August 23, 2014
One of the biggest challenges small businesses face is limited capital. Because of that, they face the hurdle of eliminating waste and finding ways to experiment and expand. They are forced to be much more judicial in where they allocate and how they spend their resources. If not, they could suffer financial ruin.
Big data is perfect for assisting companies in making the most of their limited resources. It gives them information that allows them to be more effective at everything they do. With added efficiency, companies can more easily increase capital and increase revenue.
Big data isn’t just for big business. With the number of companies that now offer Hadoop as a service, any size business can afford to implement big data. It no longer takes a complicated and costly infrastructure to get it up and running. Additionally, with big data in the cloud, companies have the flexibility to scale their storage to whatever their needs may be. They don’t have to waste money on storage that they might not be using. Also, big data services in the cloud generally only charge for the services you actually use. No need to stress out about high prices on products that won’t be used. The setup is ideal for any small business.
Three areas that are particularly important for big data implementation are marketing, pricing, and employee performance.
Big data is at its best when tracking customers and potential customers. Generally, this is a very difficult area for small businesses. Either they don’t invest as much as they would like to, or they invest more than they should, but they hope to reap the rewards. Unfortunately, both ways lead to too much waste. If companies don’t invest enough, they miss a big opportunity to bring in new consumers and new revenue. If they invest a lot but don’t do it effectively, then they’re significantly limiting future growth. Big data helps companies gauge how much they should be investing in marketing and where that marketing money should be spent. Companies can be much more precise in who they target and what type of advertising they use. It’s extremely effective at monitoring social media, too, which is a great, cheap way to market.
Get pricing wrong and you will quickly be out of business. Naturally, small businesses have a hard time keeping up with bigger stores when it comes to pricing. Most people, however, expect the prices of small business products to be higher, and they’re willing to pay that price for reasons like — quality, transparency, local products, etc. There is a fine line to be walked, though, when it comes to pricing. If the price is too high, the customers will be driven away, no matter the reason they came to shop initially. The right price makes all the difference — enough capital for your company, yet fair enough to bring the consumer back time and time again.
Small businesses draw consumers in for many different reasons, one of which is the quality experience buyers have because of the employees. With big data, companies can improve already superior employees or improve a struggling workforce. Big data, especially gamification, has proven effective in motivating and improving employee performance in numerous sectors. Lower turnover is always going to be a good thing for companies. It saves them time and money spent on hiring and training new employees. A low turnover rate also indicates to consumers that the company is generally employee-friendly. It’s also good for companies because seasoned employees are familiar with the company and its culture, products, and services. Because of that, they can better serve the consumer.
Big data can drastically change, for the better, the way small businesses operate. Fortunately, cloud computing means that big data is easily accessible and very affordable for almost all small businesses. The low cost of implementation and high success rate can provide an amazing difference for companies that make the jump to big data.
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