Innovations are improving the way we do business by automating processes and increasing efficiency. Most of them are technological while others seek to promote an environmentally friendly workplace. Not forgetting the amazing possibilities to help in communication, reaching out to customers and marketing.
We asked entrepreneurs what they believe are some of the great innovations in business today.
#1- Go Digital with Your Business Card
How many of us go to a networking event and end up with a bunch of business cards that we don't use? Or hand out a bunch of cards without hearing back? Or forget all the great people we met? I found the best way to eliminate all these issues is by creating a digital business card. After a great conversation, offer to share your digital business card via text. That way, you have their number, they have your number and a digital image of your face on their phone. This strategy also saves time from typing up an email that may or may get opened or receive a reply.
Thanks to Michel Valbrun, Wealth Warriors!
#2- Artificial intelligence and data science
One of the best innovations available to small business owners is that of artificial intelligence and data science. When implemented with the right approach, you can gain better customer insight and identify emerging markets as far as demographics. Another is the streamlined strategy of searching for new candidates and team members through aggregator websites such as ZipRecruiter. That has tremendously cut down on the time spent seeking out new hires. Another is all of the new financial and accounting software products now on the market which makes running your small business from a financial standpoint that much easier. One of the best examples in that realm is FreshBooks.
Thanks to Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers!
#3- Integrating AI into business activities
One of the great innovations happening in business at the minute is integrating AI into business activities. The first systems utilising AI have begun to emerge, and although they are yet to become widely available, the potential they offer for all business is huge. AI will help companies to streamline processes throughout their entire business, making marketing, HR, and even CRM activities far more efficient. Also, AI will be able to remove human bias from situations and will analyse data for us in a more accurate and effective manner.
Thanks to Steve Pritchard, Cuuver!
#4- Communication tools
I believe significant innovation exists in tools built for communication. I remember the transition from email to chat to platforms like Basecamp and now to Slack. These advancements have implications in how we message, send documents, and how our culture is fostered. You can get immediate feedback and move projects forward more quickly. Plus, positive feedback is a big part of our company culture and these communication apps help support this. For example, Slack has an app called Hey Taco which has formalized sending thank yous and shout-outs from one team member to another.
Thanks to Ajay Pattani, Perfect Search Media!
#5- Those that have the potential to save the planet
I believe that the best innovations are those that not only affect the specific business or market segment but also lead to creating a brand new market. Regarding business innovations, the best ones are those that have the potential to save the planet! For example, Avani Eco produces plastic that doesn’t pollute or LifeStraw, which makes contaminated water safe to drink.
Thanks to Alexandra Isenegger, Linkilaw!
#6- Augmented Reality mobile apps
In my opinion, AR or Augmented Reality and its mobile compatible applications are the greatest innovations of modern times which have changed the mode of business for today and coming future onwards. With the help of these advanced technological mobile applications, entrepreneurs will be able to make their target customers see, feel and understand the appearance, compatibility, utilities, and usage of their products. The audience will be able to know everything they want to know about any product before purchasing just through their mobile phones whenever they want. AR has just unleashed amazing possibilities of marketing which will help to generate great engagement and highest possible conversion.
Thanks to Andrei Vasilescu, DontPayFull!
#7-Artificial intelligence and Big data
Some of the best advancements in business today are the introduction of Artificial intelligence and Big data to help companies key in on their customers needs and wants. These two elements of technology are driving the way companies can interact with their prospective and current clients.
Thanks to Alexis Zanger, Aegis Software Corp!
#8- Small Business-izing of Technology
Cloud-based technology is bringing enterprise-class business software to small businesses, which 10 years ago was only available to large companies with big technology budgets. In the past, the big tech companies like IBM, Oracle, and SAP focused on high quality and high expense solutions to Fortune 500 companies. Today, even a small business with just a handful of people can get fantastic software to run their business. You can use Gusto for your payroll, Base CRM for your Sales Team, Hubspot for your Marketing, and Google Apps for your collaboration and email. You don't need to buy a data center, you can run your technology assets in Amazon Web Services, and consume a ton of services via the many APIs available today. This lowers the barriers to entry of starting a company, because it takes so much of the complexity and cost off the table, and clears the way for small businesses to innovate. Because of this technology, we were enabled to start our company on our savings and a shoestring budget, and over just 5 years grow into the #1 Routing App for Salespeople in the App Store.
Thanks to Steven Benson, Badger Maps!