2023 will be remembered as the year that AI shook the world. While it will be a key theme again in 2024, AI is just one of the small business tech trends to be excited about. Businesses are set for a new year filled with opportunities to achieve goals with game-changing tools and services.

1. No code development platforms (NCDPs)

Would you love to build digital products but you don’t have any software developers in-house? Well, that’s no longer an obstacle. No-code platforms like Bubble and Airtable have made it possible to streamline workflows, create rapid prototypes, and get to market fast with a minimal viable product (MVP) – all without developers.

Out of all of the small business tech trends on the horizon, this could be the biggest game changer for small businesses. NCDPs give them the freedom to experiment with ideas right away. 

2. The expansion of AI tools 

Businesses shouldn’t ignore AI in 2024. While it’s still in its infancy, it’s revolutionizing how companies help customers, create content, optimize supply chains, cut costs, and much more. 

AI has been a major talking point – in and outside the office – all year. And that’s not going to change in 2024. There will be more AI tools coming and all types of businesses will be experimenting with them.

“Experiment” is the keyword as there are questions and concerns surrounding AI. 78% of consumers prefer to speak to a human over an AI/bot. So how AI will help businesses without coming at the expense of the human touch is unknown.

Woman pressing projections in air in customer service

3. Automation

Tech companies have been automating processes for years but the trend has slowly spread to other industries. And that applies even to industries/companies that aren’t known to be tech-savvy.

Restaurants, gyms, freelancers, etc. are using automation to book appointments, welcome new customers/staff (CRM automation), and manage digital campaigns.

4. Virtual and augmented reality tools

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) experiences will no longer be exclusive to cutting-edge tech companies. A new wave of third-party tools and application programming interfaces (API) is expected to land in 2024, making the technology accessible to everyone.

AR and VR let people interact with products and services in a unique way. Like AI, there’s an endless list of possible use cases: immersive experiences for customers, training programs, and “on-the-job” assistance just to name a few. This could change the “average” website/app experience as we know it.

4. More hybrid & remote working 

Remote working was essential for businesses in 2020. Many saw the benefits and stuck with it. It became so popular that it changed cities! Bloomberg reported in 2023 that remote working was costing Manhattan $12 billion a year

CEOs like remote/hybrid setups as they save on real estate costs and attract talent from all over the world, but it’s popular among employees too. Hybrid working is especially popular with younger employees. So not offering remote/hybrid work could be a deal breaker. 

Smiling virtual receptionist on laptop in virtual office

5. A greater focus on sustainability

Businesses are paying more attention to the impact they have on the planet. With ESG scores, net-zero targets, and a global shift towards green energy – the focus on sustainability keeps growing.

From small cafes to cutting-edge tech startups, sustainability is a focus area for business leaders. Businesses that invest in sustainability will attract more environmentally-conscious customers and may 

receive tax credits and other incentives from governments. 

Giant Sequoias in forest

6. 24/7 customer service

Small business owners miss around 62% of calls. Despite the technology being available, companies neglect the phone – a powerful tool to secure leads, make sales, and build relationships.

So, a common small business tech trend for 2024 will be 24/7 customer service. Many businesses frustrate customers by using bots, voicemail machines, or directing customers to forums for help. Having a 24/7 answering service is an easy way to stand out from the competition.

An answering service offers:

  • 24/7 call and live chat support.
  • Appointment scheduling.
  • Call routing services and more.

A team of friendly receptionists answering calls around the clock helps you capture more opportunities while making every caller feel heard. Learn more about our people-powered answering service and why we stand for real people creating real connections.

7. Leaner business models

In a nutshell, lean means producing as much customer value as possible with minimal waste. The last few years were eye-opening for many as they realized they could achieve more with less. 

Business owners had to reduce overhead costs to cope with Covid-19’s disruption. Lots of companies stopped hiring permanent staff to seek help from freelancers and agencies instead. There was also a trend to move away from legacy systems to use more SaaS tools as they’re more flexible.

With AI and other disruptive technologies on the scene, businesses will continue with a leaner approach to help them adapt to change.

8. Increased cybersecurity 

A downside of new technology is a new wave of cybersecurity threats. Cybercrime is predicted to cost the world $10.5 trillion a year by 2025. Small businesses will need to stay vigilant as 46% of all cyber breaches impact businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees.

Cybersecurity will be an important small business tech trend in 2024. Businesses should be creating a prevention and response strategy to act swiftly should they be targeted.

Man holding phone with padlock icon visible representing digital marketing security

9. Customer centricity

A report from McKinsey said that 71% of customers expect personalization from companies. As CRMs, social media, and other popular tools show us how customers interact with products and services, these insights should be capitalized on. 

Customer centricity will be a major small business tech trend for 2024. Businesses are expected to combine data, AI, machine learning, and 24/7 service to revolutionize the customer experience. 

If you’re wondering which small business tech trends to focus on in 2024, you’re not alone. Small businesses and giant corporations are in the same boat. Everyone is trying to learn how to use new technology without losing the human touch, and how all of these trends will reshape the landscape moving forward.

But as always, there’s opportunity among uncertainty. Businesses that embrace change have the chance to grow at a rapid rate that would be nearly impossible to achieve without these new tools and services.

Want to see how AnswerConnect can help you grow? Book a free consultation today.