card-reader-businesses.jpgTechnology is advancing faster than ever before. If you’re a small to midsize business owner, that’s good news for you. Leveraging technological advancements is a powerful way for entrepreneurs to gain ground on larger corporations. Here are just a few of the many tech trends you should be familiar with if you want to level the playing field and keep up with your competitors:

The Cloud – Cybercrime is on the rise. Cloud technology safeguards small businesses from cybercriminals by allowing them to more effectively and affordably store, share and protect their data. No wonder the number of U.S. small businesses who are fully cloud operational is expected to increase from 37% to 78% by 2020 alone.

NFC (Near Field Communication) Transactions – Now more than ever, mobile is king. Customers have begun to expect businesses to accept mobile payments. Want to optimize your business for maximum mobility? Make sure your credit card processing equipment is NFC-enabled to accept payments via applications like Apple Pay and Android Pay.

EMV (Chip Card) Transactions – 2015 saw a large number of high-profile data breaches. By accepting “contactless” or chip card payments on an EMV-equipped card reader through your merchant account, you not only help to protect your customers’ transactions, you reduce your business’s liability for chargebacks.

CRM – Every business/customer relationship produces hordes of data. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems like Salesforce allow businesses to perform in-depth analysis of that data in order to effectively drive future sales growth.

Analytics – Want to make your website and online marketing campaigns work harder for you? Tools like Google Analytics allow you to track and analyze your online traffic, understand customer behavior and more effectively target your online marketing efforts.

Cybersecurity – As mentioned above, data breaches are becoming more and more prevalent. Protect yourself and your business from cyberattacks by securing your networks with a firewall, backing up your important data and employing the aforementioned credit card processing best practices.

Finally, after you put the power of these technologies to work for your business, be sure to keep an eye out for what’s coming next.