With recent announcements of several vaccines, we are all starting to envision a world post-Covid. But as we emerge from the pandemic, what will the small business landscape look like? And will technology still play as big a role?
A New Normal for Remote Work
The pandemic forced many companies into moving their work force online allowing staff to work safely from home. Several big advantages for both worker and company alike have become evident from this big shift: companies are saving lots of money on office expenses and in some cases even rent; employees are saving money and time by avoiding a daily commute; and, most importantly, a new flexibility has been introduced into the traditional office scenario that allows workers to be more productive by adjusting their work time around family and home life rhythms, or even to relocate to a new location that offers cheaper housing or a better lifestyle.
Now that both workers and companies have adjusted to a remote work model, it’s likely that as we go forward, remote will be a new normal with the possibility of office workers spread all around the U.S. and flying into the home office for occasional face-to-face meetings. With skyrocketing rents in the U.S., even the cost of airfare and hotel for employees will be easily justified when compared to the expense of keeping an office space. So look for hybrid models of remote and in-person work to continue on into the near future.
Cloud Computing Empowers the Workforce
While remote work strategies exploded during the pandemic, they would not have been possible without cloud computing. Offices that had not taken the power of the cloud very seriously, found themselves scrambling to move their workflow to the web, creating virtual offices where their teams could be productive, engage with one another, and share files and tasks.
Although cloud computing has been around for a very long time, there are still a lot of businesses that hadn’t leaned heavily on it. That all changed with the pandemic. Going forward, expect to see more and more businesses leverage cloud-based productivity software, file sharing, and asynchronous communication.
SMS Marketing Takes Off
Many restaurants and retail businesses that have done well through the pandemic turned to SMS marketing. Utilizing SMS messaging, these businesses were able to not only communicate safely with their customer base, but also perform touch free transactions. For the customer, communicating via text with a business was a natural.
A big benefit of SMS marketing for business and customers alike is that it keeps communication and transactions on a more personal level than simply performing a transaction over the web. During the pandemic, this safe, personal interaction also helped build trust and offered an efficient way to transact business.
Now that both small businesses and the general public has gotten a taste of SMS marketing, it’s likely that it will be here to stay, whether as simply an option to consumers or as an entirely new business model for some small businesses.
The Importance of Web Security
With so many businesses turning to technology during the pandemic, web security will become increasingly important to small businesses. Those businesses that enjoy the benefits of technology without safeguarding their data may learn the hard way that this is no place to cut corners.
While most of the time we think of web security as programs and monitoring, some of the most important aspects entails simple procedures and protocols for staff to follow. Safeguarding passwords, protecting personal computers and cell devices, and simply just being able to recognize scams and threats will go a long way to keeping a business safe.
Hiring a tech partner to assist in securing data and monitor for threats can take a lot of this headache away from managerial staff and ensure that a business is safe.
Leveraging a Competent Tech Partner
As mentioned above, hiring a competent tech partner to assist with enacting all of the strategies here can help a business get up to speed quickly and efficiently and, in the end, save a lot of money and stress.
A good tech partner can also help you create effective marketing strategies and web-based point-of-purchase tools to help you and your customers to continue to do business together when face-to-face transactions are impossible.
If you are looking for a tech partner to help your business get up to speed in these trying times, please give us a call at (941) 548-9950 or complete the form below!