This article discusses the fledgling technologies of today that can and will transform the small businesses of the future. How many of these are relevant to your business?
The digital age has brought so many innovations that have already changed the way we do business. The internet is the obvious one, connecting businesses with clients across the world that they'd previously never have had the ability to sell to, let alone meet.
From the internet came smartphones, leaving us connected on a 24/7 basis, increasing our ability to do business from the working hours of Monday-Saturday to any time and anywhere.
It's notoriously difficult to predict which technologies will take off in the future and which will fade into obscurity, but here are five new technologies that could change small businesses over the next few years.
1. Crowdfunding will give small businesses a global reach
At the moment, businesses are largely reliant on the profits they bring in, personal money they can invest or bank loans in order to expand. The growth and popularity of crowdfunding campaigns means that a person won't even have to set foot in your business to give money to it. If they like what you do or the concept behind it, then they can donate to you via crowdfunding from the other side of the world. Whether you sell bespoke jewelry made in your dining room or have an ethical coffee shop that gains the respect of eco-warriors the world over, donations via crowdfunding could give you enough capital to upscale almost overnight.
2. Clients will want to pay with cryptocurrency
Fuelled by the likes of Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies are on the rise. More and more people are beginning to hold onto cryptocurrencies thanks to a combination of more acceptance of the technology and deals like a Coinbase referral bonus. As cryptocurrency becomes more popular, more people will want to pay for goods and services using it – whether that be in store or online.
3. 3D printing will make production easier
The concept of 3D printing seems to have been around forever, but the next few years are set to see the technology become mainstream. When it does, it will revolutionize manufacturing as businesses can move away from the costly overseas production of their products in favor of having it done more locally thanks to 3D printers, saving both time and money.
4. Deliveries will be carried out by drones
Amazon's desire to carry out deliveries via drone has been well documented. However, as the technology becomes more accessible, it won't just be the big multinational businesses that can fly their products directly to a customer but small businesses can, as well. Gone will be shipping costs and the time it takes for a carrier to deliver the product, it will go quickly and easily from you to your client.
5. Collaborative Consumption
Airbnb and Uber have cornered the market when it comes to collaborative consumption of holiday homes and taxis, allowing us to share space and transport to reduce costs. How can this be transferred to small businesses? One way will be collaborative consumption of supply chains and shipping methods so that rather than costly separate deliveries to several businesses in your area, it all arrives as one. An Uber-style service that delivers what you need, when you need it while reducing costs at the same time.
The views expressed in content distributed by Newstex and its re-distributors (collectively, "Newstex Authoritative Content") are solely those of the respective author(s) and not necessarily the views of Newstex et al. It is provided as general information only on an "AS IS" basis, without warranties and conferring no rights, which should not be relied upon as professional advice. Newstex et al. make no claims, promises or guarantees regarding its accuracy or completeness, nor as to the quality of the opinions and commentary contained therein.