Running a small business is a journey of courage with many questions along the way. How do you build it? Where do you find customers? How do you scale? More importantly, how do you prepare for the future?

The COVID-19 pandemic has put the resilience of small business leaders to the test.  Business owners have to think differently about how they start, scale, and transform their businesses.

Digital technologies can help your small business thrive in this changing landscape by enabling you to quickly adapt your business processes and deliver new customer experiences. However, finding the right technologies can be overwhelming, with 47% of those surveyed in our Small & Medium Business Trends Report identifying it as a business constraint. 

To guide you in choosing the right solutions, here are some suggestions on what small businesses need to navigate the future of work:


Technology that is simple, relevant, and scalable

Listening to what our customers want from technology, we know three things are key: simplicity, relevance, and scalability. 

The first of these is essential for speedy implementation of new technology and makes it easy for employees to adopt. Relevance means that the technology meets your needs as a small business, helping you to win customers and provide superior service—no matter how small your team.

Finally, scalability is vital to your future success. If you're like most small businesses, you don't plan to stay small forever. You will need technology that can help you support a growing customer base.


Real-time data to make fast decisions

Small business leaders will continue to face hard decisions. In order to respond based on fact rather than emotion, you will need a complete view of your business. Spreadsheets will no longer cut it. 

Instead, you need real-time data and business insights that give you full visibility into your business. To stay agile, it’s important that you can view and act on this data from anywhere, at any time. 

Consider your long term needs. Many small businesses make the mistake of investing in one solution for sales, and then as they grow, they implement different solutions to manage activities like marketing and customer service. Data gets locked in siloes, and this will affect your ability to make fast decisions. 

Avoid this pitfall by finding a solution that allows you to connect sales, service, and marketing. This will unify your data and provide you with a single source of truth about your customers, enabling fast decision making.


Powerful tools to find, win, and keep customers

To be successful in the digital world, you need to put the customer at the center of everything you do and consider how customers will engage with your brand down the road. Customer relationship management (CRM) platforms like Salesforce Customer 360 can help. It allows you to bring all of your customer information onto one unified platform and deliver a more connected experience across sales, service, and marketing. This makes it easier for you to find and win new customers, keep them happy, and grow your business.

Find a solution that will help you future-proof your business. Think about how you can level-up sales and service with capabilities like automated lead nurturing, AI-powered sales tools, chatbots, and self-service portals.


Apps to fuel collaboration between teams

The workplace in 2020 looks very different compared to previous years. While businesses have started to reopen, remote working is still the norm in many parts of Asia.

As a small business leader, you may find that you need smarter and easier ways to collaborate with employees and keep them engaged. Solutions like Quip allow employees to collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, and chat — all in one place.

The pandemic has pushed us all to reshape how we work. Watch this video to learn how Salesforce can help you reinvent your workplace to empower employees and transform how you engage with your customers in the future. 

Small businesses are challenged to do more with less these days. Finding the right technology is important. There are also other ways you can start to prepare for a future where workplaces are connected and reliant on data and technology. Here are some Salesforce resources that can help you, including tips and training

We have also created a new Small Business Growth Kit to help small business leaders: 

  • Get tips for mapping out your growth plan and building your business pitch  

  • Decide which products best suit your needs

  • Get valuable insights from other Trailblazers who understand your small business challenges

Download the toolkit here.