Seen as a competitive differentiator for high-tech companies to benefit from, API software offers a fierce advantage to the businesses that decide to integrate them into their practices. Despite the preconceived idea that only larger companies can benefit from them, APIs are able to facilitate businesses of all sizes and industries.
Defined as a software-to-software interface, APIs help 2 or more applications communicate with each other without the interference or knowledge from the user. A key part for programs, APIs allow the sharing and extension of functionality from other developers. The software works behind the scenes with seamless integration, with the user never noticing the exchange of functions or information. As the API represents a SaaS, developers at small businesses can utilize and integrate remote software information without creating one core application.
Here’s why you should consider implementing APIs into your small business.
As a small business, you more than likely have to tackle the same work as larger companies, but with limited staff and time. A great type of API your business needs to take advantage of is a CRM API. CRM APIs allow you to easily manage all your business’s interactions and relationships with current and potential customers. With the ability to store customer information, your small business can identify sales opportunities and manage marketing efforts in one central location. With limited time, CRM APIs allow for time-consuming tasks such as organizing email follow-ups, to be instantly done.
One of the main advantages of implementing an API into your small business is innovation. As competition of larger companies arises, the need for faster innovation to stay ahead is pertinent.
As funds are usually minor in comparison to large companies, the use of public APIs for certain tasks are recommended. Free to use, public APIs provide tools and services without a specific partnership. The barriers that come with change are reduced from the use of APIs, the contribution of information from outside sources can lead to the success of your business.
On the other hand, using private APIs have their advantages as well. Working with the same principles as public APIs, private APIs often expose sensitive and critical business information. For these types of APIs, already existing systems within the business are leveraged in a uniform way. For example, a shipping API can be integrated into your shipping practices and offer real-time tracking information to be automatically sent via email, app, or SMS.
Tedious and time-consuming, manually creating weekly/monthly/quarterly reports with spreadsheets can be tiring for a small business to handle. Instead, the use of automation APIs allows for information and reports to be extracted quickly. For example, Microsoft Azure is an API that seamlessly creates automatic reports and delivers insights to help identify rates, audience data, custom metrics, and more. Although some reporting will still need to be done manually, APIs help to provide you with a deeper analysis of current data. With automatic reports and insights coming in constantly, small businesses can quickly determine where services need to be altered or where money needs to be allocated to create more efficient practices.
Opens New Money Streams
A major concern with businesses of all sizes, establishing a reliable and strong revenue stream is one of the biggest priorities for a smaller company. With the introduction of an API, a direct route to a variety of new monetization streams becomes available.
For example, APIs have the ability to leverage authentication and authorization access to business functionalities. Business data can be monetized as an API function and different levels of access can be granted from varying levels of payment. 3Scale offers a range of management solutions, including free trials, pay-per-module plans, or even limited functionality options. Although a granular approach, using varying levels of access is just one way a small business can offer services while still profiting.
Using an API can also drastically improve a business’s interaction with partners. Important for all company sizes, retaining and pleasing partners for a small business is particularly vital. With a lower amount of clients, it is vital to ensure that communication is strong between the partners you have. An API can help to rectify the issue of slow communication through high-speed deliverability of various file types. For instance, PayJinn can quickly retrieve account balances, initiate money transfers, and checking account transactions.
For small business, APIs represent an opportunity to keep a competitive edge amongst other companies. Providing seamless integrations, automatic reports, customer management, account information is only the tip of the iceberg for what APIS can do. Small businesses can benefit from having constant, reliable data and services.