According to some starry-eyed entrepreneurs, the only technique to become really rich financially and personally—in other words, to become absurdly rich—is to start your own business.

From Silicon Roundabout to Silicon Valley, the total number of startups launched worldwide can be hard to grasp. According to the recent GEM Global report, almost 100 million businesses are launched annually; which comes to over three businesses every second, or 11,000 new startups per hour. For these small business owners all over the world who compete head-to-head against big guns every day, technology is a vital tool that’s leveling the playing field for these entrepreneurs.

If technology is well implemented, small scale businesses have the chance to scale up. A single Amazon book can turn into a series; a single hotdog stand can mushroom into a national franchise. The increasing use of Internet, smartphones, app development, and other state-of-the-art technologies forced many businesses to go online to serve a bigger audience.

Use of the right technology can accelerate business processes by making different business tasks more flexible such as making communication easy, securing your business data, improving customer care and much more.

To ring in the New Year, below are my picks for the best techs for a small-business owner to help increase profits and stay ahead of competitors.

1. Augmented Reality Devices

Business ideas are better acknowledged when they are shown, not told. The question about the future of augmented reality vanished, after the launch of Microsoft HoloLens glasses. The company recently announced that the AR headset will be available by early next year. Businesses can use augmented reality devices like the HoloLens of Microsoft to show designs, work together remotely and develop things in relation to the real world. These AR devices offer a unique opportunity to bring products and information to life.

2. Wireless Conference Rooms

Every small and large company requires meeting space to discuss strategy and progress with the team. Now-a-days, many companies are adopting a wireless solution for meetings that connects offices, team members and clients, no matter their location. One such solution is the VIA line of collaboration tools, produced by Kramer, which is designed to take the conference room to wherever your team is.

VIA allows companies to wirelessly stream videos and presentations across various conference rooms. These distinctive features help companies to take meetings beyond showing simple presentations and actually allow employees to work together.

3. The Internet of Things

From smart lights to connected security cameras, the Internet of Things has offered a wide range of consumer-facing technologies. Companies are taking advantage of IoT devices in the form of connected sensors and cameras to monitor productivity and efficiency. As IoT grows within the workplace, it will speed up employee mobility; allowing team members to be more productive—no matter their location in the world.

4. Cloud Computing

Most people aren’t aware of the purpose of “cloud” which is affecting the way we use technology on a daily basis. Cloud computing allows a centralized information database system that can be accessed through your laptop, tablet, smartphone or any other Internet-abled device.

Despite its popularity, many companies have still failed to adopt cloud computing in any form. It can help companies to improve their products and services, and their internal communications. Through cloud computing technology, the entire workforce can connect with one another along with the data, functionality, or any other material they need.

5. Wearable Technology

The dawn of wearable technology, in the form of smart watches and obsolete Google Glass, has changed the way people interact with the world around them. Most of these wearable devices are dedicated to health and fitness tracking; it gives businesses a new opportunity to encourage healthy and active lifestyles for their employees by equipping them with wearable fitness trackers.

It’s impossible to predict how each technology will affect your business or your workforce, but it is essential to be aware of tech developments in the industry to respond to them before your competitor. Adopting a new strategy to leverage an emerging technology for your business could be just the plus you need to get a leg up on your competition. Stay updated in 2016 and beyond!

Featured photo credit: stokpic.com/ via stokpic.com

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