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How Blockchain Technology Can Help Small Businesses

Article by Diogo Correa
August 17, 2018

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Blockchain

Invented by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 to serve as the public ledger of the cryptocurrency bitcoin, blockchain technology is a growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked using cryptography. Now blockchain has been developed beyond bitcoin creating peer-to-peer markets whilst also creating more user-friendly records than some traditional ownership records. Throughout this article, we will explore how this relatively new technology can help small businesses compete against the largest of opponents.

Historically businesses that look to embrace and adapt to modern digital technologies see significantly higher growth margins than those that wait out to see what will happen. I’m not saying these businesses don’t take a calculated approach to adoption, I’m saying that, but I’m also saying that the risk is generally worth the reward. However, when it comes to blockchain it seems as though companies like Microsoft and IBM are already applying blockchain to their infrastructures, small businesses have been and are still lagging when it comes to implementing the technology. This is all about to change.

Some small businesses have already started to analyse consumer data faster, with a high degree of accuracy and more securely using blockchain-based protocols. I have been involved with blockchains since it’s inception, having invested into the market and working with businesses national and international regarding the developmental use for the technology within the business productivity space and the data now showing the direct impact that it will have on business-to-business industry, social media, marketing and event customer service is staggering. The applications of this technology are infinite, and we are just getting started and it doesn’t’ stop there, the pairing of blockchain technology and big data has also cut cost and complexity, making it far more accessible to small business owners.

The Essential Importance Of Big Data For Small Businesses:

Another article you may enjoy: Why You Should Love Data.

When it comes to data, you have to love it, data is king. This has to be the mindset of small businesses looking to compete with the big players in your industry, by putting data first you will be making smarter marketing decisions, improve product quality, and nurture more meaningful customer relationships.

3 benefits of big data for small businesses include:

  • Improved Transparency: Data is now in your pocket and most importantly in real-time. This allows businesses to implement effective strategies based on current consumer behaviour.
  • Competitive Advantage: Being able to obtain your insights faster and with precision lets, small business owners position themselves better in their industry.
  • Better Service Delivery: Knowing the thoughts and demands of your customers better allows your business to obtain solutions and provide services that meet those customer expectations.

 How Does Blockchain Make Big Data Strategy Easily Accessible?

Now all of these points are valid and I extremely support the notion of data being king but putting data aside, only 23% of organisations have a big data strategy, according to the IBM Big Data & Analytics Hub. This isn’t because small businesses don’t want to adopt a data strategy and that data strategies aren’t important because they are. This is because big data strategy can be challenging for small businesses in the current landscape.

Blockchain technology allows for big data planning to be cost-effective and user-friendly for small business, allowing for an increase in competitive stances by leveraging their analytics, which can also be utilised by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning blockchain platforms provide access to accurate data and business insights without software or data analytics experts. For example, Endor is a blockchain platform that combines AI and blockchain-based protocols to improve big data insight for businesses. Essentially Businesses can ask predictive questions and get highly accurate predictions via social physics-based technologies. It’s an excellent technology and you should definitely look into it.

Tokens For Marketing Initiatives.

There’s no secret that successful small businesses that have had rapid growth have utilised the value of focus marketing campaigns. However, now that big data is easier to access and analyse via blockchain technology, there is no more need for marketing middlemen. I’m sure you’ve felt the impact of these middlemen serving marketers, advertisers, entrepreneurs and small business owners with inaccurate consumer data and personal browsing history for far too long.

Blockchain technology is enabling the cut out of this middleman, businesses can get more accurate customer data straight from the customer. how does this work? Using BAT (Basic Attention Token) to deliver ads to customers they have already opted-in to receive. This is a goldmine for small businesses as this gives small-business owners a built-in consumer lead system. It’s a win-win since the customer gets paid via BAT tokens based on their attention to the advertisements they agreed to see. This is due to the decentralised and highly transparent peer-to-peer network of the blockchain.

5 Key Ares Of Benefit

1.Improved Cash Flow

Created by BLT system, Smart Contracts can make immediate automatic payment of invoices as soon as a transaction is completed.

2.Automatic Follow-Ups

If you are providing a service with repeat appointments, issuing a direct follow-up after the first appointment is complete. This it’s time-saving and it makes you more professional and proactive.

3.Marketing (Covered Above)

4.Streamlining Supply Chain Operations

There are chains of transparent and immutable records which can provide evidence that an ingredient is truly organic, or that health and safety procedures are being followed in a factory, for example.

5. Security

The risk of defrauding, for example, is reduced as transactions can settle in close to real-time and criminal activity may be identified sooner as the permanent real-time, and detailed information included in the blockchain may allow for easier detection of suspicious transactions and trace funds.

Small businesses need to start to prepare for the change in the nature of the business that blockchain technology will bring. It is essential that Small Businesses comprehend the challenges and opportunities afforded by the use of blockchain technology and start to plan for incorporating and using the technology into the future and most importantly, to your benefit.

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