The expectations from 2021 will be high due to the fact that 2020 has been plagued by the crippling pandemic that has devastated numerous businesses and hurt a number of economies. But luckily, we live in an age of high technology, meaning that the latest trends in this area can give SMEs a boost and mitigate the effects of this crisis.
Here are some of the trends that you should watch for in 2021:
Repetitive, manual tasks take up a lot of employees’ time and diminish their productivity, not to mention that we’re talking about low-level tasks that don’t significantly impact the bottom line.
And yet, they have to be completed.
Small business owners who want to boost the productivity and performance of their employees should think about automating all these mundane tasks. When it comes to small businesses, these tasks include appointment scheduling, data entry, customer support, and so on.
By automating these and many other tasks, you’ll allow your employees to focus on more complex, high-level, value-adding tasks that require creativity and critical thinking.
Small businesses, especially those in the manufacturing industry, have to handle massive amounts of data and make sense of them. Hiring a data scientist or outsourcing this task is pretty costly, which is why deep analytics tools will become indispensable.
By leveraging this technology, you’ll be able to obtain a number of valuable and actionable insights into different aspects of your business that will allow you to optimize various important processes. Deep analytics can help you identify pricing trends and gain a competitive advantage or interpret your manufacturing data so that you can improve your production quality control, for example. And what’s best, modern software doesn’t require you to be a technical user in order to harness the power of data-driven insights.
Chatbots make up one aspect of the broader uptake of artificial intelligence on the part of businesses. Chatbots integrate with messenger apps like Facebook and Whatsapp (or natively installed live-chat boxes) and mimic human interactions.
They have a range of applications and enable businesses to provide support, process purchases, and notify customers of important, time-sensitive updates. Because chatbots are available 24/7, they’re also very convenient.
4. Remote Working
The COVID-19 pandemic has acted as a catalyst for what was already a growing trend in regards to remote work and with Nigeria experiencing its second wave, it seems like remote work is here to stay. Companies that let employees work from home have seen a range of benefits, including lower office costs, greater productivity, and increased wellbeing.
If it’s feasible, you should consider letting your workforce operate remotely, even if only for a few days a week. As flexible working opportunities become more commonplace, companies also need to think about how they will position themselves in the job market to attract the best talent.
While change can be difficult and confusing, it also creates opportunities. This is particularly the case when it comes to technology. Small businesses that effectively leverage new tech can achieve a variety of positive outcomes. These include more efficient, streamlined processes, higher-quality customer journeys, and happier employees. Find out more about how you can leverage tech and talk to a member of our team.