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SMB Technology Investment Boosts Growth

Small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMB) usually grapple with investing in technology that can further grow their business. According to a new survey by BMO Wealth Management, 60% of small businesses have never sought funding to support a technology investment for fear of getting into deeper debt.

And although 75% of SMB owners are excited to embrace technology, many of them have multiple hurdles to overcome that goes beyond the debt conversation. Some of the obstacles that plague these owners are:

  • Lack of awareness for funding sources such as accelerator programs and incubators
  • Proof that the technology will guarantee owners more time and money
  • Fear of being rejected for a business loan
  • Being dependent on technology that could break and impede their business
  • Lack of exposure to new technology available
  • Integration concerns with existing technology and the complexities and price that come with that

Don’t Shy from Technology – Embrace It 

Not embracing technology often means that SMBs are missing out on innovation. But it doesn’t have to be all-new, all-at-once technology to accomplish growth. Anne Chow, president of National Business at AT&T, believes that small business owners shouldn’t make technology their primary focus, but they should have a plan to implement new tech on an ongoing basis. “Tech is not the pipeline,” she told Business News Daily. “It’s the lifeline.”

“Having access to information about funding options and support networks is essential to the continued success of a small business, particularly in its early stages,” said BMO Wealth Management’s U.S. National Head of Wealth Planning Tania Slade in a statement. “Business owners who take advantage of the numerous resources at their disposal have an immediate advantage and a far greater chance of seeing their innovation initiatives realized.”

The study suggests that easy tips for SMB’s to follow to help themselves get over the technology-investment hump:

  • Join a local Chamber of Commerce and attend monthly events.
  • Seek counsel from a local bank to get an overview of potential loan options.
  • Read small business blogs which often highlight local, state, and federal funding programs. 

5 Technologies That Can Impact Your Business

Technology can be an upfront investment, but if it improves the bottom line, it’s worth considering. It is part of life and a major part of business as well. Here are some technologies that can make a huge impact on an SMB’s processes and revenue stream:

  1. Digital forms of payments – Accepting digital payments not only offers ease to your customers’ experience, but it also offers a quicker and more streamlined transaction process.
  2. Information security – Customer information is fundamental to your business – protect it.
  3. Live chat customer service – Live chat customer service will help maintain the most important aspect of success for a business – the satisfaction of customers.
  4. Appointment scheduling software – Adding appointment scheduling software can help streamline the process and cut back on expenses.
  5. Cloud computing – Utilizing the internet to manage everything from a business bank account to social media profiles can net numerous benefits such as flexibility, mobility, automation, and more. 

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