A few decades ago, starting a small business was pretty straightforward. You bought or rented a shop or some commercial real estate, you stocked it up with various goods, and you waited for people to come in and buy your products.
Now that we evolve in a global village, things have changed, and mostly for the better. Thanks to technology, you can now reach to almost anyone on the planet to promote your products. Look at those online stores on Ebay. People from Hong Kong or China ship you the latest gadget cheaper than your local electronics store. Before the online revolution, they would have been limited to their own local market.
Expand your reach
Say you just started a small snack restaurant near your local college. Before, you would have sent your waiters with flyers before lunch and dinner, and paid them for a couple of hours of their time just to reach out to a few dozen students at most. Now you have a Facebook page. People tweet about your sandwiches, they post pictures on Instagram when they go eat at your place. This is free publicity, and the reach is much wider than your flyers. Anyone on the internet can see that the next time they search for a place to eat in your town. If you make sure to be listed in the main social sites and local directories such as Yelp or Tripadvisor, you can attract tons of people who would never have known your even existed before.
A local radio ad is now short sighted compared to a clean website on the world wide web. And the work is not much more, as it will be a one off time and money investment that will bring customers for the years to come.
Facilitate your process
Another advantage of technology is the ease to perform some tasks that would have taken a long time before. Think about online business banking for example, how convenient is that? You can log in to your bank account, wire between savings and checking, pay your salaries, even apply for a short-term business loan… without leaving your office. You can do it when the bank is closed too, whenever you feel like it. No more queuing, waiting, all those hours you save allow you to be more productive with your business.
Technology fastened a lot of otherwise tedious tasks. Spreadsheets allow you to reconcile your accounts and spot errors in seconds. Accounting software have option to file your returns and submit it in one click. On top of saving time, most programs now come with easy tutorials, so you can choose to do the job yourself, instead of hiring people, freeing up more cash flow if your business is just getting started.
On the other hand, thanks to technology, you can also hire people online to perform a quick task. Web designers, copywriters, marketing professionals… there are literally thousands of people out there looking for temporary work. Just explain your project, detail your budget, and applicants will contact you.