was still about personal relationships. Face-to-face time was still crucial to build relationships in business despite email and mobile communication. Video conferences shortened and sharpened up meetings so decisions were reached quicker.
2. Paper based systems no longer existed. Mobile business apps allowed small businesses flexibility such as the ability to work from anywhere at any time with their devices, instead of being tied down to the office.
3. Two-way communication was a must. Small businesses needed to know how to best communicate with their customers, and social media allowed feedback and interaction that potentially helped business growth.
4. Generation Y employees called the shots. Young people in their 20s demanded immediate access to information and had high expectations of software and apps to complete tasks. Small businesses’ technology had to keep up with the pace of the digital world and nurture a flexible environment.