2021-04-25 • 4 min read
Not many small businesses care at all about technology at the beginning (unless it’s a software or tech startup). For the average small businesses, whether it’s a hair salon, coffee shop, or artisan bakery, most people start by creating the perfect products (service, drinks, cakes). They might invest in a simple website, but technology will not make it to their business development plans.
Have you ever wondered, how do the chain stores keep the cost low while keeping the customers happy? Meanwhile, local businesses, though they work as hard as they could, still cannot compete with the chain stores. You guess the answer - technology!
Obviously, chain stores have the scale to keep the cost low. Scale comes with many benefits, it means fixed costs can be shared across the businesses. Economies of scale has a very theoretical definition.
Breaking down into simple terms, an industrial oven is more expensive than a home oven; however, it’s able to bake more cakes in the same amount of time. This “technology” upgrade helps you improve efficiency. The more you bake, the cheaper each cake would be.
The same principle applies to different aspects of business and technology is no exception. The bigger the business is, the lower the cost could be. To be clear, cheaper product is not always better. However, as a business, given similar products, lower cost is almost always an advantage. The cost comes in many different forms, it’s not just the cost of raw materials, it’s also how much time and energy business owners invest in building and maintaining the business.
You might be thinking, one couldn’t possibly buy a giant oven to bake cakes at lower costs. Just because each cake is cheaper to make doesn’t mean you could sell that many cakes and take all that profits. You’re right. Increasing the supply to keep the unit cost down only works if the demand meets the supply. There's, again, a very theoretical explanation that profit maximizes when MR=MC. So, how can business owners afford to upgrade their appliances and still make sure this investment make sense?
While some costs aren’t easily sharable (appliances, packagings, labors), technology has made it possible to allow you to share some of the operating costs with other small businesses. This is exactly the reason we create the apio platform. The fact that every small business needs slightly different but similar technology solutions, we believe it’s possible to find common denominators to create simple yet flexible tools for most small businesses.
It’s extremely difficult to build custom software. We’ve seen many times that small businesses hire one-off developers or consultants to build their websites and ended up either unable to maintain or impossible to extend functionalities. Bigger companies avoid these problems by building strong in-house technology team that is simply just impossible for small businesses to afford. Consultants or agencies might not be motivated to say this, but - it’s possible to have high quality software that does not cost a fortune and is still usable and extendable for longer term. We do this by building the tech platform for ALL small businesses.
If grocery stores in every corner around the world join forces, we could build a tech platform that is just as good as Amazon for everyone - except, we are not Amazon. We think authenticity and human interaction are the most unique parts of any small business. We strive to build great softwares for every business, however different they are, yet still keep their characters.
We believe in empowerment to creative and innovative small business owners. The advancement of technology platforms has on one hand makes entrepreneurship much more prevalent. Platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and many more make building audience and businesses easier than ever. On the other hand, in order to maximize platform’s own interests, it has also impose unnecessary restrictions and added complexity for platform users.
We’d like to propose a different future for platform technology: empower entrepreneurs to build with full freedom yet still enjoy the benefits of sharing cost of a technology platform.
Let’s democratizing technology together! 💪