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5 Top business technology trends successful small businesses need in 2018

Business technology is generally associated with large companies but in reality, a small investment in specific artificial intelligence and business software can help any small business cover areas that otherwise would need hiring expensive specialized labor.

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As an entrepreneur, you need to think ahead to be successful in your industry. Whether you are a tech entrepreneur or a small business owner, here are the top business technology trends to look out for in the New Year that will help your business succeed.

1. Artificial intelligence in business technology

Artificial intelligence in the backend of your company website will share facts about people who visit your site. Online customer service will capture the location, email, and information about site visitors to quickly send to your sales team. This technology will save your small team time in finding new prospects on LinkedIn or other social media platforms to attract new business.

2. Automation in accounting software

How much do you pay your book keeping or accounting services? In most states, the hourly rate of an onsite accountant is between $22 – $180. Your employee salary expense or your independent contractor’s fees would reach a considerable amount at the end of the year if you require their service. The popularity of automated accounting software from developers like FreshBooks will cut costs in hiring new staff, and it will complete invoicing and other tasks most employees dread.

3. Video and virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and 360-degree videos

Most of you have seen the 360-degree video when house shopping on a realtor’s website. It is literally an online tour of a house to help you decide if it fits your needs before you travel to see it. With the help of VR and AR, companies will use virtual reality to share important products’ features for potential customers to test them at their store location or to buy them directly online. Think of it as an added benefit online that will help you connect with your local or even international audience and as a result, it can help you increase revenue.

4. Machine learning

We all know Facebook uses machine learning by figuring out retail items, cars, and music we like with algorithms that track our posts, comments and likes. The same technology will be used by companies to learn about their customers’ personal behavior. Online capabilities will basically capture the number of times, for instance, a company’s running shoes offering was shared, retweeted and/or blogged about. It can help you figure out what is hot, and what’s not when it comes to keeping or getting rid of products.

Let’s not forget Millennials –the majority of social media users– are on track for owning purchasing power according to Forbes. The site recently stated, “This year it is estimated that millennials in the U.S. alone will be spending $200 billion. By 2018, they will have the most spending power of any generation.”

5. Human resources tech recruiting

Your human resources team needs recruitment management systems (also known as e-recruitment) if you do business in the hospitality, customer service, healthcare or retail industries. The software will search for top talent in your area of choice –locally, regionally or internationally- so your marketing team can send out targeted emails about new job opportunities. Your HR team can connect with potential candidates with the click of a button on their smartphone to see a list of prospective applicants who are searching for a new job.

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Video assessments will be sent to candidates without you having to schedule an in-person interview. It will record the conversation, and your HR team can decide who to invite for an interview.

As a smart business owner, you can motivate your team towards success by helping them develop their particular strengths. Technology can help you strengthen your relationships with your team by replacing repetitive or unproductive tasks while putting their valuable skills to work on the jobs they enjoy doing the most.

It might cost you to invest in business technology, but if used wisely you can see a return on investment and a happier, more productive team.