How Technology Is Helping Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses in 2018

Jaren Nichols

2018 is a boon year for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was signed in December 2017 with the goal of putting money back into small businesses across America. Now is the time to take advantage of that extra cash by investing in game-changing technology.

Study Your Industry Leaders

There isn’t a one-size fits all technology program for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Take a close look at what your industry’s leaders are doing, which technologies are most used, and start from there.

Regardless of industry and whether you’re just starting out or looking to grow, the first two technological upgrades you should make this year are to your website and your financial software.

The Value of a High-Functioning Website

Your website speaks volumes about your professionalism. If your customers have trouble browsing or conducting transactions, you need to dump your current website.

When choosing a website host, look for the following:

  • Mobile adaptability. If it looks great on a desktop but not on a mobile device, consider that 50% of online shopping is done from a smartphone. Is your site retaining that 50%? Also consider that studies show 40% of customers will leave a website if it doesn’t adapt well to their mobile phone.

  • Flexible and secure payment methods that include PayPal, as well as the option to offer coupons and discounts.

  • Appealing subscriptions. Whether through the website or a plug-in like MailChimp, you should do your all to increase your email list--still one of the best and cheapest marketing options available.

  • An affordable plan. But remember you get what you pay for.

  • Ready-made templates. There are a plethora of affordable web hosts with ready-to-go templates that meet the above criteria automatically.

The good news is that there is no shortage of website options. Depending on your industry, online transaction businesses should check out HostGator, while appointment or service businesses should look into GoDaddy. If you’re looking to upgrade from the typical WordPress site, you can easily convert it into a top-of-the-line bluehost site.

Let Financial Software Crunch the Numbers

With sincere apologies to our number geeks out there, it’s just plain unnecessary to hire an accountant these days.

Here are some technological criteria to look for instead of a CPA:

  • User-friendly. You shouldn’t need to Google terms to know which numbers go where.

  • Trending features--the more automated and thorough, the better.

  • Flexible templates that make invoicing easy.

  • All-inclusive connectivity to bank accounts, customers, and vendors within the same interface.

  • Budget-friendly plans. Don’t pay for features you don’t need and take a test-drive first to ensure a good fit.

With the wide variety of programs available, there is no excuse to go without the time-saving and trending assistance of financial software. I built my own company ZipBooks around making accounting accessible, or you can check out Gusto for payroll — those two alone should be a great start!

2018 Is Your Year

Technology saves time and money while improving relationships and quickly building brands.

Wise words from Forbes contributor Solomon Thimothy, who advised: “If multi-billion-dollar conglomerates are adjusting to the fast-changing market, then so should you.”

What are you waiting for? Your customers won’t wait for you.