There’s a preconceived notion that top software solutions are only within the reach of big businesses. But that isn’t the case in today’s environment, which has become a more equitable playing ground for all types of entrepreneurs. There’s a special place, in particular, for small businesses—many of which are homegrown, offer boutique services, and whose humble beginnings can be traced to word of mouth.
If you fall under this demographic, there’s good news for you: there are a lot of tools out there that you can use to advance your business, and one of them is the Application Programming Interface or API. APIs can be thought of as specific sets of computer code that allow two applications to interact, or “talk,” to each other. For example, if you share a new offering from your online store on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, you are relying on API technology for that very act.
Your use of APIs doesn’t have to stop there, however. Custom API technologies can be designed especially for you, granting your business a competitive edge it may not have achieved just yet. To better illustrate, here’s a shortlist of what’s possible when you use a complete API toolkit for teams and enterprise—or how your business could stand to increase its presence, efficiency, and profits through API integration.
1. You can increase lead generation from other channels, like social media.
Many of the most promising small businesses out there can thank social media for their success. If Facebook, Instagram, or another social media platform once served as an incubator to your business, then you’d be pleased to know that APIs can strengthen your app-to-app connections with them—and better your chances of getting crucial leads.
2. You can harness the functionality of other apps.
It’s hard to rely solely on your business infrastructure, but the fact is that you don’t necessarily need to do so all the time. API integration lets you tap into the power of the Internet’s giants, i.e. the top service providers for online payments, logins, web security, and the like. Because of your API, your customers can enjoy the full functionality of these apps when they’re transacting with you.
3. You can automate many of your business processes.
Lack of manpower is a constant issue for small businesses, but it’s possible to close the gap through automation. This is another thing that your API solution can help you with, as it can connect you to apps that automate the time-consuming parts of your workflow.
4. It can steer your business to be more data-driven.
Though your intuition may have contributed a lot to your business’s growth, it may be time to lean on more data-backed decision-making—especially if current API technologies make real-time data access and management even easier than before. Your API toolkit may surprise you in its ability to find, scour, sort through, and manage data that’s relevant to your business insight—and so, you might as well use it to make more accurate, well-informed, and responsive business decisions.
5. It will enable faster data migration when it’s time to expand.
At some point, you might consider expanding your business; for example, you may want to aspire for a branded domain name if you don’t have one yet. When the time comes to move all of your small business’s data to a new host, an API can assist you in making that transition smooth and hiccup-free.
There’s a lot being demanded even of small businesses. Customers expect you to have a mastery of cloud-based technologies, data, and social media savvy, to name just a few. If your goal is to stay relevant, competitive, and up-to-date with the most important actors in your business environment, then it may be just the right time for you to integrate with API.