5G small business opportunities: how to prepare
The seemingly boundless applications that 5G can power is expected to drive a shift to an augmented world that could reshape the way business is done.
On its face, 5G's biggest benefits seem tailored to the biggest enterprises. Small-business owners might be wondering: What's in it for us?
But size does not limit what a business can do with 5G. 5G small business opportunities build on the increasing digital maturity in the economy and can improve business operations, productivity and the customer experience.
5G small business opportunities and benefits
Small business leaders do not want to be left behind by 5G. But when they look around, they might not see many of their peers blazing trails and setting examples of how to take advantage of 5G small business opportunities.
But the United States is home to 29.6 million small businesses—any opportunity to use technology as a growth catalyst is immense. 5G connectivity can unlock new and immersive ways to interact with and serve customers.
5G can help small-business owners mobilize their operations and create a more seamless customer experience, wherever their customers are.
4G laid the groundwork, powering tools such as remote credit card processors and order-taking tablet apps. 5G can take the next step. The next-generation network will let prospective customers use mobile devices to remotely communicate with small businesses in near real-time—interactions that can seamlessly turn into secure transactions. And because 5G will eventually accommodate greater device density, helping to accommodate large volumes of transactions in crowded venues such as in a sold-out concert, sporting event or a busy local farmers market.
An elevated customer experience
Advanced technologies like augmented reality help customers visualize products easily—they can see what a makeup application, manicured garden landscape or high-tech new hospital building would look like right on their device. But augmented and virtual reality applications need high bandwidth to process the large data files quickly and without bottlenecks. A throttled connection that leads to a choppy augmented reality experience frustrates customers and small-business owners. 5G can also help small businesses use more sophisticated technologies to make the sale.
5G could improve productivity and the customer experience by enabling seamless connectivity. With small businesses needing to do more with less, 5G could be an invaluable tool to maintain a competitive advantage.
5G small business opportunities: next steps
To capitalize on 5G's potential, small businesses need to step up their adoption of digital solutions. More than 70% of small businesses worldwide have accelerated their digital transformation in response to COVID-19—but only 4% have achieved the highest level.
The steps to realizing 5G small business opportunities include:
- Digitizing business processes. No more pen-and-paper solutions. Every process—including customer relationship management—should migrate to a digital solution. Digital solutions do not just help with daily operations; they also help small businesses track long-term trends and devise long-term plans.
- Moving to the cloud. Using cloud-based customer relationship management tools and related business systems will help small businesses access processes whether they're in the office or on the road.
- Securing data. Digitizing data is a powerful way to maintain a competitive advantage—but it can also leave businesses vulnerable to cyber attacks. Small businesses are increasingly the prime target for cyber criminals, and they need to understand the costs of doing business digitally and ensure that sensitive data is safeguarded.
- Exploring advanced technologies. Small businesses can boost revenue and productivity by using augmented reality apps and advanced data analytics. Figuring out which technologies will deliver the desired return on investment is also key.
You can seize the potential of 5G small business opportunities faster by partnering with managed service providers that have invested in cybersecurity and other enabling technologies. These partnerships give you access to advanced technologies without having to reinvent the wheel or spend money on labor and expertise that might not be readily available. A managed service provider can help small businesses move processes to the cloud, implement stringent cybersecurity protocols or help you ready your digital infrastructure for 5G.
5G will revolutionize business. Laying a foundation now will help you unlock the potential of 5G and stay connected with your customers.