It is truly amazing to look around and see how technology has surrounded us. It’s astounding to have the power to retrieve almost any information and communicate in a thousand different ways using a device that fits in your pocket.

While there’s always something new on the horizon, and we can’t help but wait and wonder what technological marvels are coming next, we list what an entrepreneur should think about in order to leverage these technologies for your business

Business Intelligence and not just market intelligence
Smart small businesses will heavily rely on data and analytics this year to make important decisions about everything from marketing strategies to staffing. Your POS should be supported by a substantial reporting system that offers you a wealth of crucial information ranging from historical sales reports, your busiest times of the day, and how many new versus returning customers you’re bringing in. You should review this information constantly to adjust strategies and compete.

Chip card and mobile payments reader
Upgrade your old point of sale (POS) system or (even worse) cash register to a snazzier POS not only because it looks cool but the enhanced features are going to really boost your business in 2017. Make sure your POS accepts chip cards and accepts mobile payments. Mobile payments are going to be the most accepted form of payment henceforth because of their convenience and security.

Mobile-optimized website and online store
No one has patience anymore for a website that’s not optimized for mobile. If yours doesn’t work like a charm on all devices, it’s likely you’re losing tons of customers (not to mention getting dinged in search results). It should be as simple as possible for customers to browse items, add them to the cart, and then check out on their mobile devices. This takes just seconds on Amazon — if it takes much longer on your business’s website, customers will bounce.

CRM
This has always been important even before the digital boom so ensure you have a strong customer relationship management system, one that allows you to mass email and select your data lists. This year avoid spamming everyone, instead choose what’s relevant and send it to a segment of your database that would find this interesting.

Remote working tools
Offering the ability to work remotely not only helps with recruiting and retaining top talent, studies show it actually improves team productivity. In 2017,integrate technologies that make it easy for employees to manage their job from anywhere.

Loyalty Programs
Millenials are ruling the shopping roost and cater to them, we must. They live in the age of instant gratification and would seriously change where they shopped if it slows them down. They love the perks of being loyal too so stay attractive to this generation by implementing a loyalty program. Your POS should be able to throw up analytics showing your frequent shoppers, the brands they use or how much they spend. Use this to build a worthy loyalty program.

Inventory management software
Inventory management is crucial to your business but thankfully now you can bid farewell to hours spent manually tracking this or closing up valuable business hours for this. Once again, your POS system will make this a seamless experience for you.

Employee Management
Keeping track of your staff’s schedules on a paper calendar is needlessly messy and complicated. Use a POS that features employee management software solutions that let you manage schedules and track time straight from your mobile device, making everyone’s lives easier. It will evenlet your manage your pay roll better.

Keep in mind this isn’t a comprehensive list, and it doesn’t account for the surprises we’ll likely see in 2017. So be aware of the changes and make the change.

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