For most small businesses, the holidays are the busiest – and most profitable – time of the year. Now that the holiday season is over, entrepreneurs have the time to organize and implement new strategies to be profitable in the upcoming months. These days that means equipping themselves with the latest must-have essential business technologies. But technology isn’t cheap. So, it pays for small businesses to know where to make strategic technology investments that pay off. To help, here’s a guide to the essential technology for small businesses for 2022.
Flexible Payment Processing Systems
One of the best technology investments that a small business can make is to get themselves set up with a flexible payment processing system working in tandem with an existing point of sale system. They’re two significant reasons for that. The first is that eliminating any friction in their transaction workflows will encourage more customers to spend money. And the second is that whenever a business provides its customers with more ways to pay, those customers will be happier.
One of the most popular suppliers of flexible payment processing systems is Square. They offer multiple point-of-sale payment products and can even set small businesses up to accept mobile payments. That makes it possible for small businesses to participate in on-location holiday fairs and events that will increase their holiday profits. Of course, Square isn’t the only option. Alternatives include SumUp, PayPal Zettle, and QuickBooks GoPayment.
High-End Color Printers
If there’s one thing that almost all small businesses have in common, it’s that they’ll offer sales and promotions to attract shoppers. But to do that, they need the technology to support their marketing activities. And there’s no better way to advertise holiday sales than through direct mail. And when small businesses need direct mail advertising and other print materials – it means they should look into high-end color printing equipment.
For small businesses that don’t require high-volume print output, there are mid-level color laser printers on the market for under $1,000. Companies like Lexmark, Brother, and Samsung all make color laser printers that can handle everything the average small business can throw at them. But, for a small business that plans to handle all of its print marketing needs in-house, there’s really only one option – Xerox. Their products aren’t cheap, but they’ll provide years of trouble-free operation and will equip a small business to print thousands of full-color brochures and fliers as often as they need.
Social Media Marketing Software
One of the reasons direct mail advertising is so effective is that it’s inexpensive and can reach a broad audience. But it’s not the only marketing channel small businesses should use to maximize their holiday profits. They should also use social media to connect with existing and potential customers. The trouble is that there are numerous social media platforms and managing all of them is difficult. Without the right software, that is.
To keep their social channels effective, small businesses need to turn to automation via the latest social media marketing software. They can create engaging content, add it to their weekly schedule template, and automate posting it on multiple social platforms at once. It makes it possible for a single social media coordinator to do the work of an entire marketing team. For small businesses, it’s precisely the right approach to supercharge results without spending a fortune.
Business Intelligence Software
The three technologies mentioned above may seem like they don’t have much in common. But they do. It’s that they all rely on data the small business collects all year-round. Payment systems contain customer names and addresses. Those addresses can power print marketing campaigns. And with a little more work, that information may also connect with social media contact data to create a single coherent customer outreach and marketing strategy.
But to do it, small businesses need business intelligence software to tie all of their data together. And marketing isn’t all they can use the data for. Modern business intelligence software also includes predictive analytics that can turn that customer data into valuable business insights. With it, they’ll be able to connect with their customers using the proper channels at precisely the right time – improving their odds of making sales and driving profits.
Powered Up For 2022
With the right technology in place, small businesses can make this year more profitable than ever before. But the time to act is now. Investing in the right technology solutions before the season begins is essential to put them to proper use. And the investment will also continue to pay dividends all year round – making this a true small business no-brainer.