What makes your small business tick? While that sounds like a relatively easy question to answer, some business owners may have to think about it for a few minutes.
Take your own situation and look at what you are doing well; then also review where improvements can be made.
Remember, the health of your small business depends on it.
Being up to Speed on Technology
First and foremost, where does your small business stand when it comes to making life as simple as possible for your customers?
In many cases, it is embracing current technology that will make life not only easier for your customers, but also you as a small business owner.
With that in mind, take a few minutes to see if you’ve got the following bases covered:
- Payments – If you are not giving customers the quickest way to make payments, don’t expect many of them to be long-term customers. In today’s fast-paced world, customers want to get in-and-out of a shopping experience as quickly as possible in many cases. Being set-up to take their credit cards and other forms of payment in a fast and easy manner does matter. Review your payment system to make sure everything is running smoothly. With more credit cards going the chip-reading route, it is important that you can handle such technology. If you run an online store for your business, also check to see that it is a hassle-free process for customers. If they come to your store and find the browsing and/or check-out process cumbersome, they may never come back again. Periodically review your online store operations to make sure everything is in fine working order;
- Storage – When it comes to data storage, is your small business up to speed on properly compiling company and client data? Even though it is not uncommon for some small businesses to still opt for a paper trail, many more have gone the electronic route. Having all your company and client information stored online makes sense for a number of reasons, notably speed and ease with which to access it. Having said that, there are some components that must be in place for this to work, notably the security aspect. With identity theft a sizable problem around the globe, businesses like yours must make sure they are doing everything possible to limit the chances of becoming a victim of cyber-crimes. This means having an established and secure server provider, along with practicing safe online techniques in your office. If you have employees on your team, make sure they are taking the proper precautions to lessen the chances of cyber-criminals striking your business. This includes not downloading any suspicious emails, never sharing client data amongst themselves (unless during normal business procedures), and protecting their computers if they travel for work;
- Socializing – Part of utilizing technology in today’s business world is being active on a number of social media fronts. Given the millions and millions of consumers using social media on a daily basis, you would be downright foolish not to want to have at least some presence on social networks. With a formidable social presence, you can be part of the business conversation, share and tweet out your blog posts, engage consumers in helping them with their questions and issues in doing business, and so much more. If you have not used video before to promote your business, start doing it now. Videos about your brand, how-to productions on products and services etc. oftentimes go over well with consumers. Along with being informative, they put you in an authoritative posture with consumers, something that can never hurt your business.
These are but three of many ways your small business should be putting technology to use in 2016 and down the road.
If you’ve been a little slow to hitch a ride on the small business technology train, reserve your seat today.
Think about it; as more and more consumers become engrossed in technology for their shopping needs, they will turn to those successful entrepreneurs that are also onboard.
It only makes sense to give yourself some credit if you are one of those with a seat.