Four ways business owners can use technology to stay competitive

Are you looking for ways you can stay ahead of your competitors? Discover four ways technology can help you.

A recent survey of entrepreneurs found that 90% of business owners believe their industry has become more competitive in the past three years. This is largely due to the increasing availability of competitive intelligence, automation, and data analytics. 

As a business owner, you can use emergent technology to get ahead of your competition and boost your profits. Simple tech tools, like cloud storage, can significantly improve your operational efficiency and reduce your costs.

Let’s take a look at five types of technology you can integrate into your daily processes to help boost your success.

1) Automation 

Automation can close the gap between your business and big-budget industry leaders. Automating tedious, repetitive tasks frees up plenty of time for more creative endeavors and can help support employee mental health, too. This can spark a 20 to 30% increase in productivity and may lead to better time management within your business, according to data from MarketSplash. 

Automating your recruitment process can guard against bias and improve your hiring procedures. Data collated by MarketSplash shows that 72% of businesses are already planning to use automation during the recruitment process, as 69% say that automation significantly reduces the time required for hiring. 

By automating some of your hiring processes, you eliminate the risk of unconscious bias when reviewing CVs and resumes. However, you may need to periodically review your parameters, as some automated CV checkers may accidentally eliminate applicants based on criteria that you didn’t mean to assess. 

2) Workflow tech

Most modern businesses use some form of workflow management tool. High-tech workflow integration can benefit your business by: 

  • Improving coordination: Tools like Slack, Asana, and Teams update in real-time. This means you can update your projects and speak to team members without any delay. 
  • Data analysis: High-tech workflow tools can crunch the numbers and help you utilize important data from across your business. This bolsters your analytics strategy and will give decision-makers all the information they need. 
  • Simplified document management: Digitizing your document management is easier when you use a workflow tool. All your files are stored in the same place and folks can easily upload new documents when they’re ready to be shared. Solutions provided by document automation wizards AutomatedDocs can also assist with streamlining document creation in offices, saving you and your employees time which can be used in other areas of your business.
  • Task tracking: Project managers shouldn’t have to spend their day calling up coworkers for updates. High-tech workflow tech shows everyone how the project is progressing and significantly improves organization, collaboration, and project management.

Workflow tech can also reduce the risk of human error in your business. Most high-tech workflow tools come with automation software that will take care of tagging, notifying, and report generation. This means employees can focus on tasks that add value to your firm without having to double-check their work at every stage.

3) Collaboration

As a business leader, it’s your job to ensure that all of your talented employees can share their insights and maximize their talents. Strategic use of collaborative tools can help you achieve this. Collaboration tools, like Asana and Wrike, can significantly boost your productivity and improve communication in your business. This may even improve engagement, as digital project boards give employees real-time updates on important tasks. This helps everyone feel connected, even if you work remotely. 

When searching for tools that enhance collaboration, focus on key details like: 

  • Ease of use: Low uptake adoption will undermine your new collaborative tools before they have a chance to take off. You can avoid this by making sure all of your tools are user-friendly and intuitive. 
  • Multiple features: Collaborative tools should be customizable and feature cross-functional capabilities. Having to buy additional tools will undermine your ROI and may cause technology fatigue. 
  • Integration: The best tools on the market should integrate with the rest of your tech stack. This will facilitate collaboration and help folks pull together important information quickly. 

Remember to test your new collaborative tools before you roll them out. Test-driving the tool can help you spot snags and may improve employee buy-in when you implement the new tech. Gather feedback throughout the testing process and don’t be afraid to turn your back on any tools that don’t authentically enhance collaboration. 

4) Analytics

Data analytics is king in the digital age. A clear data analytics program can help you spot consumer trends and improve your business agility. This is essential if you’re operating in a competitive market and need to respond to changing market conditions. You can create a robust data analytics strategy by: 

  • Defining goals: It’s easy to get lost when tracking internal and external data. Clear goals can help guide your decision-making and help you decide upon the most important metrics for your business. 
  • Metrics: Establishing relevant key performance indicators (KPIs) can help you track and measure your progress. Remember to establish a blend of financial metrics (like cost-per-click) and brand reputation metrics (like follower count and engagement rate). 
  • Segmenting: Data isn’t monolithic. Instead, segment your data into useful chunks. This will help you make sense of your findings and will help you interpret patterns. 
  • Patterns: Your business data is constantly in flux. That means you need to be on the lookout for emergent patterns on a near-daily basis. Finding patterns can help you spot red flags early and help you firm up your weak spots. 

An effective data analytics program can help you stay competitive and reduce risk. Once you’ve gathered enough data, you can use strategies like A/B testing to implement strategic changes. This can optimize your digital presence and set you up for future success. 

Keep an eye on your ROI 

When using new tech, keep a close eye on your return on investment (ROI). The tools you use should fit seamlessly into your tech stack and boost your profit margins. If they don’t, unsubscribe, uninstall, and move forward in search of new high-tech tools that can increase productivity, drive revenue, and help you stay competitive.