Tech trends of interest to small business owners in 2016

Making the most of mobile technology is one technology trend small business owners need to stay on top of.

Making the most of mobile technology is one technology trend small business owners need to stay on top of.

Keeping up with advances in technology can seem like a full-time job and you may be tempted to give it low priority. Yet if you’re running a small business, you can’t afford to not lag behind on advances that can save you time, help you run your business more efficiently, and/or improve customer service.

For example, if your business involves scheduling customer appointments, you’ll want to know about BookedIn, a cloud-based service that significantly simplifies appointment scheduling for both you and for your customers. All you do is send your clients a link to your booking page and they can book appointments online via their smartphone, tablet or desktop computer.

The service includes a payment function that allows you to do things like collect a fee upfront or add a tipping option. Clients receive confirmations and reminders, which should help cut down on no-shows. If you’re running an appointment-based business of any time, BookedIn will make life easier for you and your employees. And it’s very affordable, with monthly fees starting at just $19. There is also a pay-as-you-go option, starting at 25 cents per booking. Definitely well worth checking out.

BookedIn is only one example of the ways new technology can make your business run smoother in 2016. Check out these articles for more information on tech trends affecting small business:

• Staples created a slide show highlighting 7 tech trends small businesses should watch in 2016, including suggestions on what your next steps should be if you want to take advantage of a new technology. They talk about the growing popularity of mobile payments and suggest that this is the year when you should integrate mobile payment options like ApplePay or Samsung Pay to speed customer checkout.

• One of the trends discussed in Top Small Business Technology Trends of 2016 is inventory management for small businesses. According to a 2015 study by Wasp Barcode Technologies, 46 percent of small businesses with 11-500 employees don’t track inventory. This means stock can lie around unaccounted for, reducing sales potential, interrupting cash flow, and affecting warehouse management. Fortunately, solutions like Fishbowl Inventory make it quick and simple to track and manage stock levels.

• Not every trend in 50 Small Business Trends and Predictions for 2016 from Business News Daily is about technology but most are. To build this very interesting list, the publication reached out to experts for insight into what small business owners need to keep an eye on this year. The trends they discuss are particularly focused on cybersecurity, mobile technology, and the increased use of the cloud, all of which are tied together and should definitely be on your radar screen in 2016.

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