There is no shortage of new technologies for small business owners, but how do you know which of them are a wise investment? SMBs don’t typically have a lot of wiggle room in their budgets, especially early on, so it’s important to choose new technologies that will quickly and reliably deliver a positive impact on your business.

Here are some tech examples that could be game changers for your Texas small business:

1. AI-based marketing analytics and ad buying

Artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere these days. Where it was once the domain of huge enterprises and researchers, numerous consumer-level applications are now putting it to good use. AI technology allows businesses to improve efficiency in their processes by collecting, organizing, and analyzing data.

Although your small businesses might not be able to afford dedicated business analytics software, there are still ways to use AI in your marketing. AI-based advertising used on platforms like Facebook have made reaching your qualified, targeted customer easier than ever. New applications are also being launched that allow you to put Google AdWords and YouTube ad spending under AI control. The software analyzes the conversion rates on various channels and optimizes your ad budget to give you the best return.

2. Voice search optimization

Voice search is quickly becoming more popular, especially with the advent of smart assistants like Amazon’s Alexa. According to a recent report published by PwC, 65 percent of 25-to-49-year-olds speak to their voice-enabled device at least once per day; 18-to-24-year-olds are a close second at 59 percent.

You can optimize your web content for voice search similarly to how you SEO your business website. Optimizing your content for voice will increase your visibility online and get instant information to your customers when they’re on the go. Start by focusing your efforts on local search terms.

3. Chatbot customer service

Customers today want their answers on demand. Chatbots can provide 24/7 customer service and support, which is why they’ve been steadily growing in popularity for years. These automated chat scripts can interact with hundreds of customers at the same time, meaning chatbot technology enables you to provide instant and consistent answers at a lower cost than filling up a room with phone agents. Chatbot builders, such as MobileMonkey, create business chat bots for lead generation, support, or anything else you may need.

4. Online training 

Seminar-based training is going the way of the dodo thanks to online business training platforms. eLearning is nothing new, but the trend to replace face-to-face training with online training is. According to LinkedIn Learning’s 2019 Workplace Learning Report, 59 percent of learning and development professionals have increased their spends for online learning since 2017.

Your knowledge is the backbone of your business, so access to online training programs could be an extraordinary asset. Many eLearning sites let you purchase enterprise-level packages so others in your business can make use of the educational materials. Training this way is usually more flexible, scalable, and affordable than in-person seminars.

5. Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing — using key leaders to drive your brand to their audiences, usually through social media — has been around for a few years now. With the desire for more authentic marketing, you may be turning to this method sooner than you thought. Social media influencers can grow your brand and customer base instantly, because their audience becomes your audience in a matter of minutes.

Of course, these influencers don’t come cheap, but there are now alternatives to the big influencers for you to turn to. In 2019, there’s been a turn toward nano-influencers, who reach smaller audiences—but do so with more authenticity than the reknowned personalities. The good news for you? More targeted reach and lower costs overall.

Business technology can be daunting, but it’s there to help you succeed. If you’re struggling with anything on the tech spectrum, from implementing emergent tech like those above or simply getting your network in order, we can help.